Clay Buchholz fired his first shutout in over two years on Thursday as the Boston Red Sox blanked the Baltimore Orioles, 7-0, in the finale of a three-game set at Fenway Park.
Buchholz (6-2) fanned six and walked one while holding the O's to four hits in his first shutout since he shut down Baltimore back on June 4, 2010 at Camden Yards.
"It was spectacular," said manager Bobby Valentine of Buchholz's outing. "Clay came out and had all of his pitches right from the get-go. I thought his changeup and the arm speed on his changeup was spectacular."
Adrian Gonzalez and Daniel Nava each plated a pair of runs, while Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia added an RBI apiece to halt a seven-game losing streak against the Orioles at Fenway.
Brian Matusz (5-6) was erratic in the start, allowing five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and five walks before being lifting with no outs in the third.
"His changeup was really good tonight and his breaking ball was there when he needed it," said Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis about Buchholz. "He did a good job of keeping us off balance and throwing strikes."
The Baltimore offense failed to get a runner past second in the setback as the club wrapped up a nine-game road trip at 3-6.
Boston loaded the bases in the first on a pair of walks and a single before Gonzalez slapped a two-out double down the right-field line, plating Pedroia and Youkilis to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Red Sox packed the bags again in the second before Pedroia grounded softly to shortstop. J.J. Hardy flipped to O's second baseman Robert Andino for one, but Andino's throw to first was wide of the bag, allowing two runs to score as Boston doubled its advantage.
Gonzalez stroked a single to start the third, which marked the end of Matusz's day. Miguel Gonzalez entered and retired the first batter he faced on strikes, but Darnell McDonald doubled before Nava followed two batters later with a two-run single into right to give Boston a 6-0 edge.
Boston tacked on a run in the eighth on a pair of doubles, with Youkilis plating Nava to extend the lead to 7-0.
Buchholz improved to 6-3 in 12 career starts against Baltimore...Matusz dropped to 3-2 in seven starts against the Red Sox...Baltimore went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left five on base...Boston went 3-for-12 with men in scoring position and stranded nine runners.