No no-no, but Buchholz was complete

June, 5, 2010
6/05/10
12:00
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BALTIMORE -- Clay Buchholz continues to be the model of consistency for the Boston Red Sox.

[+] EnlargeClay Buchholz and Victor Martinez
AP Photo/Rob CarrClay Buchholz is congratulated by Victor Martinez after his first complete game since throwing a no-hitter in his second major league start.
The right-hander pitched a complete-game shutout and allowed only five hits with one walk and two strikeouts to lead the Red Sox to an 11-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Friday night.

Buchholz improved to 8-3 and has earned a victory in each of his last five starts. He’s also won nine consecutive road starts to tie Roger Clemens for the second-longest road winning streak in Red Sox history.

Everything seems to finally be going right for Buchholz, who needed just 101 pitches, and his teammates and manager are taking notice.

“Tremendous,” said Terry Francona. “A lot of first-pitch outs. He commanded his fastball. He threw it for strikes. When we got the lead, he threw it for strikes and stayed out of the middle of the plate. I think he got eight first-pitch outs and that’s huge.

“He’s a maturing pitcher,” added Francona. “We’re seeing it right in front of us. It’s exciting. He’s putting it together and he’s done a tremendous job. He looks confident and he should be.”

Buchholz is confident. But he’s not about to deviate, or take for granted, what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s enjoyed success before and he knows how quickly it can slip away.

“The last seven games out I’ve just been trying to do what I did the start before,” he said. “Throwing first-pitch strikes, not walking as many people and getting some double-play balls in the mix too. My confidence is good. I feel like every time I go out we score a lot of runs. It’s not like I’m throwing a 1-0 ballgame every time out. It’s fun.”

It was Buchholz's first complete game since he tossed a no-hitter in his second major league start on Sept. 1, 2007 against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

“After I came off for the eighth inning [Friday night] I looked out to the bullpen and saw no one warming up. It was neat going back to the whole no-hit thing. It was a little ironic, but cool,” Buchholz said.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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