- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- With the Red Sox in the midst of a seven-game losing skid, things were relatively quiet around the home clubhouse at Fenway Park Sunday morning.
The Red Sox optioned pitcher Brandon Workman to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled right-hander Heath Hembree. Workman, who allowed seven runs on 10 hits and suffered the loss on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, will make his next scheduled start for the PawSox on Aug. 29.
“We need a multi-inning reliever to support our bullpen right now,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Workman’s outing on Saturday of 3 1/3 innings was his shortest start of the season. All of the Mariners’ runs came in the fourth inning. Workman struck out three, walked one and surrendered a three-run homer.
Farrell hopes Workman can improve his consistency with the PawSox.
“We’ve talked about it before, it’s a consistency in the bottom of the rotation,” Farrell said. “When he doesn't have his better velocity, as he did last time out against the Angels and had better command down in the zone. That’s the primary focus with him. Yesterday I thought he did a good job getting ahead of a number of hitters. And yet the inability to put a guy away, that’s what reared its head in that fourth inning.”
Farrell said he hasn’t decided who will take Workman’s spot in the rotation on the club’s next road trip. After today’s game, Boston travels to Toronto for a three-game set against the Blue Jays. Thursday is an off day, before the Red Sox begin a four-game series at Tampa against the Rays.
“We’ll not bring guys back short. We’ll use the off day. That starter has yet to be determined,” Farrell said.
* Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts will undergo more tests Sunday for a possible concussion, after he was hit in the head by a pitch Friday night. Farrell said the team will have the results by the end of the day, and Bogaerts either will be cleared to play or the team would have to make a roster move. Bogaerts has not played the last two games.
* After being drilled in the left elbow by a pitch on Saturday and removed due to a contusion, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is back in the lineup.
“I’m sure he’s still a little sore but the swelling has gone down after he iced it and continued to treat it last night. He’s ready to go today,” Farrell said.
Ortiz has been locked in at the plate of late. He’s reached base in 18 of his last 22 plate appearances and has a .558 OBP over an 11-game on-base streak. During the stretch, he’s hitting .450 (18-for-40) with 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 11 RBIa, 10 walks and a hit-by-pitch.