Buchholz went seven strong innings, scattering five hits and one walk against nine strikeouts. His lone run was a Logan Morrison homer in the 7th, but Clay was able to finish off the Marlins and close out the inning.
The Sox scored their runs in the top of the 7th from some unlikely characters. Kelly Shoppach doubled home Will Middlebrooks to kick things off, and Mike Aviles followed up with a single scoring Shoppach. Scott Podsednik, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Adrian Gonzalez were hitless in 14 at bats.
Buchholz has really come a long way. He's one of the most frustrating players on the team to me. I've always found him wildly overrated -- even when he's on, he doesn't look overpowering to me, so much so that I'm pretty much always recommending we trade him. But he's making me look foolish now.
In his last four starts, Clay's gone seven-plus innings, notching three wins in the process. His ERA has dropped by two and a half runs. He's struck out 28 guys in 31 innings. This is the guy we've been promised for years.
And the team needs him right now. Beckett has become a number 2 or 3 guy, and while Felix Doubront's emergence has been nice, he's not exactly CC Sabathia. Daisuke is Daisuke. And presumed ace Jon Lester just can't put it together, with his ERA far too high above 4. Maybe Buchholz can assume the ace title after all.