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Clay Buchholz (98 pitches) throws 3-hit shutout, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts provide spark in win

08.31.14 at 4:33 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz was in complete command Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz was in complete command Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

The very good Clay Buchholz showed up Sunday at Tropicana Field.

The right-hander held the Rays to three hits and recorded his second shutout of 2014 — and second complete game — in a 3-0 Red Sox win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Buchholz, coming off a strong 8 1/3-inning effort last Monday in Toronto, followed it up Sunday by striking out six and walking none in arguably his best effort of the season.

Buchholz, who retired the final 12 batters he faced, needed just 98 pitches for his sixth career shutout.

It’s been a schizophrenic season for Buchholz, who improved to 6-8 with a 5.43 ERA.

The Red Sox suddenly have found their way on the road, winning two out of three in Toronto and following it up by winning two of three as part of the four-game series at Tampa Bay. The series wraps up Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Supporting Buchholz Sunday was rookie center fielder Mookie Betts, who went 2-for-4 and drove in a run, while Xander Bogaerts also had two hits in his second game back from the seven-day disabled list due to a concussion.

Betts and Bogaerts each doubled while Christian Vazquez singled in the first run in the third inning. Betts singled home Brock Holt in the fifth and David Ortiz singled home Betts in the eighth for insurance and to conclude the scoring on the day.

The Red Sox played the game without second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who received the day off after taking a forearm to the head early in Saturday night’s game. Pedroia still is going through the concussion testing protocol and won’t need to go on the disabled list as rosters expand to 40 players on Monday.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, mookie betts, Xander Buchholz,
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