Brandon Workman 'locked in' against the Orioles

Brandon Workman 'locked in' against the Orioles
June 11, 2014, 12:30 am
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BALTIMORE -- There was plenty to occupy Brandon Workman's thoughts on the mound Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

There was the fact that in the middle of the game, he still hadn't allowed a single baserunner. There was the fact that his teammates, though they had plenty of hits, had managed to provide him with just one run of backing.

And there was the fact that he had survived two rain delays -- the first brief, the second an agonizing 78 minutes long.

But Workman mostly focused on throwing strikes and attacking the Baltimore Orioles lineup for as long as he remained in the game. And when it was time for to leave, with two outs in the seventh, he had done his job almost to perfection, allowing just one walk and one hit.

"Tonight, I got into a rhythm a little bit later on and was locating the fastball and throwing the curve ball off of it,'' said Workman, who, with help from three relievers, executed a 1-0 shutout.

"He was outstanding,'' gushed John Farrell. "Seemingly, as he got into the middle innings, his stuff picked up. The life through the zone was better. He threw a lot of strikes. He had a very good curveball tonight.''

While much of Camden Yards may have been fixated on the fact that he was working a potential no-hitter, Workman was otherwise focused on the fact that he was clinging to a 1-0 lead.

"Especially,'' agreed Workman, "with a lineup they have. It seems like three-quarters of the lineup can hit one out of the ballpark, so you definitely have to stay locked in and continue to make pitches throughout the game.''

Making matters more complicated: two sitdowns, thanks to passing showers that came through the area. Workman passed the time in the longer break by throwing in the indoor batting cage.

"A little bit (tough) to stay locked in and everything,'' said Workman. "But it wasn't that bad. I went down and threw a little bit in the batting cage a little bit to stay loose, stay ready. I wanted to keep it loose, not do too much to where I was wearing myself out, but do enough that I stayed locked in and stayed in a rhythm a little bit.''

Workman cruised through the middle innings, finally giving up a hit when Ryan Flaherty punched a curve into center for a two-out single in the sixth.

But he got out of that, and got two quick outs in the seventh, too, reaching 67 pitches.

Ordinarily, when a pitcher has a one-hitter in the seventh and has thrown just 67 pitches, he'll keep going. But the two weather interruptions complicated matters and with lefty Chris Davis due and Andrew Miller warming in the pen, it was time for a change.

Customarily, Farrell signals for a reliever as soon as he comes out of the dugout, but he didn't do so in this case. When he got to the mound, there was no debate to be made. He spoke with Workman, then motioned for Miller.

"I just wanted to acknowledge, before he shut it down, the game that he threw,'' said Farrell. "He was still plenty strong. But as effective as Miller has been against Davis, the matchup was in our favor and in light of the two rain delays, he had given us more than we anticipated when we came back and resumed play.''

Farrell, in fact, said the Sox would have been happy to get four innings out of Workman after the second delay.

Instead, he gave them much, much more.