Red Sox - 002 020 001 - 5 11 2 Blue Jays - 000 100 000 - 1 4 1An extra two days of rest did Buchholz's back a world of good. "Tonight I wasn't favoring it. I was able to get some good extension on pitches I needed to be extended on. It definitely felt a little different than it has the last couple of starts." (Buchholz did contend with a blister on his right middle finger, which he said felt like a splinter.)
Buchholz pitched seven innings (7-3-1-2-6, 100), before Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon finished up. He retired the first eight Jays, allowed two hits to start the fourth (a sac fly brought in Toronto's lone run). The only other real threat came in the seventh, when a walk, a wild pitch, and Jed Lowrie's second error of the game put runners on first and third with one out. Buchholz struck out pinch-hitter Edwin Encarnacion and got Mike McCoy to foul out to first.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5, with a double, and scored three runs. He has hits in 14 of his last 15 games (26-for-64, .406). Ellsbury is hitting .447 in June. He also leads the AL with 21 doubles, and is #1 in stolen bases, #2 in hits (Adrian Gonzalez is #1), #3 in runs scored, #6 in average (.316; Gonzalez is #2 and David Ortiz is #5), #10 in extra-base hits, and #11 in OBP.
After getting good news concerning his right knee, Dustin Pedroia had three singles, a walk, a run, and an RBI. Gonzalez singled and doubled and knocked in two runs (a third scored on a 463 DP), extending his streak of games with at least one RBI to a career-high seven. He has had three previous streaks of six games, including one earlier this year (May 8-14).
Clay Buchholz / Jo-Jo Reyes
The Red Sox (36-26) have the best record in the American League, trailing only the Cardinals (38-26) and Phillies (37-26) in MLB.
Boston is 34-16 (.680) in the eight weeks since its 2-10 start. That's a 110-win pace, and it has been done with very poor performances from one-third of the lineup - Dustin Pedroia (.222/.347/.281 since April 15), J.D. Drew (.221/.331/.361 since April 15), and Jed Lowrie (.237/.295/.336 since April 26) - and some very bad pitching performances from John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Michael Bowden has been called up and Luis Exposito is on his way back to Pawtucket.
Peter Abraham, Globe:
Buchholz is pitching for the first time since June 3 because of a sore lower back. He is coming off two rough starts (10.2 IP, 14 H, 8 ER) ...With Derek Jeter 10 hits away from becoming the 28th player in history to reach 3,000 hits, B-Ref has posted a list of the 42 players who have reached base more than 4,000 times. ... Wow, Pete Rose batted 15,861 times, nearly 2,000 more times than the runner-up (Yaz, 13,991).
The Sox have won six straight, 11 of 15 and 22 of 30. ... David Ortiz has hit safely in nine straight at 16 of 34 (.471) with nine extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. ... Jacoby Ellsbury has hit safely in 13 of 14 games at .390 (23 of 59) with eight stolen bases, nine extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. ...
Adrian Gonzalez has driven in at least one run in six consecutive games, matching the longest such streak of his career.
Top 5 active players, most hits: Jeter (2,990), Ivan Rodriguez (2,835), Omar Vizquel (2,823), Alex Rodriguez (2,731), Johnny Damon (2,637).
AL East: Cleveland/Yankees and Rays/Orioles at 7 PM.