Workman, De La Torre give Sox plenty to work with

Workman, De La Torre give Sox plenty to work with
July 23, 2013, 12:15 am
Share This Post

BOSTON -- There was good news on the Clay Buchholz front on Monday. But that didn't affect what Brandon Workman was going up against in his first career start at Fenway Park.

Workman is in Buchholz' spot in the Red Sox rotation. And as they began a four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston's rookie starter is aware that the division is at stake.

So in a time of need, Workman delivered once again, giving Boston six innings of two-run baseball in just his second-career MLB start.

Problem was, it wasn't enough, as the Red Sox offense only had three base runners all night against Matt Moore, falling to the Rays 3-0.

"The last two outings, he's done an amazing job," said Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino after the loss. "He kept us in both games. Even tonight, he kept us in the game. And unfortunately, we didn't pull through for him."

Workman suffered his first-career loss as a result. But he became just the second Red Sox pitcher since 2000 to allow two runs or fewer in each of his first two MLB starts, along with Justin Masterson in 2008.

"After the first couple innings in which they pressed [Workman] for a pretty good number of pitches thrown in the first two innings, he showed a lot of poise in that first inning when he gave up a couple of base hits," said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the loss. "He keeps the game under control. And he shows some maturity on the mound for just three appearances here at the big-league level. An outstanding six innings of work for him tonight, followed by De La Torre."

The end result of Monday's game won't show up in the standings in a good way for the Red Sox, but Workman's second-straight six-inning outing of two-run ball is more than Boston could even ask for out of the rookie who's replacing their ace.

And after Workman on Monday was Jose De La Torre, another rookie who's doing his best to replace the team's injury woes in the bullpen.

"Those two guys pitched a very good game against a good lineup," said Farrell. "They gave the rest of our bullpen a little bit of a blow, which was much-needed."

De La Torre relieved Workman to begin the seventh, and went 2.2 innings, allowing one run on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

"A couple times he's pitched against this club, Tampa, he's thrown multiple innings," said Farrell. "He's throwing a lot of strikes, inducing a lot of swings. There's some late action to his sinker, to his breaking ball, changeup. He's had two very good outings against Tampa. And another young guy who's learning each time he goes to the mound.

"But tonight was probably the most impressive outing he's had for us. Just his ability to attack the strike zone. He got some early outs, and gave us two-plus innings of much-needed relief."