Welcome back, Clay Buchholz.
The Red Sox starting pitcher hasn’t pitched for the big league club since June 8, but makes his long-awaited return tonight when Boston takes on the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Buchholz was arguably the best pitcher in baseball prior to an injury that has kept him out for more than three months. He was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts. Buchholz will be limited to 75-80 pitches tonight, so look for the bullpen to get some work.
The Rays (78-64) are 7.5 games behind Boston (87-58) with a chance to close the gap or widen it with this three-game series. It’s the final meeting of the regular season between the two AL East foes. The Red Sox hold a 10-6 advantage and have already won the season series. With 17 games to go, though, the Sox Magic Number is 12 and Boston could really put the Rays in a hole in the East and Wild Card standings by taking this series.
Here is the Red Sox lineup tonight (first pitch – 7:10 ...