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Buchholz Stops Skid

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BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 16:  Dustin Pedrioa #15 of the Boston Red Sox takes a swing during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 16, 2012 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 16: Dustin Pedrioa #15 of the Boston Red Sox takes a swing during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 16, 2012 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox, and Clay Buccholz in
particular, put on a good show for three members of the team
ownership committee who ventured to Camden Yards to get a firsthand
look at their struggling ballclub.

Buchholz shook off a rocky start to earn his 11th win, Dustin
Pedroia singled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning and the
Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Thursday night to avoid a
three-game sweep.

Principal owner John Henry, chairman Thomas Werner and president
and CEO Larry Lucchino were all in attendance following a rough
stretch in which Boston lost six of eight to bring up questions
surrounding the job security of first-year manager Bobby Valentine.

The trio visited the clubhouse before the game and showed up
again afterward.

“They said they were bringing us luck,” Valentine said.
“After we started (behind) 2-0, I was looking for an early flight
home.”

After giving up three runs and six hits over the first two
innings, Buchholz (11-3) kept the Orioles at bay while the Red Sox
rebounded from a 3-1 deficit. The right-hander ended up allowing
three runs, eight hits and three walks over eight innings. He
struck out seven.

“He brought the competitive spirit to a new level tonight,”
Valentine said. “They were jumping on his early pitches, he got
down early. But when he saw we had some resiliency in our offense,
he shut the door. He shut it quick.”

Buchholz was delighted to perform so well for the men who sign
his paycheck.

“They are the ones that put the team together,” he said. “It
was good to see those guys here. It added motivation. They’ve got
busy lives, so they could have been somewhere else. Instead, they
were here showing us they were behind us and supporting us.”

Alfredo Aceves worked a perfect ninth for his 24th save.

Adrian Gonzalez had two RBIs and Cody Ross chipped in with three
hits for Boston. Serving as designated hitter for the first time
this season, Jacoby Ellsbury went 0 for 4 to end his 38-game
hitting streak against Baltimore.

Mark Reynolds homered and Adam Jones had two RBIs for the
Orioles, now 8-4 against Boston this season. Reynolds has four
homers in his last six games after going 20 straight without one.

Despite the loss, Baltimore finished 7-3 on a homestand against
Seattle, Kansas City and the Red Sox.

“Our guys wanted to win all 10. That’s the way we approached
it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Tonight they took advantage of
some of our pitching struggles.”

The Red Sox took a 6-3 lead with a three-run sixth against Luis
Ayala (4-4). With runners at the corners and two outs, Pedroia hit
a short chopper toward third that a charging Manny Machado couldn’t
handle. Gonzalez and Ross followed with run-scoring singles.

Before the game, talk in the Boston clubhouse centered around
Ellsbury, a fixture in the Boston outfield playing DH for the first
time since July 18, 2011. Valentine said, “The last couple days we
have been concerned about a leg situation. This is just being
overcautious and aware of the situation.”

Ellsbury, however, said, “My leg feels good. I played the last
two nights on it.”

Coming in, Orioles starter Chris Tillman had allowed 24 runs
this season _ 14 in the first inning. After striking out Ellsbury
to begin the game, Tillman gave up a one-out double to Carl
Crawford before retiring Pedroia and Gonzalez.

Baltimore went up 2-0 in the bottom half. Nick Markakis and J.J.
Hardy singled before Jones hit an opposite-field, two-run double
inside the first base line.

Boston got a run in the second on a two-out RBI single by Scott
Podsednik.

Reynolds homered on the first pitch in the Orioles’ half with a
drive to center. It was an uncharacteristic start for Buchholz, who
didn’t allow more than two runs in any of his previous five outings
and had a 1.15 ERA over that span.

“Clay had a rough time early, then after that he threw a gem,”
Ross said.

The Red Sox pulled even in the fifth. Crawford singled, took
third on a double by Pedroia and scored on a wild pitch. Gonzalez
followed with a sacrifice fly to chase Tillman, who threw 110
pitches in 4 2-3 innings.

“You’ve got to tip your hat a little bit to Boston; they really
made (Tillman) work for everything,” Showalter said. “They had a
lot of foul balls. He had a lot of counts in his favor but he
couldn’t finish hitters off.”

NOTES: Boston received RHP Pedro Beato from the Mets as the
player to be named in the trade Tuesday that sent C Kelly Shoppach
to New York. Beato, a former first-round draft pick of the Orioles,
will report to Triple-A Pawtucket. … Baltimore placed INF Wilson
Betemit (wrist) on the 15-day DL and recalled Joe Mahoney from
Triple-A Norfolk. … Pedroia stretched his hitting streak to 11
games, three short of his season high. … In 12 games against
Boston this year, Reynolds is 13 for 30 (.433) with five homers,
four doubles and 14 RBIs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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