BOSTON — Nobody, not even the man of the hour, Clay Buchholz is sure what exactly will happen when it comes to his whereabouts this weekend.
The trade deadline is Friday and Buchholz' name is brought up in almost every key move the Red Sox potentially might make.
"It's been happening a lot, almost since I've been here," said Buchholz, who will get the start tonight against the Oakland Athletics. "I've gotten calls and people say, 'Are you being traded tomorrow?' I don't listen to them. I just come to the park and do my job."
Buchholz (1-1, 3.72 ERA) faces right-hander Vin Mazzaro (2-7, 4.75).
After a decent first start, in which he allowed one run and four hits over 52âÑ3 innings, he struggled to pitch only four innings last Wednesday, allowing three runs while throwing 90 pitches.
"That's too many pitches," said Buchholz. "The key for me is first-pitch strikes. It allows me to go a little more on the offensive. Throwing almost 100 pitches over four innings won't cut it. I have to go deeper."
Book on Beckett
Josh Beckett jumped to the major-league lead in wins in getting his 12th last night.
His dominance at Fenway Park continues as he improved to 7-0 (2.58 ERA) at home this season. He has gone six or more innings over his last 15 starts here.
Beckett has been at his best when the Sox have needed him most ... after a loss.
He is now 7-1 over 10 starts the game after a Red Sox loss.
"He got into one bind and he threw a front door two-seamer to Sweeney to get out of that potential mess and really handled the game well," said Sox manager Terry Francona. "After they scored two, I really didn't want him to go back out and he beat me to the punch. He ran out of the dugout so quick that I think he knew he was coming (out)."
Kurt hurts Sox again
With Kurt Suzuki's RBI single in the sixth, the A's catcher has now hit safely in each of his 19 career games against the Red Sox, batting .361 (26-for-72). It is the longest hitting streak against the Sox, as Suzuki passed Ichiro Suzuki, who had hits in his first 18 games against the Sox.
The Red Sox collected 14 hits last night, the most since they accumulated 16 hits on June 30 in Baltimore.
From the managers
"I don't think it's more significant. I think the significance is that it was such a good swing that I think we all expect when he takes a swing like that as the game progresses he becomes much more dangerous," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Dustin Pedroia's home run swing in the first inning.
"He was good ... He was throwing a lot of strikes. When you look up at the board he was at 80 percent ratio for a while. That's a really good lesson for a lot of our young pitchers to watch the way he pitches. He's aggressive, mixed in his sinker and the breaking ball, but he did throw them all for strikes. I think his first 10 pitches of the game were all strikes," said A's manager Bob Geren on Sox pitcher Josh Beckett.
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