By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) _ Struggling Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz will test out an ailing knee during a bullpen session Wednesday in Boston, then find out when he’ll make his next start.
Buchholz set a career high with eight walks and allowed six runs in only three-plus innings Monday before Boston rallied to beat Atlanta 8-6, ending a 10-game losing streak.
On Tuesday, manager John Farrell revealed that Buchholz remained in the game after his left knee buckled.
“So we’ve got to make sure that he gets through his bullpen tomorrow,” Farrell said, adding he wants to be certain “that knee, where he felt like it was a little hyperextended, doesn’t persist or show any further soreness.”
Farrell said Buchholz initially denied that his knee buckled when catcher A.J. Pierzynski went to the mound.
“He didn’t want that to be any part of the reason of why he pitched the way he did,” Farrell said. “But we’ve got to be conscious of it and see how he comes through the bullpen tomorrow.”
Buchholz is 2-4 with a 7.02 ERA in 10 starts. It’s a dramatic decline from 2013, when he was 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA.
Farrell confirmed Buchholz’s self-confidence is a concern as a decision is made on his next start.
“We can’t deny that,” Farrell said. “We haven’t made a definitive decision on his next turn through the rotation.”
“We’re not blind to what everyone sees. And yes, there is concern because you’re talking about a guy that was on his way to potentially a Cy Young year last year and now he’s only shown flashes of it, either inside a given game or for a given start.”
Buchholz said he is having trouble sticking with progress made on his mechanics in the bullpen before games “when you’re out there thinking about getting big league hitters out.”
“It’s not fun, I know that. … It seems to be snowballing on me right now.”
Asked after Monday’s game if it would help if he were given a break from the rotation, Buchholz said “I’m going to take the ball whenever they give it to me. … If I wasn’t healthy, that might be an option.”
Farrell said he still sees flashes of Buchholz’s old form.
“That’s the thing that personally I continue to latch on to,” Farrell said. “Because there’s been a couple of starts where he’s been very strong. Yesterday he makes an adjustment in the first inning, he carries it through the second inning and then seemingly he loses it again. So I can’t say that’ it’s strictly mechanical or from a fundamental standpoint.”
AP freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.
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