Clay Buchholz throws five shutout innings in return

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Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz made his first start since June 8 on Tuesday night versus the Rays.

And it went as well as anyone could have expected.

Featuring a steady 93 mph fastball and a very sharp changeup, Buchholz tossed five scoreless innings at Tropicana Field, yielding only three hits and one walk while striking out six Rays batters. He was lifted from the game at 74 pitches — 44 of which were strikes.

Boston’s bullpen did its part, with Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara combining to keep the shoutout alive in an eventual 2-0 victory.

Buchholz is now 10-0 with a 1.61 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 89 1/3 total innings this season.

The first-place Red Sox are leading the second-place Rays by 8 1/2 games in the American League East.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”