Buchholz has Pawtucket start awaiting him

Buchholz has Pawtucket start awaiting him

BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz will make his first start since straining his left hamstring while running the bases on June 26 in San Francisco for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

While Red Sox manager Terry Francona weighed the option of Buchholz starting on Friday vs. the Rangers, he felt having the righty pitch for Pawtucket put him in the best position.

"The thought was by that time it's like he's pitched one inning in about 20-something days," Francona said. "That's not very realistic that he's going to get very deep into the game, so the more we thought about it, the more we talked to him, I think we're all in agreement to go pitch three or four innings, shake the rust off, make sure he's OK."

Buchholz's start for Pawtucket will be in Syracuse, N.Y., with a pitch count in the 60s, and if all goes well, it will be the only start before he returns to the club.

"I am probably at 80 to 85 percent," Buchholz said. "I think just going back to Syracuse, where I have been many times, I will probably be a little amped up to be on the mound. But it will be a good thing to see if I can throw my pitches and work on them instead of throwing as hard as I can."

Buchholz said Friday would be more about getting the adrenaline back while on the field and a way for him to test his left leg.

In preparation for the start, Buchholz was at Fenway Park on Wednesday throwing a side session.

"It feels a lot better. A few things still feel a little weak, but it isn't messing up anything as far as the pitching goes, so that was the main issue," Buchholz said. "It is feeling a lot better than a couple days ago when we were out here."

Filling Buchholz's spot in the rotation on Friday for the third time this season will be Felix Doubront, who will face off against Rangers righty Colby Lewis at Fenway.

Since being called up by the Red Sox, Doubront is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts.

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.