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Buchholz Struggles Again in Poor Outing in Texas

Buchholz consults with pitching coach Juan Nieves and A.J. Pierzynski on Friday. The Red Sox starter failed to complete five innings for the third time this season. Tony Gutierrez/AP

Texas starter Yu Darvish was spectacular on the mound for the Red Sox-Rangers game on Friday night.

Clay Buchholz? Not so much.

The Red Sox starter couldn’t get through the fifth inning, as he was lifted with one out after allowing an RBI single to Alex Rios that scored Elvis Andrus to make it 4-0 Rangers.

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Chris Capuano came on in relief and allowed a single to Mitch Moreland that scored Prince Fielder, then J.P. Arencibia hit a sac fly to score Rios, closing the book on Buchholz for the night with six runs allowed.

It was the third time in seven starts this season that Buchholz was unable to pitch past the fifth inning. His shortest outing of the year was on Marathon Monday, when he allowed six runs in 2.1 innings to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Boston righthander’s final line was 4.1 innings pitched, six runs allowed on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Buchholz just didn’t have control of his pitches all night, and the Ranger offense took advantage, scoring one run in the first, two runs in the third, and three off of him in the fifth.

Many questioned what kind of pitcher Buchholz would be after his injury trouble in 2013, and the 2014 season began with the jury still out. Buchholz has been shaky throughout the year, with almost as many poor outings as quality ones.

Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy have stabilized what had been a hit-or-miss rotation to begin the year, and Felix Doubront is still figuring things out. But if the Red Sox want to make noise in the American League in 2014, Clay Buchholz is going to have to figure out what he is doing wrong and get back to the reliable arm he was for the beginning of 2013.