Boston starter Matt Clement bounced back nicely from his first loss of the season.
Now, he’ll look to help the Red Sox rebound from their first defeat in six games as they wrap up their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Fenway Park.
Clement won his first six decisions this season before allowing a season high-tying seven earned runs in a season-low four innings of a 9-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 7. However, he gave up just three earned runs and six hits in eight innings of Monday’s 10-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
“Any time you can do that and not have to use those guys down there (in the bullpen), it’s nice,” said Brad Mills, who was filling in as manager while Terry Francona attended his daughter’s high school graduation.
“It was nice to see Matt get in a groove and start throwing the ball really well.”
Clement struck out a season-high nine while walking just one.
“Other than Boomer (David Wells), we struggled the last couple of starts, all of us, and I’m No. 1 on the list,” Clement said. “Wake (Tim Wakefield) came up big (on Sunday) night. If anything, I put pressure on myself to follow him up with another outing and maybe try to build some momentum with this rotation.”
The Red Sox are hoping for another strong outing from Clement after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Pirates. Humberto Cota had three hits, including a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning, as the Pirates handed the Red Sox their first shutout loss of the season. Boston had been the last team in the majors to score in every game.
Ryan Doumit, who scored in the eighth, added an RBI single in the ninth. Pittsburgh had lost five straight coming into the game.
Boston left fielder Manny Ramirez left the game in the fifth inning with a bruised left leg after being hit by a pitch in the third.