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Buchholz takes another step in recovery

BOSTON -- For the second straight day, Clay Buchholz threw on flat ground at Fenway Park on Wednesday, with a small, incremental improvement.

Like Bill Murray in "What About Bob," it was a baby step toward full recovery.

The Red Sox right-hander, who hasn't made a start since June 8 and was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 9, threw from 75-80 feet on flat ground, marking an increase in distance from Tuesday.

"Today was another step," manager John Farrell said. "He was out to 75, 80 feet, with pretty good intensity for that session. The fact that there's no restrictions, there's no feeling of discomfort all the way through the arm stroke. That's first and foremost."

Farrell outlined Buchholz's progress on Tuesday, saying he'd stretch out to about 120 feet before attempting to resume throwing off a mound. The manager declined to map out Buchholz's rehab plan any further from there.

"We're a month away from his last start," Farrell said. "Without sitting and talking to Clay a little bit more candidly and specifically on what he's experienced, that plan will have a bit more clarity -- in due time."

Buchholz reported he responded well to the effort level applied in Wednesday's session and saw it as a step forward.

"I think if I'm throwing the same intensity from flat ground on the mound, I have to do a little more flat ground stuff to feel what I was feeling off the mound," he said. "And that's what I went at today was to go with a little bit more intensity and there was never a thought in my head like 'OK, I can't go that far.'

"That's what I was feeling before and, like I said, it's a good step for me in the right direction to clear my mind and move on with this process."