Buchholz to DL with back strain

June, 19, 2011
6/19/11
1:43
PM ET
BOSTON -- In the midst of a pregame ceremony honoring the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, the Red Sox distributed a press release Sunday announcing that pitcher Clay Buchholz had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what the team is calling a lower back strain.

The Sox added left-hander Andrew Miller to the roster; Miller is scheduled to pitch Monday night against the San Diego Padres.

Buchholz pitched just five innings Thursday in his last start, against Tampa Bay, before coming out of the game. He said at the time he hoped to avoid a stint on the DL. But that night, manager Terry Francona said he does not want Buchholz dealing with back issues for the balance of the season.

"That’s the road we’re trying to take with it,'' Buchholz said after Sunday's 4-2 win. "Hopefully knock it out now and not have to worry about it in September or October.”

Buchholz allowed just two hits and a run in five innings Thursday night, and had thrown only 81 pitches when he was lifted by Francona for Alfredo Aceves. His discomfort was not apparent while he was on the mound, but he said it cropped up early, especially during waits in the dugout in the first two innings while Tampa Bay starter David Price struggled. He decided he didn't want to put extra stress on the back if he could avoid it.

"The way we're playing right now,'' he said, "nobody wants to go on the DL. That was my first thought. Try to get through five innings with it, then give it to the bullpen.''

Buchholz said at the time that the discomfort felt like a pulled muscle. He first experienced back discomfort on May 29 in Detroit; he was given two extra days rest before his next start, but the condition persisted. Asked Sunday if he felt that he'd come back too quickly, he said:

“No, I think it’s just the way it is. Its been lingering a while and now I’m going to attack it in terms of getting in the training room and trying to do everything I can to be back on the field.”

When asked if he was hurting on the mound his last few starts, Buchholz said, “The only time that I actually felt anything throwing was those last couple of innings in Tampa. I felt like I was altering my delivery to sort of favor that side.”

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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