With a sense of momentum in their grasp, the next step will be to get Buchholz headed in the right direction. The right-hander certainly had a forgettable afternoon last Friday, when he surrendered five home runs on Fenway Park's 100th birthday. Nevertheless, Buchholz is attempting to remain positive as he works to put a generally poor start to his 2012 season to rest.
"The last two starts out, the last three, four, five innings were good innings for me in both those games," said Buchholz, who is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts. "It's a step in the right direction for us, but it's a work in progress. It's a long season. I've got hopefully about 30 more of these things for me."
The opposition has been stiff so far, as Buchholz faced the Yankees, Rays and Tigers in the span of 12 days.
"It's three pretty tough lineups I've had to go at. You can take it for what it's worth," Buchholz said. "You never want to go out there and lose, but in the same sense, those are probably three of the best hitting ballclubs in baseball. It was a tough run for three games, but I'll change it up tomorrow and get after it."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn't mind seeing Buchholz struggle just a little bit longer if it means his club can get going. Yet, though his team is off to a 5-13 start, Gardenhire said he is pleased with the effort he sees.
"The guys are into it, which is a good thing, so we'll keep plugging away," said Gardenhire. "We're playing good baseball teams and we know if we miss opportunities against good teams, they're going to get you."
If the Twins are to avoid a sweep, they will need Liam Hendriks to set an example for the rotation. Minnesota's rotation has just two wins and a 6.86 ERA on its ledger. Hendriks, who has two no-decisions to his credit this season, comes off an outing in which he allowed four earned runs over 5 2/3 innings to the Rays on Friday.
Red Sox: Crawford gets elbow inspected
Carl Crawford was back in Boston on Tuesday for a checkup on his strained left elbow. Crawford is not yet back to 100 percent after undergoing left wrist surgery during the offseason and developing inflammation early on during Spring Training. Crawford has thus far been limited to the designated hitter's role during extending spring games, and he has not yet begun to throw.
"He didn't play today and we're trying to keep him continuing on his progress," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "His elbow's a situation that we really want to deal with sooner rather than later to make sure that it's fine before he starts throwing."
Twins: Willingham on paternity leave
Hot-hitting outfielder Josh Willingham will also be out of action on Wednesday to attend the birth of his third son. Outfielder Ben Revere will be recalled in his place as part of MLB's paternity leave rules. Revere was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on April 14, when the club claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers.
"[Revere's] been playing pretty decent down there," said Gardenhire. "I've been watching him. He's a spark-plug type of guy, so we'll bring him up and stick him out there. We know what Ben can do. He was part of the numbers crunch, but now we can get him up here by necessity and maybe add some speed to the lineup for a day or two."
Cody Ross' game-tying and game-winning home runs in the seventh inning or later on Monday made him the first Red Sox player to accomplish such a feat since Dwight Evans on June 23, 1990. It was Ross' eighth career multihomer game.
On Tuesday, David Ortiz recorded his seventh multihit game in his last 10 starts and is now hitting .444 this season.