SEATTLE -- Clay Buchholz felt exhausted after throwing only 76 pitches. Evgeny Kuznetsov Capitals Jersey . His return to the mound for the Red Sox after nearly a month on the disabled list was a test by an aggressive Seattle offence that had battered Boston pitching the first two games of the series. "They made me work hard," Buchholz said. "I knew they were swinging. Thats about the most aggressive team that Ive pitched to in my career. For the number of pitches that I threw that was a grinding, stressful outing knowing I cant make a mistake." Buchholz pitched into the eighth inning in his first start since late May, David Ortiz gave him cushion from the start with his 449th career home run in the first inning, and Boston avoided being swept with a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. Outside of three batters in the second inning, Buchholzs return could not have gone much better. He was efficient, he pitched deep into the game to save Bostons bullpen and he relied on more than just two pitches. Buchholz was using just his fastball and cutter early in the season. The time away allowed him to work on his curveball and changeup and as his outing progressed, those pitches got better. Buchholz was so good with his pitch efficiency teammates were questioning whether the count was correct. "At one point I had to ask if the pitch count was right because it was the fifth and he had like 45 pitches," Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "It was good. It was an encouraging outing and Im glad for Clay that he went out and pitched like he did." Ortiz knocked around Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, plunking a two-run shot off the windows of the cafe in right field at Safeco Field for a 2-0 lead, his 18th of the season. He drove in another run in the third with a line drive off the wall in right that barely cleared the glove of Seattle right fielder Stefen Romero. "I thought we had a very good approach against Iwakuma, who pitches very well in this ballpark," Boston manager John Farrell said. Buchholz (3-4) was knocked around in the second, giving up home runs to Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino, but otherwise avoided problems. Buchholz retired 11 of 12 during one stretch and pitched out of trouble in the sixth inning when the first two batters reached on singles. Buchholz won for the first time since May 2. He had been on the disabled list since May 27 with a hyperextended left knee and after two rehab starts in the minors was brought back to the Red Soxs rotation. Buchholz went 7 1-3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs. He struck out two and walked none. He might have gotten through the eighth but Brad Miller led off the inning with a homer. Reliever Andrew Miller struck out pinch-hitters Willie Bloomquist and Cole Gillespie to end the eighth. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 16th save despite allowing two runners. "He looked confident, he looked relaxed," Farrell said of Buchholz. "He was able to make pitches with four different types of pitches. An overall outstanding performance." Iwakuma struggled for the second straight outing, his pitches missing location. Iwakuma (5-4) lasted just four innings, giving up eight hits and five earned runs. Iwakuma was done when he failed to record an out after the first three batters of the fifth inning. This wasnt the first time Boston has made Iwakumas night short. Last season, Iwakuma lasted a career-low three innings, giving up eight hits and six runs against the Red Sox. "I couldnt get the first pitch strike which cost me in a couple of at-bats," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "They took advantage of that, so not being able to throw strike one got to me." NOTES: Ortiz is tied for 36th on the all-time home run list with Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero. ... Boston RHP Brandon Workman will start Fridays opener in New York against the Yankees. ... Seattle recalled RHP Brandon Maurer to work out of the bullpen. He was a starter earlier in the season. Braden Holtby Capitals Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. Jakub Vrana Capitals Jersey . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. http://www.officialcapitalsfanstore.com/authentic-nicklas-backstrom-capitals-jersey/ . -- Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer will be out three to six weeks with a stress fracture of the third finger of his right hand.Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is joining the Chicago Bears in the same role, the team announced Tuesday. Fangio, the architect of one of the NFLs premier defenses during a four-year run in San Francisco, bolted the 49ers after being passed over in favor of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to become Jim Harbaughs successor as the teams head coach. The longtime NFL assistant instead joins the staff of newly named Bears head coach John Fox, where Fangio will be in charge of rebuilding a defense that was one of the leagues most porous units Chicago has ranked 30th overall in total defense in each of the past two seasons, while the 442 points the Bears allowed in 2014 were surpassed only by Oakland for the most in the league. Chicago finished 30th in scoring defense the previous year. In contrast, tthe 49ers ranked in the top five in total defense in each of Fangios four years at the helm, and were one of only three teams to record 25 or more takeaways in each of the last three seasons. Evgeny Kuznetsov Jersey. . San Francisco also finished second, second and third in scoring defense from 2011-13 before ending 10th in that category this past year. Those numbers helped the Niners reach the NFC Championship Game in three straight seasons from 2011-13, as well as an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. The 56-year-old Fangio also served as the defensive coordinator for Indianapolis (1999-2001) and Houston (2002-05) and will entering his 29th season as an NFL assistant. Additionally, he was the defensive coordinator under Harbaugh at Stanford in 2010, helping the Cardinal to a 12-1 record and a final ranking of fourth in the Associated Press Top 25. ' ' '