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July 28, 2009

Buchholz gets another chance to impress

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 52รขÑ3 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)."

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