Buchholz has uneven Triple-A debut

Buchholz has uneven Triple-A debut

Clay Buchholz went three up-and-down innings in his Triple-A debut and Joe McEwing hit a two-run single as Pawtucket dropped visiting Ottawa, 6-4, on Monday night at McCoy Stadium.

Buchholz yielded three runs -- two earned -- on five hits, striking out four without a walk in three innings in his shortest start of the season.

The 22-year-old right hander went 7-2 with a 1.77 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings for Double-A Portland. Buchholz had allowed only 55 hits and 22 walks, less than a baserunner per inning, and opponents batted just .180 against him.

Buchholz worked a perfect first inning, but struggled in a three-run second. The Lynx's Brennan King lined a one-out single to left field and advanced on a balk. Pedro Swann reached when first baseman Jeff Bailey misplayed his ground ball for an error, allowing King to score. Randy Ruiz followed with his third home run of the year.

Buchholz recovered to hurl a scoreless third, striking out two in the frame and pitching around Gary Burnham's one-out double.

Abe Alvarez replaced Buchholz to start the fourth and allowed two hits in two scoreless innings, walking two and fanning two. Barry Hertzler (1-1) yielded one hit in two scoreless frames for the win, and Craig Breslow pitched around a hit in the eighth. Travis Hughes gave up one run on two hits, but struck out the side in the ninth for his 12th save.

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