Don't look now, but the Clay Buchholz of old has reclaimed his roster spot on the 2012 Red Sox.

In last night's 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays, Buchholz showed more than a flash of the ace-caliber stuff that has accompanied his career — but has been glaringly absent for most of this season.

Buchholz followed up his best start of the season — a seven-inning, two-run, eight-hit no-decision against the Rays — with an even better performance against the Jays: two runs and six hits over eight innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

He painted with his fastball, mixed in his changeup and curveball, was efficient (108 pitches) and made a good lineup look ordinary.

"He's been building to that, that's for sure, Clay Buchholz was terrific (last night)," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Extra on his fastball, terrific changeup, changed his angle a little on his breaking ball, threw strikes, very competitive. I liked that, he likes that and I expect we can get more of the same. That was terrific."

His re-emergence counts as a significant development toward his team's overall goal of being a viable and dangerous contender.

"I know it's only June 1 but the team comes together, individuals build as the season goes on and that's how the team builds confidence in itself," said Valentine of the Red Sox, who now share AL East last-place honors with Toronto — three games behind first-place Tampa Bay.