Clement is 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA in eight starts this season. The 30-year-old right-hander threw seven sharp innings against the A’s on Wednesday in a 6-5 victory for Boston. He gave up one run and five hits, but did not receive a decision as closer Keith Foulke surrendered a three-run lead.
Clement, who signed as a free agent with Boston in the offseason after seven seasons in the NL, has had a smooth transition thus far. He attributes much of his success to catcher Jason Varitek, a serious student of opposing hitters.
“I have a lot of faith in him,” said Clement, who has walked just one batter in four of his last five starts. “As a starting pitcher, if you have faith in the guy who’s calling the pitches back there, there’s no better confidence or combination of being able to be successful.”
The Red Sox have relied on both Clement and Bronson Arroyo as they play without starters David Wells (foot) and Curt Schilling (ankle). Though Boston manager Terry Francona hasn’t decided for certain, Wells is expected to start on Wednesday.
Arroyo threw seven strong innings on Monday, facing little trouble except when the Athletics batted around in the fifth. However, Oakland rallied late to halt an eight-game losing streak with a 6-4 win.
Newcomer Matt Watson hit a tiebreaking two-run single and Eric Chavez, mired in a 5-for-37 slump, had three hits. Mark Kotsay had a three-run triple for the Athletics, who finally ended their longest losing streak since July 21-29, 1998, when they lost nine straight.
Mark Bellhorn had a two-run single and David Ortiz added a two-run double for Boston, which has lost three of its last four games. Arroyo, who has won his last nine decisions, still remained unbeaten in his last 17 starts, extending the majors’ longest active streak.