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Buchholz looking like an All-Star

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  June 21, 2010 01:07 AM

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It's funny how life works sometimes.

Clay Buchholz and his new bride, Deal Or No Deal model Lindsay Clubine, settled in California after they got married over the winter. Their place is in Manhattan Beach, about 30 miles from Angel Stadium.

The All-Star Game will be July 13 in Anaheim. Buchholz sure would like to sleep in his own bed, get up and go pitch that day.

"It would be great to be there," Buchholz said after throwing 6.2 scoreless innings against the Dodgers tonight to improve to 10-4 and drop his ERA to 2.47. "I'm trying not to think about it too much."

Buchholz is tied with Phil Hughes and David Price for the most wins in the AL. Only Price, at 2.45, as a lower ERA. Buchholz is 25, while Hughes and Price are 24. No matter which team you root for, it's cool to see three young guys grow into their talent like that trio has this season.

They're a big reason the Yankees (43-26), Rays (42-27) and Sox (43-28) have the three best records in baseball.

Buchholz is 7-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his last eight starts. Now you know why the Sox have been so patient with him the last few years. You have to give a young starter with his level of talent every chance in the world to succeed.

“Coming out of spring training, I don’t know that we knew what exactly what he would be,” Terry Francona said. “In a lot of those meetings, Theo [Epstein] sat there and banged the drum. He’s right. Young pitching, that’s why you don’t trade it away or give up on it because we don’t always know exactly what they’re going to be.

"But when they start reaching their potential, it’s awful exciting.”

The other notable aspect of tonight's 2-0 victory was the infield defense. Marco Sctutaro snapped a line drive out of the air and turns it into a double play to end the second inning. Dustin Pedroia turns a double play to end the third inning. Adrian Beltre then made a ridiculous play at third base to backhand a rocket off the bat of Jamey Carroll in the fifth inning.

“There was no chance that play was going to be made,” Buchholz said. “I guess that’s why he’s here. He’s awesome. He makes hard plays look routine. That’s a big deal, especially down there in that corner. Balls get smoked down there. You have to sacrifice your body to make those plays.”

A few notes:

* The Sox were 8-1 on their homestand, outscoring the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers 62-29. They are now 10-2 against NL teams this season. They have won six straight, the longest streak this season.

* Joe Torre on the Red Sox lineup: "There's not a soft spot in there. And they've got that second baseman, he was in the middle of everything."

That would be Dustin Pedroia, who had three more hits and is now 20 of his last 40. He's up to .284.

* Supplemental first-round draft pick Anthony Ranaudo threw four innings for Brewster in the Cape Cod League. He allowed one hit and one unearned run with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 43 of his 66 pitches for strikes. The 20-year-old righthander, who missed part of the season at Louisiana State because of an elbow injury, is pitching on the Cape to try and improve his value and earn a better contract.

* Manny Ramirez was 5 of 11 with three runs scored, a homer and one RBI in his return. He can still hit.

The Sox are off tomorrow. But I think we'll do a chat and there will be some posts along the way. Good job by Robert Mays, one of the sports department interns, on the in-game blog tonight.

As always, we appreciate you reading.

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