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Dombrowski: No guarantees, but Clay Buchholz likely to make his next start

Clay Buchholz left Sunday's game after allowing five runs in 5 1/3 innings. EPA/Larry W. Smith

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Even after Clay Buchholz allowed a homer and a double on the first two pitches of his start last Wednesday night at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell committed to giving the embattled right-hander another start.

Farrell wasn't ready to make the same guarantee Sunday.

"I respect the question," Farrell said after Buchholz gave up five runs over 5-1/3 innings of a 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, "but I haven't had a chance to look at what other options are available and what we could do in addition."

And that's the problem: If the Red Sox wanted to replace Buchholz, they lack attractive in-house alternatives.

Right-hander Joe Kelly was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2 after posting an 8.46 ERA in six starts and hasn't pitched in three weeks because of a groin strain. Neither Henry Owens nor fellow Triple-A lefty Roenis Elias has taken advantage of opportunities in the big leagues this season.

So, when Buchholz's turn comes around again Saturday at Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Angels, chances are he will take it.

"I anticipate he'll start for us again," Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said after a lengthy postgame meeting with manager John Farrell. "I anticipate. But you're asking me questions and we haven't even had a chance to get showered, basically. So, we still have time to sit down and visit and have all those types of discussions. But I anticipate he will."

Once again, Buchholz struggled in the first inning, allowing the first six batters to reach base on five singles and a walk and giving up three runs.

"There weren't really a whole lot of balls that were hit hard. They were just hit where we weren't," Buchholz said. "That was basically the difference. Three runs, but I felt like I did a pretty good job of holding them down after that until the [two-run] home run [by Prince Fielder in the sixth inning]. They've got a good lineup, and they're hot right now."

Buchholz returned to the rotation last week after being banished to the bullpen for nearly a month. He has a 6.31 ERA in 12 starts.