Clay Buchholz OK to start Sunday

PHILADELPHIA -- "Everything points" to Clay Buchholz starting Sunday night in New York against the Yankees, Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the right-hander reported no lingering issues after another bullpen session Thursday.

Buchholz will be starting six days after he was scratched from his scheduled start Monday with what the team described as irritation in his acromioclavicular (AC) joint, where where the top of the scapula, or wing bone, connects to the collarbone.

Buchholz, 7-0 with a league-best 1.73 ERA, was to have started the series opener Friday night against the Yankees, but that plan was abandoned Wednesday over the pitcher's protests when he told Farrell he still felt some discomfort.

But when Buchholz's bullpen session went without a hitch Thursday, Farrell said it appears to be a go for Sunday. Jon Lester is scheduled to face CC Sabathia in a duel between lefties Friday night, Sox lefty Felix Doubront is to face right-hander Phil Hughes on Saturday night, and Buchholz is penciled in to face right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday night.

Farrell said Thursday that Buchholz might benefit from the extra rest.

"I think the most important thing is that Clay spoke his mind and felt some discomfort," Farrell said before Thursday's game. "It's a little bit different with a starting pitcher, and not just because of their role or how well Clay has pitched for us over a long period of time. We didn't want to risk anything or jeopardize anything.

"In the bigger picture, this is about five or six days difference in his routine, so if it costs him one start, that doesn't take away from additional ones down the line. The benefits, in short, we'll see if there are down the line."