BOSTON — Clay Buchholz pitched a four-hitter for his third career shutout — all against Baltimore — leading the Boston Red Sox over the Orioles 7-0 Thursday night.
Buchholz (6-2) struck out six and walked one, throwing 125 pitches, two shy of his career high. It was the fourth complete game for the 27-year-old left-hander, the first since a five-hitter in an 11-0 win at Baltimore on June 4, 2010.
His only other shutout was a 10-0 victory in a no-hitter on Sept. 1, 2007, his second big league start and appearance.
Baltimore went without a hit between Ryan Flaherty’s single leading off the third and Wilson Betemit’s single starting the eighth. Fans gave Buchholz got a standing ovation before Chris Davis’ game-ending flyout.
Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and two RBIs as Boston stopped a three-game losing streak. The Orioles had been 5-0 at Fenway Park this year.
Daniel Nava had two hits, walked twice and drove in two for the Red Sox (29-28), who avoided falling below .500 for the first time since they were 23-24 following a loss to Tampa Bay on May 27
Brian Matusz (5-6) lasted just six outs, his shortest outing since Sept. 19, also at Fenway Park. Matusz allowed five runs — four earned — four hits and five walks, throwing 67 pitches..
Boston scored a pair of runs in each of the first three innings and avoided what would have been Baltimore’s second sweep at Fenway Park this year.
Matusz walked Dustin Pedroia with one out in the first, Kevin Youkilis singled and Will Middlebrooks loaded the bases with a two-out walk. Gonzalez doubled down the first-base line for a 2-0 lead.
Boston loaded the bases with no outs in the second on two walks around Kelly Shoppach’s single. Pedroia grounded to shortstop, and J.J. Hardy tossed the ball to Robert Andino for the forceout. But Andino’s throw to first was way line and Shoppach scored easily.
Gonzalez chased Matusz with a leadoff single in the third, Darnell McDonald doubled with one out off Miguel Gonzalez and Nava hit a two-run single with two outs.
Nava double in the eighth and scored on a two-out double by Kevin Youkilis.
NOTES: The Red Sox stay at home for the weekend with three interleague games against the Washington Nationals, facing ace Stephen Strasburg (6-1) on Friday night. … The Nationals are 0-3 at Fenway Park and the Expos/Nationals franchise is 0-9. … After nine straight road games, Baltimore returns home this weekend with three games against the slumping Philadelphia Phillies, who have lost six straight. … The Orioles had lost their previous four series.