Buchholz goes distance as Red Sox top Astros, 6-1

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BOSTON - With the way Clay Buchholz has been pitching of late, the Red Sox knew that if they could get out to an early lead, there was a good chance they'd keep it.

That was exactly how things went down, as the Sox scored a run in each of the first two innings and went on to beat the Astros, 6-1, behind another dominant start by Buchholz, who pitched a complete game and didn't allow a run until there were two outs with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

It was the top of the Red Sox order that did most of the damage on Saturday.

Xander Bogaerts put the Sox on the board in the first inning with an RBI single that scored Mookie Betts from third base.

Betts got his own RBI one inning later when he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Shane Victorino, who returned to the Red Sox lineup on Saturday with a 2-for-4 performance.

That was more than enough for Buchholz, who allowed just two hits through the first six innings, and got some help on defense in the 7th inning when the Sox, who had a massive shift on for Luis Valbuena, turned a 5-6-3 double play, all from the right side of the diamond.

All in all, Buchholz cruised through nine innings, allowing one run on six hits and zero walks with eight strikeouts on 110 pitches.

As Justin Masterson said Friday night of Buchholz, "He's been slicing and dicing so we'll sit back, press play, and watch him go forever."

He couldn't have been more spot-on.

The Sox continued to add insurance runs as Bogaerts doubled in Brock Holt in the fifth inning, and Betts doubled in Sandy Leon in the sixth. In the eighth, Betts smacked another double to deep center field that scored Victorino and moved Leon to third base.

Alejandro De Aza, who was inserted into left field in the eighth inning, came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning and beat out a race to first base with a headfirst slide. The hustle drove in the Sox' sixth run. 

 

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