Red Sox Recap: Henry Owens out-duels Johnny Cueto for his first Fenway win
Aug 9, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Owens lasted 8 innings for the longest outing of his young career, surrendering only one earned run. He also topped 100 pitches for the first time in his major league career. The 4 strikeouts isn’t nearly as impressive as when he hit double-digits last time out, but he only walked 1 batter. For the season he now has a 21:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Most impressive was the poise he showed on the mound when matched up against not only one of the best teams in the league, but also one of it’s best pitchers. Boston’s offense did more than enough to lead the way, but Owens still held up his end.
The bullpen got a break tonight with Owens handling the heavy lifting. Hembree came in to protect a 5-run lead in the 9th, retiring the side in order and picking up a strikeout. He threw only 10 of his 17 pitches for strikes, but he got the job done. It’s rare that we can say that about Red Sox relievers these days. Boston’s bullpen has been struggling lately, so getting the opportunity to give most of their relievers the night off is a big plus.
The rookie catcher recorded the second 4-hit game of his career, driving in a pair of runs and scoring three times in the process. Since coming off the disabled list about a month ago, Swihart is hitting .338/.384/.456, while earning the bulk of the playing time behind the dish. He doubled twice tonight, giving him 14 for the season in 201 at-bats. The home run power isn’t there yet for the 23-year old, but he’s quickly developing the ability to line balls into the gap for extra-bases.