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Clay Buchholz encouraged by rehab start

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 16, 2010 06:27 PM

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By Dan Hickling for Boston.com

Just back from the Pawtucket clubhouse, and the word from Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz on his rehab outing at Syracuse was encouraging.

"It felt good," he said of the hamstring injury that sidelined him since before the All-Star break. "I didn't feel that it was going to bother me at all. I bounced off the mound a couple times and it felt fine."

Buchholz was pleased with his velocity, but felt that his command could have been a little better.

"But that will come," he said.

Buchholz said he spoke with Red Sox manager Terry Francona, and while no decisions have been made, he expects to leave Syracuse in the morning for Boston. When he'll rejoin the rotation has yet to be decided.

Lowrie ended up going 3-for-4 with two RBI in what played out a 9-5 PawSox win.

UPDATE: Buchholz finishes his night with two out in the fourth, at 60 pitches on the nose (33 for strikes). He finished up with four hits allowed (including the first inning solo shot by Seth Bynum.

There were no apparent issues with his left hammy (or the right one for that matter), and his velocity -- off the charts in the first -- still touched 93 in the fourth.

UPDATE: Buchholz labored a bit in the third inning, but not seriously. He allowed pair of singles and a run, and threw 25 pitches in that inning. He's now up to 51 (29 for strikes).

A bit of comedy was injected when, with Boomer Whiting on first, he started to throw to the bag to keep Whiting close. At the last second, he saw that first baseman Lars Anderson was playing back, and the ball just slipped out of his hand for a balk. Buchholz had a smile you could see from the press box.

UPDATE: Three up three down for Buchholz in the second, although it took a double play to do it. With one out, he hit Orr with an 80 mph curveball that got away from him, then got Davis on a weak grounder. The first test of his hammy, if you can call it a test, was when he spun and threw over to first to keep Orr close to the bag.
Through two frames, Buchholz has thrown 26 pitches (two thirds of them fastballs), 15 for strikes.

UPDATE: Buchholz will see righty Kevin Mench followed by lefties Pete Orr and Leonard Davis. Lowrie still swinging well, serving a solid single to right in the top of the second.

UPDATE: Buchholz came out firing in the first inning ... first pitch hit 93, and he turned it up from there. Most of his 17 pitches (10 strikes) were fastballs, half a dozen hit 95, and one topped out at 96. Another, a 94 mph'er, was swatted out by Seth Bynum for a solo homer. Racked up two Ks.

PREGAME:

Greetings from Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, where on successive nights, two fifths of the Bosox starting rotation -- namely Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett -- will make rehab starts for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Syracuse Chiefs.

Buchholz will go tonight and is expected to throw four innings or about 60 pitches. That should be enough to test his left hamstring, which he strained while running bases back in June 25 in San Francisco.

Base running will not be an issue tonight, that's for sure.

Tonight is actually a rehab two-fer, since INF Jed Lowrie will make his second start for the PawSox, after finally shedding the effects of mono. Lowrie DH'd last night, going 1-for-4, with all but one of his at bats coming from the left side.

He'll be playing third base tonight and batting lefty again, as Syracuse is sending out right hander Jason Jones, the former Yankee prospect.

First pitch is likely to come at 7:10 (local TV calling that tune), so we'll check in again when Buchholz takes the mound.

Buchholz on the hill in the bottom of the first. He'll face righty batters Boomer Whiting and Seth Bynum, and lefty Chase Lambin. He'll be throwing to catcher Mark Wagner, whom he's seen before in a few previous stops along the Sox minor league trail.

Oh, and Lowrie?

In the top of the inning, he took a Jason Jones fastball over the right center field wall. All seems fine with him.

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