BOSTON — Clay Buchholz gave up only two runs in six innings Saturday on a clear, chilly day at Fenway Park.

Somehow, Red Sox followers are hardly content with the man-who-would-be-ace.

Buchholz gave up 11 hits. Were it not for a couple of great escapes, this would have been a disaster.

The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the fourth and did not score.

They loaded them up with no outs in the fifth and got nothing.

Applaud Buchholz for making pitches when he needed to?

Or worry that this right-hander with so much talent cannot be depended on?

Typical Buchholz: So much to like but enough to be concerned about.

Everyone was optimistic after Buchholz’s season-opening performance (seven innings, three hits, no runs). It was against the worst-hitting team in the National League (the Phillies), but it was encouraging.

Optimism soured last Sunday in Yankee Stadium, when Buchholz gave up 10 runs (nine earned) on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.

How can a pitcher with the ability of Buchholz go so hot and cold?

“It’s not stuff,” Manager John Farrell said. It’s “strikes, and staying ahead in the count.”

He looked to do that Saturday. Buchholz threw first-pitch strikes most of the time and for a while was pounding the zone – 25 strikes with 34 pitches in three innings.

“A lot of strikes,” Farrell said.

Then came the fourth and the fifth innings: a total of eight hits.

But this was not like last Sunday.

“I missed with fastballs in the middle a couple of times,” Buchholz said, “but not nearly as much as I did a week ago.

“I definitely didn’t feel like I gave up 11 hits. Felt like I won a couple of those battles and the ball just fell in. It didn’t affect me like it did in New York.”

Buchholz referred to losing his composure, failing to back up plays after a couple of hits.

On Saturday, Buchholz actually bore down.

In the fourth inning, Adam Jones lined a single off a fastball.

Jimmy Paredes then doubled on a fly ball to left field, the only extra-base hit off Buchholz. Maybe a more accomplished left fielder than Hanley Ramirez gets to Parades’ fly ball – but it is what it is.

After that, Buchholz gave up four ground balls – a groundout RBI, a single past a drawn-in infield and two other singles through the hole. With the bases loaded, Buchholz faced the top of the order and got two strikeouts – on his change-up and cut fastball.

“Best cutter I’ve had (since 2013),” said Buchholz, who also got a lot of outs with the change-up.

In the fifth, Buchholz allowed two singles (line drive and ground ball), before Parades hit a fly ball to left. Ramirez, his back to the wall, watched it bounce off of the heel of his glove – generously ruled a single – to load the bases. Buchholz got a double play and a strikeout to escape.

That had Farrell thrilled.

“I think he pitched exceptionally well in the fourth and fifth. He kept us in the ballgame,” Farrell said. “Just quality of strikes. He kept the ball down in the strike zone all day long.

“I thought there was certainly more conviction and assertiveness.”

Buchholz pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning to end his day.

So the line looks good – six innings, two runs, one walk, seven strikeouts – until a glance at the hit column. Eleven.

“A high number of hits allowed (but) a number of those were ground balls that found their way through the infield for base hits,” Farrell said.

“He was able to minimize the damage.”

If the Red Sox managed more offense (meaning Koji Uehara is pitching the ninth instead of Robbie Ross, who gave up a two-run homer), then we might be praising Buchholz’s grit for bearing down when needed.

Buchholz said he threw with much more conviction than last week.

But are Boston fans convinced? They have been teased by his talent before. They want to see results.