Unfortunately for Workman, he didn't make that job any easier on himself, issuing a career-high four walks and allowing five runs (two earned) in the Boston Red Sox's 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.
Workman is now 1-4 on the season. The Red Sox have dropped eight of their past nine games.
A laborious first inning set the tone for Workman, who needed 36 pitches in facing seven batters and allowing two runs to kick things off. After three scoreless frames from there, Toronto once again put Workman to work by sending eight to the plate in the fifth and scoring another three runs.
The runs were all unearned as the result of a throwing error by Workman on a Jose Reyes bunt, followed one play later by a rough fielding attempt by third baseman Xander Bogaerts, allowing Melky Cabrera to reach. Jackie Bradley Jr. made a great running catch in center to halt the rally five batters later.
In all, Workman went five innings in his first major league start since being sent to Pawtucket on July 8. Craig Breslow allowed a run on three hits in his inning of work while Andrew Miller -- another pitcher surrounded by trade talk -- overpowered Toronto in the seventh by striking out the side. Burke Badenhop and Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Red Sox manufactured their only run against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle in the fifth courtesy of doubles by Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez. Buehrle pitched 6 2/3 strong innings to move to 11-7 on the season.
Bad news coming? With Vazquez still on second and two out in the fifth, Red Sox manager John Farrell pinch-hit Daniel Nava for Shane Victorino -- a suspicious move considering Victorino's prowess at the plate and Nava's poor splits against lefties (.128 batting average this season entering Wednesday). Nava went on to pop out to second.
No injury was announced by the Red Sox, though an explanation is likely from Farrell postgame.
Trending up: Bogaerts' 2-for-4 day brought his modest yet encouraging hitting streak to five games. In those five games, Bogaerts is 7-for-19 with a home run and an RBI.
Trending down: After a hot start to the month, Bradley ended July on a sour note by going 0-for-4 in the loss. He is now 0 for his last 16.
No David Ortiz: Wednesday marked an off day for Ortiz, who had played in all 12 of Boston's games since the All-Star break. Speaking before the game, Farrell said the decision was also made with Thursday's off day in mind, giving Ortiz two days to rejuvenate before the Yankees come to town on Friday.