FORT MYERS, Fla. — Clay Buchholz overcame early shakiness to go 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks as the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 11-5 on Sunday.

“I thought he did a great job of adjusting,” said Manager Terry Francona.

Buchholz gave up all the hits and runs – including a two-run homer to Joe Mauer, his first of the spring – in the first two innings before settling down. He threw more than half his 87 pitches in those two innings.

The right-hander said the problems – and adjustments – were more mental than mechanical.

“Just not really thinking, thinking about results before they even happened,” said Buchholz. “If you’re thinking negatively and throwing a pitch, it’s hard to think about all that stuff and executing a pitch right.”

Carl Pavano pitched 32/3 innings for the Twins, giving up eight earned runs on 12 hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

“I’d like to see myself go out there and be more consistent,” Pavano said. “It’s just one of those times where I didn’t find it. I didn’t make the adjustments that I needed to. I kind of fought myself a little bit.”

Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, and Kevin Youkilis combined to go 9 for 9 with seven runs scored and four RBI. David Ortiz added a three-run homer.

“That was a good day,” Francona said. “(The offense has) been spotty because we’ve had road trips or we haven’t had guys playing. But it’s still nice to see. We had a couple innings there where we made Pavano work, and we kept things moving.” 

TWINS: Manager Ron Gardenhire said that, barring a trade this week, Minnesota will start the regular season with a closer-by-committee approach.

The plan right now is for relievers Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain and Jose Mijares to all get time in the ninth inning early in the season depending on matchups and performance.

That means Francisco Liriano likely will not be considered for the job. Currently in a competition with Brian Duensing for the final spot in the rotation, Liriano was viewed as an option because of his overpowering slider and good fastball. The left-hander has said that he prefers to be a starter, and at least for now, that is how the Twins see him as well. 

YANKEES: The long-term role for right-hander Joba Chamberlain has not been determined.

General Manager Brian Cashman said the team hasn’t ruled out Chamberlain getting an opportunity to be in the rotation next season. Chamberlain was moved into a relief role Thursday when he lost out to Phil Hughes in the fifth starter competition.

Cashman said his focus is on this season and that there have been no decisions made on Chamberlain’s status for 2011.

“We haven’t had any team meetings and said ‘alright, he’s a reliever for the rest of his life.’ No we didn’t do that,” Cashman said. “Essentially, though, I think what the mind-set has got to be, he’s not going to help us in our rotation right now because we picked five guys. His role on the club is to help us out of the pen.” 

INDIANS: First baseman Russell Branyan is going on the disabled list with a herniated disc in his back, giving the starting job to Matt LaPorta. 

GIANTS: San Francisco announced the signing of three pitchers to contract extensions: right-handed starter Matt Cain, left-handed setup man Jeremy Affeldt and right-handed closer Brian Wilson.

Terms of Cain’s deal, which was extended through 2012, were not immediately available.

Affeldt will receive $9 million over the next two seasons, with a $5 million club option and a buyout of $500,000 for 2012.

Wilson, 28, signed for two years at $15 million – $6.5 million in 2011 and $8.5 million in 2012. He will make $4.437 million this season. 

REDS: Left-hander Aroldis Chapman, a candidate for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, looked good in his return from back spasms that sidelined him for nearly a week.

The Cuban defector threw one inning during a minor league game against Milwaukee Brewers players. He struck out two, gave up a single and got a groundout. His fastball topped out at 97 mph.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.