Buchholz working on tempo in between pitches

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz had a clear focus as he took the mound on Thursday afternoon against the Twins. It was time to speed up.

Pitching with far better pace than in his first Spring Training outing five days earlier, Buchholz fired three shutout innings in the Red Sox's 12-5 win against the Twins, walking none and striking out four.

"The one thing I've been working on between starts is the pace of the game, getting the ball, getting back on the rubber, trying to find that rhythm," Buchholz said. "I tried to bring it into the game as much as I could. I felt better from that aspect -- getting the ball after throwing a strike and then throwing another strike."

The Red Sox were hands-on in helping Buchholz improve his tempo during his last side session.

"We put a stop watch on him and let him feel it," Farrell said. "They have to feel it. They have to feel the rhythm of the game and when things tend to slow down. Last time out, five days ago, he was 26, 28 seconds in between pitches. In the bullpen we tried to get him down to 15 seconds in between each and he was able to do that more consistently today."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.