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Buchholz Strong in Return, Red Sox Beat Rays

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Clay Buchholz allowed three hits over five innings in his first start since early June and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Buchholz (10-0), sidelined by a strained neck, hadn’t pitched in the majors since beating the Los Angeles Angels on June 8. The right-hander, who made three rehab starts in the minors, struck out Jose Molina with two on to end the second.

Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both drove in a run for the Red Sox, who extended their lead over second-place Tampa Bay to 8 1/2 games in the East. Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara finished a four-hitter. Uehara got the final four outs for his 19th save.