A week ago I wrote that Red Sox rookie right hander Brandon Workman had a real opportunity to make an impact on the starting rotation in the absence of Clay Buchholz, who is still struggling with nagging injuries.
Tonight was his first appearance since that article ran and Workman was again stellar, earning his first major league win by tossing six very strong innings. He allowed only one run on six hits with nine strikeouts and only one walk as the Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 8-2.
Workman ran into trouble in only one inning- the sixth, his final inning of work.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out on three straight singles but Workman was able to bear down and strike out both Michael Morse and Justin Smoak to end the threat. He ended up striking out the side in the inning around the three hits.
The Red Sox offense was clicking early and often to give Workman plenty of support.
After scratching out two runs in the first inning on a Mariners error, a passed ball and a David Ortiz RBI single, the Sox relied on power in the bottom of the second.
With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo home run, his fifth of the year. After a Shane Victorino (3-4, 3 runs) single, Dustin Pedroia (2-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) broke out of an 0-16 slump by smashing a two-run homer into the Monster seats to make it 5-1.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2-4, 2 RBI) added his ninth home run of the year in the eighth, a two run shot to make it 8-1 as the Sox cruised offensively.
It is not surprising that Workman has been this effective. Manager John Farrell indicated much of last week that he was confident in the rookie’s performance off his first two starts and that he looked forward to Workman going out there and pounding the strike zone and controlling the game. On this night, Farrell was a prophet.
Workman has now allowed 2 runs or less in each of his first three major league starts and his ERA sits at a very respectable 3.54.
Workman’s positive impact so far may just cause the Red Sox to reconsider the possibility of acquiring a starter at Wednesday’s 4pm waiver trade deadline. Buchholz not returning right away might not matter if Workman continues to pitch this well.