5/29/2014 12:22 A.M. ET
Gomes' consistent play leads to yet another start
By Ian Browne and Quinn Roberts / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Jonny Gomes got the start in left field for Wednesday's series opener against the Braves, his third consecutive start against a right-hander.
"We have a different feel and our energy is very different when he is in the lineup," manager John Farrell said. "When we are in the stretch that we are, we need every contribution we can get. Jonny fits it."
Farrell has gone with Gomes instead of Daniel Nava and Mike Carp. However, Nava started at first base on Wednesday after Carp was hit on his right foot in Tuesday's game against Atlanta.
Gomes has started six of the Red Sox's last eight games, hitting .250 with two home runs and six RBIs.
Farrell was impressed with Gomes' play in Tuesday's game, in which he had a bloop single to right field in a four-run seventh inning and made a diving catch in the eighth.
"Whether it is a diving catch like last night or he comes up with a bloop base hit, he is finding a way to impact a game," said Farrell.
Hyperextended left knee lands Buchholz on DL
BOSTON -- Struggling right-hander Clay Buchholz was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to Tuesday, with a hyperextended left knee and the team recalled reliever Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Buchholz tweaked his left knee in the final inning of Monday's 8-6 comeback win against the Braves when his left foot gave out.
The determination to put him on the DL happened after Buchholz threw a bullpen session.
"Just felt a little bit in the knee today in the bullpen, and that's the reason I threw a bullpen [session] today instead of tomorrow, so the organization felt like it would be best to do a DL stint and get an added arm in the bullpen for the duration that I'm out and obviously for me to refine what I need to refine," said Buchholz.
The Red Sox already have one starting pitcher on the disabled list in Felix Doubront. Brandon Workman is filling his spot. Allen Webster would seem like a logical candidate to fill in for Buchholz on Saturday, but no announcement has been made yet.
Buchholz met with manager John Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves before the session to not only talk about his health, but his confidence on the hill so far this season.
"It's not at its peak," Farrell said. "That goes without saying. We continually work with him on that. Bottom line, it's in-game execution and adjustments."
Toward that end, Buchholz spoke with Bob Tewksbury, the former sports psychologist for the Red Sox who now works for the Players Association.
"He's a good asset to anybody now in baseball. Over the last couple of years, he was to our club and he's been through a lot," said Buchholz. "Anyone that can pitch as long as he can in the big leagues at 85 miles per hour has to have a good mental side of the game. He's a good guy to pick at and just ask him through the ups and downs that he went through, how he prepared and how he got through it -- and he obviously got through."
Buchholz, who's been hit hard in three of his past four starts, is 2-4 with a 7.02 ERA.
"Our history with him allows us a closer read on his metal state. It can't just be done through conversation," Farrell said. "It has to be through candidness and things that might be there. We are working through it right now."
"Probably going to take a couple of days off, doing nothing, just to let everything speed the recovery a little bit and then I'm sure I'll be getting in some bullpen [sessions] here in four or five days or so," said Buchholz.
The righty hopes to regain his form when he returns.
"It's not an injury to my arm like it was last year," Buchholz said. "First and foremost ... the ball is coming out of my hand fine. It's just a matter of getting that little fire that I had last year as far as throwing pitches in the zone and pitching to contact instead of pitching to swings and misses, and like I said, it's hard to do whenever you miss with the pitch. It seems as if every time you miss, it gets hit hard, so I gotta get back to the basics and go from top-to-bottom with it."
With Pawtucket this season, Wilson is 1-0 with five saves, and a 1.42 ERA in 18 appearances, all in relief. He has held opponents to a .182 batting average and is averaging 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings with the PawSox.
Last year, Wilson made his Major League debut with 26 games over three stints with the Red Sox, going 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA and 22 strikeouts with 14 walks.
No timetable set on Middlebrooks' return
BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell gave updates on the injuries to third baseman Will Middlebrooks and first baseman Mike Napoli before Wednesday's game against the Braves.
Middlebrooks had an X-ray last weekend on his fractured right index finger, which showed no further damage. He suffered the injury on a line-drive infield single against the Tigers on May 16.
"Will has almost full extension of his finger, yet [he] still has some discoloration and swelling," Farrell said. "A timetable hasn't been set for when he'll resume baseball activities."
As for Napoli, an MRI on Wednesday revealed that he had no structural damage to his left ring finger. However, the sprain is still causing swelling and soreness. Napoli dislocated the finger after a head-first slide in Chicago on April 15.
"The swelling to me is what is still significant," Farrell said. "You wouldn't think after all this time since it was first sustained that it is still there, but that's where he's at."
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.