- Associated Press - Sunday, August 31, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Clay Buchholz cruised past the Tampa Bay Rays.

Buchholz threw a three-hitter to stop his string of seven starts without a win, leading the Boston Red Sox over the Rays 3-0 on Sunday.

Buchholz (6-8) walked none and struck out six. Only one runner reached second base during his second shutout this season and the sixth of his career.

“He was in complete command for nine innings,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Outstanding.”

The right-hander’s previous win came over Kansas City on July 18, five days after he tossed a three-hitter in an 11-0 win against Houston. He was 0-3 in that span.

“I felt good with all my pitches,” said Buchholz, who threw just 98. “It doesn’t always happen that way, but it’s fun when it does.”

Buchholz is the first Boston pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2000 to have a pair of shutouts on three or fewer hits and no walks in the same season.

Alex Cobb (9-7) gave up two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings and took his first loss in two months. After losing to Pittsburgh on June 23, Cobb went 7-0 with a 2.14 ERA in 11 starts entering Sunday.

“He had his ‘A’ game going today and when he’s on like that, it’s tough to scratch across runs,” Cobb said about Buchholz.

Tampa Bay (66-71), which has been shut out 16 times this season, has dropped 10 of 15.

Xander Bogaerts singled leading off the third, went to third when Cobb was charged with an error for a wild pickoff try and scored to put Boston up 1-0 on Christian Vazquez’s single. The Rays have at least one error in eight consecutive games for their longest streak since a team-record, 11-game stretch in 2004.

After Mookie Betts had an RBI single in the fifth, David Ortiz made it 3-0 when he went the opposite way against a defensive shift and hit a run-scoring single through the vacated shortstop spot in the eighth.

Ortiz has reached base in 16 straight games. He has 152 RBIs against the Rays, the most of any opponent.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup one day after leaving with concussion-like symptoms. Farrell said Pedroia is not expected to play Monday, but felt better Sunday and the team is hopeful the injury is a short-term issue.

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