Clay Buchholz threw his team-leading sixth quality start of the season despite the Red Sox' loss. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Searching for positives: Clay Buchholz lone bright spot in Red Sox' loss to Rangers

Ryan Hannable
May 21, 2015 - 7:25 pm

It's hard to imagine any positive from the Red Sox' 3-1 loss to the Rangers in the final game of a three-game set where the Rangers took two-of-three from the Sox at Fenway, but there actually was one in starter Clay Buchholz. The right-hander continued to ride the train that the Red Sox starters have been on of late, going at least five innings and allowing two earned runs in eight straight games, and going at least six innings in seven of those eight games. Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, while walking two and striking out four. It was his team-leading sixth quality start and third straight. "[I felt like] I threw the ball well," Buchholz said. "First inning, Bogey [Bogaerts] tried to turn a double play, didn't get a handle on the ball.  That guy is pretty quick, so lost him right there and he scored. Other than that a solo home run. If you're going to give up home runs, a solo home run is the way to go. Surprised the ball got out. Right when he hit it I thought it was going to be off the wall for sure, but it just kept going. Strong man. But yeah, overall I felt like I threw the ball pretty well. Mixed pitches. It was unfortunate." The Rangers scored two runs in the first -- on the same play. With the bases loaded and one out, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts were looking to turn a double play, but Bogaerts couldn't make the tranfer as he dropped the ball when he went to turn the double play (ruled an error). Two runs scored, the second being unearned and the Rangers took a quick 2-0 lead. They scored again in the fourth when Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer, giving the the Rangers a 3-0 lead at the time. Aside from the first inning, Buchholz pitched very well. After the first inning he allowed only three hits -- two to Moreland and only one from the second through the sixth. He allowed a lead off single in the eighth, and after a sacrifice bunt, he was removed from the game, his second-longest outing of the season. "I thought Clay certainly gave us a chance to win this ballgame," manager John Farrell said. "They score a second run on an attempted double play in the first to give them a 2-0 lead and then a cutter that stayed on the outside of the plate to Moreland is the extent of their offense. Going into the eighth inning, kept his pitch count well in check and through the middle innings I thought he did an outstanding job to get that deep." Buchholz finished with 12 swing and misses, per This comes after he got 19 in his last start against the Mariners, but 12 is right at his season average of 12.1. Despite the poor performances from the Red Sox offense of late -- averaging 2.32 runs per game in the month of May -- the pitching staff has seemingly done a 180 from what it was like in the beginning of the season. "It was a work in progress for a couple times through, but yeah we know what we have to do," said Buchholz. "It's not like we didn't know what we had to do prior. But made it more of a focus to pitch with intent instead of being afraid to throw a pitch. Throw it and make sure that you throw it to a location that you want to throw it to and be convicted in it and that makes any pitcher better. It's hard to be convicted in a pitch whenever you're getting hit around. So that's the difference. So hopefully we can keep it rolling."