Buchholz caps 'very good camp' with efficiency

Red Sox No. 2 starter pleased with step-by-step progress; Farrell encouraged by arm strength

Buchholz caps 'very good camp' with efficiency

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his final Spring Training work, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz was efficient in four innings Thursday during a 7-4 loss to the Twins at Hammond Stadium. He allowed one run, two hits and two walks with two strikeouts while throwing 60 pitches, 37 for strikes.

"Felt good," Buchholz said. "It's a good way to wind down. ... I took a step forward every time through this spring. The two-seamer was a lot better today. That's what I worked on between this start and my last start. I got some ground balls because of it. Everything else felt pretty good."

The lone damage done against Buchholz, before right-hander Craig Kimbrel entered in relief, was Eddie Rosario's solo home run to right field with one out in the fourth inning. Buchholz earned his strikeouts in the first, retiring Miguel Sano and Oswaldo Arcia swinging.

Buchholz will make his regular-season debut against the Indians on Wednesday in Cleveland, and he will be relied upon as the No. 2 starter behind ace David Price to help fortify a questionable rotation. He finished Grapefruit League play with nine runs (six earned), 13 hits and nine walks with eight strikeouts in four starts.

"With each successive start here in camp, his arm strength has continued to improve," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He had a good feel for his changeup today. It was a good tuneup for him, for game two [of the regular season]. But increased arm strength was most encouraging today.

"He didn't need any extra rest -- took the ball each and every start, and showed improvement as we get closer to the opener here. A very good camp."

Buchholz leaves Spring Training pleased with his work.

"I got the right amount of innings in," Buchholz said. "The up-and-downs are always the most important part. If you get through those healthy, that's what you want. So that's been good."

Andrew Astleford is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.