Without Buchholz, Red Sox open series with Phillies

The Boston Red Sox will open a stretch of four straight games against the Philadelphia Phillies without their hottest starter.

Clay Buchholz was slated to start the first of two straight games at Fenway Park against the Phillies, but has been scratched due to collarbone and AC joint irritation. The right-hander is 7-0 with an AL-leading 1.73 earned run average through 10 starts this season.

According to Boston's website, Buchholz made the decision to have his start skipped.

"Being as early in the season as it is, I want to make sure I'm 100 percent every time I go out there rather than 80, 85 percent and risk having this be something that's going to linger. I just want to cut it right now and hopefully in a couple more days, I'll be back where I was at," he told his club's website.

Getting the start in his place will be Alfredo Aceves, who will make his fourth start and seventh appearance of the season.

Aceves' last trip to the mound as a starter came on April 23, a loss to Oakland in which the righty was tagged for eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A the next day before getting recalled a month later on Friday.

The 31-year-old pitched an inning of relief on that day and is 1-1 with an 8.20 ERA this year.

Aceves has faced the Phillies twice before in relief, notching a save with a combined 2 1/3 scoreless innings of work.

The Red Sox and Phils are set to meet over the next four days, the first two in Boston before shifting to Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Red Sox come in having won nine of their last 12, rallying for a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday to win the four-game set.

Boston used a four-run eighth inning to come from behind and win 7-4 on Saturday and it needed another late rally in the finale. Jacoby Ellsbury capped a four-run ninth frame with a two-run double off the Green Monster.

"We just have that no-quit attitude," Ellsbury said. "We saw the opportunity and I was just happy to come up big for our team."

The Phillies, meanwhile, were aiming to reach the .500 mark for the first time since April 14 in Sunday's finale with the Washington Nationals, but was instead dominated by Stephen Strasburg en route to a 6-1 loss.

The only run that Philadelphia managed came on a balk by Strasburg in the eighth inning that allowed Ben Revere to score from third.

Cole Hamels suffered his career-high fifth straight loss after giving up five runs -- three earned -- over 6 1/3 innings. He let up six hits while striking out six and walking one.

"We're having a hard time scoring for him and it definitely seems like things aren't going his way right now," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Hamels.

First baseman Ryan Howard did not start on Sunday due to an ailing left knee, though he did hit into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He could also be held out of the lineup tonight, though the Phils will have the designated hitter spot available.

Monday also marks closer Jonathan Papelbon's return to Fenway Park for the first time since joining the Phillies as a free agent following the 2011 season.

Papelbon is Boston's all-time saves leader with 219 and helped the club win the World Series in 2007.

Taking the mound for the Phillies will be Tyler Cloyd, who makes his third start in place of the injured Roy Halladay.

Both of Cloyd's starts this season have come on the road. The right-hander gave up two runs over 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision at Arizona on May 10 and then won in Miami on Tuesday. Cloyd allowed two runs on eight hits and two walks over seven frames.

The 26-year-old went 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts last season and will face an AL opponent for the first time.

Boston won two of three in Philadelphia a season ago and the clubs are meeting at Fenway Park for the first time since 2010.