If you read Amalie Benjamin’s minor league notebook last week, you know all about Justin Masterson, and the Eastern League got their first exposure to him this afternoon and it was dazzling. Masterson pitched 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Portland’s Hunter Jones continued the no-no until there were two outs in the ninth, when Lyle Overbay, on rehab assignment from Toronto, broke it up with a base hit.
Masterson, a sinker, slider changeup guy who is big (6-6, 245 pounds) and comes out of the San Diego State program coached by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, walked two and whiffed nine.
Meanwhile, Clay Buchholz was told after today’s Portland game that he is being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, as the kid who doesn’t turn 23 until Aug. 14 continues to mark himself as one of the game’s top pitching prospects. Buchholz, who pitched in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, had told Ian Browne of mlb.com in San Francisco that he might be promoted, and he got the word today. Buchholz was 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA, with spectacular dominating numbers: 116 K’s and 22 B’s in 86 2/3 innings. The Sox conceivably could call Buchholz up in a relief role like they did Jonathan Papelbon a couple of years ago, but that’s still a possibility, not a probability.