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HOU@BOS: Buchholz fans nine over seven strong innings

Fenway Park has been anything but kind to the Red Sox lately. After finishing an 11-game homestand with a 2-9 record, the team is ready to hit the road for 10 games, beginning with a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Monday at the Rogers Centre.

It will be the job of right-hander Clay Buchholz to start the team off on the right foot and snap an eight-game losing streak. The veteran has been a mystery all season, unable to find sustained success.

Coming off two straight solid starts, Buchholz looked to be on the right path Wednesday against the Angels through the first few innings. He retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, but then fell apart in a five-run fifth inning.

"The difference between everything going on this year and last year is a lot of balls finding holes or are home runs or doubles, they were hit at somebody last year and I got a lot of double plays that way," Buchholz said after the game. "Sometimes that's the way it goes. You don't ever want it to be a full season but that's the way it is sometimes, and I've got to keep grinding."

Buchholz finished the game allowing six runs on seven hits in six innings. He also walked two and struck out six, falling to 5-8 with a 5.94 ERA.

"Through the first four, I thought he was sharp," Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. "He had good action to his stuff. In the fifth, when he got ahead of hitters, he didn't have the same finishing pitch that he had shown in the previous four. They were able to put some people on."

Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ had many of the same issues in his last start against the Brewers. He was hit early and often, chased from the game before the end of the fourth inning.

Happ, one of Toronto's best pitchers since the All-Star break, tossed a total of 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits for his third straight loss.

"I can't remember the last game I was involved with where I saw that many hard-hit balls all night long," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the game. "It was loud ... It's tough to come back when you're down early because we haven't been able to put anything together in awhile offensively."

The tides could turn quickly for Happ, who's found success against the Red Sox this season. In two starts against Boston, he's 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA. In his last start against the club on July 22, Happ allowed no runs on seven hits in six innings.

Red Sox: Workman optioned, Hembree recalled
Right-hander Brandon Workman was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, a day after giving up seven runs on 10 hits in less than four innings.

The club recalled reliever Heath Hembree in a corresponding roster move to add a fresh arm to an overworked bullpen. Hembree allowed one hit in one scoreless inning in Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Mariners.

"We gain a multi-inning reliever to support our bullpen right now," said Farrell.

The Red Sox have an off-day Thursday, so Farrell could stick with four starters for now, but said a pitcher will be called up for Friday's game at Tampa Bay. It will likely be Anthony Ranaudo, who started for Pawtucket Sunday and has made a pair of spot starts for Boston this season. Workman will go for the PawSox on Friday, which is when Ranaudo's next start would be.

Blue Jays: Santos back with Blue Jays
Toronto selected the contract of right-hander Sergio Santos from Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and optioned right-hander Kyle Drabek.

Back with the Blue Jays for the first time since being designated for assignment at the end of July, Santos took a loss on Sunday against the Rays. He allowed one unearned run on one hit in one inning.

Drabek made two relief appearances for the Blue Jays, allowing two hits and walking two over three innings. He's 7-7 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (13 starts) with the Bisons this season.

Worth Noting
• The Red Sox have played in 48 one-run games this season (24-24), which is the most in the American League and the third most in the Majors.

• Since joining the Red Sox on Aug. 2, Yoenis Cespedes has driven in 18 of Boston's 79 runs (23 percent). It's the most RBIs on the team in that time.

• The Blue Jays have won nine of their last 15 contests at the Rogers Centre and four of their last six series since July 1. Comments