Knuckleballer Wright to start for Sox Tuesday

Knuckleballer Wright to start for Sox Tuesday
August 4, 2013, 12:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

BOSTON -- At this point in the season, with 50 games left on the regular-season schedule before Sunday's game with the Diamondbacks, the Red Sox are looking to do what they can to keep their starters fresh through September and into October. With that in mind, the team has decided to make knuckleballer Steven Wright its starter Tuesday night in Houston for the second game of its series with the Astros.

The 28-year-old was recalled by the Red Sox on Wednesday and pitched three scoreless innings on Thursday night against the Mariners to earn a win in the team's 8-7 victory. He struck out two and walked one on the night.

Manager John Farrell has been impressed with Wright's work this year in Pawtucket. After a rocky spring training -- in which he had one sterling start against fellow knuckleballer RA Dickey of the Blue Jays -- Wright has straightened out his mechanics and earned a spot start for the big league club. It will be the first major league start of his career.

"Setting aside the start in spring training in Dunedin against Dickey, he would just lead with his body," Farrell said of Wright's flawed delivery this winter. "His body was out ahead of his arm too consistently. When the inning would speed up on him, there was an inability or readiness to make those adjustments. [But] he's doing it now."

In 19 starts in Pawtucket this season, Wright is 5-6 with a .389 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 55 walks in 106.1 innings. He tossed a four-hit shutout in his last Triple A start before being called up.

John Lackey will start Monday night against the Astros and Ryan Dempster will follow Wright in the rotation on Wednesday. Farrell maintained that stretching the pitching staff into a six-man rotation one time through will pay dividends down the line for his starters.

"They'll also get an added day [of rest] with next Monday being off before we open up that series in Toronto,'' Farrell said. "It's more just that time of the year and managing some overall rest.''