Clay Buchholz's perfect record in the season's first month helped the Red Sox right-hander earn American League Pitcher of the Month honors for April.
Buchholz went 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA in five April starts, racking up 39 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 37 2/3 innings pitched as the Red Sox matched their franchise record with 18 wins in April. Boston's 18-8 record over the first month of the season was the best in the Majors, and Buchholz was responsible for some of the club's renewed success.
Buchholz finished tied for first in the AL in wins, second in ERA, fifth in opponents' batting average (.192), tied for seventh in strikeouts and tied for eighth in innings pitched.
Rays left-hander Matt Moore had a strong case for the award, going 5-0 with a league-leading 1.13 ERA while holding opponents to a miniscule .121 average and striking out 38 batters in 32 innings, but Buchholz takes home his second career Pitcher of the Month Award, his first since August 2010.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Buchholz is the fourth Red Sox pitcher to record five wins in April, joining Babe Ruth (1917), Pedro Martinez (2000) and Josh Beckett ('07), all of whom also went 5-0. Buchholz's 1.19 ERA in April was the lowest by a Boston pitcher through his first five starts of a season since Roger Clemens owned a 0.66 mark in 1991, according to Elias.
On top of that, Buchholz became just the third Red Sox pitcher in the live-ball era to hold his opponents to two runs or fewer over at least seven innings in his first five starts of the season, joining Clemens (first seven in 1991) and Boo Ferriss (first seven in 1945).
Buchholz didn't let the end of April slow him up, either: He pitched seven shutout innings on Wednesday night, scattering two hits and striking out eight Blue Jays as he improved to 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA.