Clay Buchholz has been cleared to begin..."/> Clay Buchholz has been cleared to begin..."/>

Clay Buchholz Set for Rehab Start

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Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment with a start today for Triple-A Pawtucket. The 27-year-old right-hander has not appeared in a game since June 19 due to an issue with his esophagus which in turn caused internal bleeding. His return could be a big lift to the Red Sox, losers of five straight after dropping another game to the Yankees today.

Buchholz, an All-Star in 2010, got off to a shaky start this season but had started to turn his season around at the time of his injury. Since May 11, he’s gone 5-1 with a 3.35 ERA, striking out 38 hitters and walking just 15 in 53.2 innings. While Boston boasts one of the better bullpens in baseball, the starting rotation has struggled at times, and its 4.71 ERA is the fifth worst mark among all 30 teams. If Buchholz can pick up where he left off, he could help to stabilize the pitching situation considerably.

Despite a recent run of bad luck that’s seen them drop five of six games in July as well as lose Dustin Pedroia for three weeks to a thumb injury, the Red Sox are still very much alive at 42-42. The team’s +42 run differential is fourth best in the American League, and they remain just 3.5 games out of the wild card race.

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