Buchholz solid in second rehab start

Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz had an encouraging second rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Pawtucket, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing just two hits. He threw 87 pitches, 51 for strikes, while registering five strikeouts and two walks in the PawSox's 8-6 loss to Rochester.

Buchholz, who has been on the disabled list since May 27 with a hyperextended knee, could be close to a return to Boston. Farrell said earlier this week that the plan was for Buchholz to work back up to around 90 pitches.

Before his DL stint, opponents were hitting .339 against Buchholz in 2014, far and away the worst average he’s allowed in his career (second highest is .299 in 2008). But he recently said that he's been working hard to make the needed tweaks in his delivery, and feels he's ready to return.

“I’ve worked hard on it,” he said last week. “Right at the beginning of the stuff you’re trying to fix or change you have to think about it, that’s why the bullpens help out a lot. And when it becomes second nature, that’s when you bring it into a game and not have to think about it. That’s where I feel like I’m at right now.”

Meanwhile, outfielder Shane Victorino and third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who are continuing their rehab with Pawtucket, were not in the lineup on Thursday.

In his weekly appearance on WEEI, Farrell said that Victorino was held back due to "stiffness." He went 0-for-2 and played right field in the first game of PawSox doubleheader in Rochester on Wednesday. Victorino has been on the DL since May 21 with a hamstring strain. The Sox had hoped he would rejoin the team on their West Coast road trip, but that seems unlikely now.