Clay Buchholz was a nervous 23-year-old rookie when he threw a no-hitter in his second major league start. He was more relaxed when he nearly did it again on Sunday.
“A lot more than the last time it happened,” the 28-year-old right-hander said after not allowing a hit until Kelly Johnson’s broken-bat single leading off the eighth inning of Boston’s 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Pitcher Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in just his second career start in 2007, allowed two hits and four walks in eight innings, striking out a career-high 11.
Johnson singled with a 0-1 count on Buchholz’s 101st pitch, sending the ball over first baseman Mike Napoli, while the top part of the bat landed near the front edge of the infield between first and second.
Buchholz (3-0) lowered his ERA to 0.41, allowing one earned run in 22 innings. He left after 109 pitches and Andrew Miller finished with a one-hit ninth.
Elsewhere in the American League, Austin Jackson had four hits, homered and drove in three runs, while Torii Hunter added two doubles and a triple as the Tigers routed the Athletics 10-1, the White Sox had a 3-1 win over the Indians, the Yankees beat the Orioles 3-0, the Angels beat the Astros 4-1, the Royals topped the Blue Jays 3-2 and the Mariners edged the Rangers 4-3.
In the National League, Justin Upton and Andrelton Simmons homered to help the Atlanta Braves to a 9-0 win over Washington, Philadelphia edged Miami 2-1, Pittsburgh had a 10-7 win over Cincinnati, San Francisco beat the Chicago Cubs 10-7 in 10 innings, the Brewers edged the Cardinals 4-3 in 10 innings, Colorado held off San Diego 2-1 and Paul Goldschmidt hit a game-winning single off Josh Beckett with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The New York Mets game at the Minnesota Twins was postponed due to rain.
In Oakland, California, Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs for the Tigers, who had 14 hits and won for the third time in four games.
The first eight batters in the Tigers batting order had at least one hit, while seven players drove in runs.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0) overcame a sluggish start to pitch seven innings, winning his second straight outing and giving Detroit’s bullpen a needed rest. He allowed one run, three hits and four walks, matching his season-high of eight strikeouts.
Jarrod Parker (0-2), who lost to Detroit in Game 1 and Game 5 of last season’s American League Division Series, gave up a career-high eight runs and nine hits in 3-1/3 innings.
Jake Peavy struck out 11 in seven innings in Cleveland, Ohio, and Paul Konerko homered as the White Sox broke a five-game losing streak.
The White Sox went into the game as the majors’ only winless team on the road.
Alex Gordon drove home Chris Getz with a single in the ninth inning as the Royals beat the Blue Jays 3-2 to avoid a series sweep.
In New York, Hiroki Kuroda (2-1) pitched a five-hitter for his fifth major league shutout.
Orioles starter Chen Wei-yin (0-2) of Taiwan matched Kuroda until the fifth inning.
Brennan Boesch led off with a single and scored on Jayson Nix’s sacrifice fly, while Gardner hit a drive high off the right-field foul pole.
Atlanta have the best record in the major leagues, winning 11 of their 12 games and outscoring the opposition 62-23.
Paul Maholm (3-0) allowed four hits in 7-2/3 innings. He has not permitted a run this season in 20-1/3 innings over three starts.
In Miami, Roy Halladay earned his 200th career victory, bouncing back from consecutive poor outings to pitch eight innings and help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Marlins.
Halladay allowed five hits, walked one and lowered his ERA from 14.73 to 7.63. He is the 109th pitcher to reach the 200-win milestone and the first to do so in a Phillies uniform since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton in 1978.