No, Clay Buchholz did not have his best stuff last night, scoreline and K/BB ratio to the contrary. But he did what he needed to do, the batters did what they needed to do and the result was a 6-3 win for the Sox over Arizona.
It's not often that a pitcher can exhibit the control to strike out eight batters and walk just one, but at the same time throw 113 pitches in 5.2 innings. But that is what happened with Clay last night. He had more pitches fouled off (24) than he did for called strikes (22). But even with the three runs and seven hits he allowed, Clay did another solid (if not great) job. He's now 9-4 on the year and is second in the AL in wins.
The Okajima Reclamation Project continued last night with Oki going scoreless for two-thirds of an inning for his seventh hold of the year. He has allowed just one run in his last five appearances. The Delcarmen / Bard / Papelbon trio did the job we expect out of them, closing down the last 2.2 innings of the game without allowing a hit or a run. Papelbon now has 14 saves on the year.
On the other side of the ledger the big news is the return of the Dustin Pedroia we all know and love. For the month of May he hit just .213 with an anemic .659 OPS thanks to a bum knee. But excepting for a short three-game stretch in Cleveland where he went hitless, Pedroia has hit in every other game in June. Last night he went 2-3 with three runs scored and one RBI. David Ortiz went 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI thanks to a two-run blast in the first inning. He now has 13 homers, good for 8th best in the AL. Youk went 2-4 with a RBI, but he finally committed his first error of the year. And new hero Daniel Nava struck out three times, but drew a walk and scored a run on a wild pitch in the third inning.
Tonight the D'Backs put Rodrigo Lopez on the mound against Jon Lester. Baring another random bad outing like the one he suffered in his last start against Cleveland, Lester should give the Sox a large advantage in this game.