Clay Buchholz is undergoing an MRI after leaving Friday's start after 3 1/3 innings with right elbow tightness. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz having MRI after leaving start with right elbow tightness

Ryan Hannable
July 10, 2015 - 6:58 pm

Friday night's series opener against the Yankees did not go as planned, as the Red Sox lost 5-1, but maybe more importantly could lose starter Clay Buchholz for an extended period of time. With one out in the fourth inning and Stephen Drew at the plate, Buchholz called for catcher Sandy Leon to come to the mound and then Leon motioned for manager John Farrell and the trainer. After a quick discussion Buchholz departed with what the team called right elbow tightness. "Nothing definitive anything more than what has been announced," Farrell said after the game. "There's some tightness, some stiffness in the elbow area. He's undergoing a full workup with imaging. Until we get further information that's all we have right now." Farrell later said Buchholz was getting an MRI. Leon said he noticed a difference on Buchholz's last pitch to Drew and that was the first time he really knew something was wrong. "The last one was a cutter and it's usually 88, 89 [mph] and the last one was 85 and he called me and said he [felt] something in his elbow," Leon said. "I just said, 'You have to be smart. We have three months to go. Be smart. Be safe.' And I called John [Farrell]." "He was like, 'My elbow is really tight, I don't want to keep going,'" Leon added. Buchholz allowed a solo home run to Alex Rodriguez in the first inning, but other than he that looked sharp. He totaled three strikeouts in the 3 1/3 innings he pitched. "He didn't feel any one significant effect of a particular pitch," Farrell said. "Actually, from field level the way he was throwing the ball, he had good action to all his pitches. He called Sandy out right after the last pitch he threw and waved to the dugout. Went out and Clay mentioned he had felt a little stiffness and didn't want to -- didn't feel like he could push through it at that point." Buchholz has emerged as the best starter in the Red Sox rotation, winning four straight starts and the team winning six of his last seven before Friday night. Going into Friday, Buchholz had a 1.99 ERA over his last 10 starts. If he's out for any extended period of time it would be a huge loss. "Hopefully it's nothing serious," fellow starter Rick Porcello said. "That's the bottom line. He's been our guy all year and we need him. For him on a personal note, hopefully it's something he can recover from and nothing serious." Porcello said he noticed from the dugout a few pitches weren't what he was used to seeing from Buchholz. "I can't really speak for him," Porcello said. "He was throwing the ball well and then you kind of saw a couple of pitches that didn't look right. I'm just hoping everything works out. For us as a team, obviously we need him." As the Red Sox have narrowed the gap in the division, losing Buchholz would obviously be a major blow. "As starting pitchers, we have a good relationship so when we see something like that we get sick. I hope he's going to be alright," Eduardo Rodriguez said. Rob Bradford contributed to this report.