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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 8, Mariners 2

By Joe McDonald



BOSTON -- It seems as though Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has made it a point of late to publicly offer his confidence in rookie pitcher Brandon Workman.

With the non-waiver trade deadline set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, it’s no secret Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has been working to bolster the team’s pitching staff, including the rotation. Farrell, however, has said he's happy with his current rotation and believes Workman should be a part of it because of the way he’s pitched in his brief stint in the majors.

Not that anyone would expect Farrell to say anything negative about his club, but the manager has been genuinely impressed with the 24-year-old right-hander in his three starts.

“I like our rotation,” Farrell said prior to Tuesday’s 8-2 win over the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. “It’s been consistent. I think Brandon Workman has brought an element of, not only intrigue but promise with the way he’s handled the first two starts. Granted, he might be short on experience but he’s got all the physical abilities to continue to put up solid efforts. Hopefully that’s the case again tonight.”

It was.

Workman (1-1, 3.54 ERA) worked six strong innings and allowed only one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out nine to record his first big league win. He’s only the second Red Sox pitcher since 1977 to allow two or fewer runs in each of his first three major league starts.

Seattle scored its lone run in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Kendrys Morales. After that, Workman settled in and at one point retired eight in a row.

With Boston holding a 6-1 lead in the top of the sixth, Workman found himself in a bit of a jam. After striking out the Mariners’ Nick Franklin to lead off the inning, he allowed three consecutive singles to load the bases. But Workman showed his poise and struck out the next two batters to end Seattle’s threat.

After 103 pitches (69 for strikes), Workman was done for the night as the Sox’s bullpen finished the job with Craig Breslow, Matt Thornton and Pedro Beato all working an inning each.

Coming around again: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia entered the game 1 for his last 16 at the plate. Farrell said prior to the game he wasn’t worried about Pedroia’s recent numbers because he’s been squaring up the ball the last couple of games.

Pedroia proved his manager right with a big night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs. After reaching on a throwing error by Mariners shortstop Brad Miller in the first inning, Pedroia launched a two-run homer in the second, his first home run since July 9. In the fourth, he provided an RBI single before grounding out to third in the seventh.

Gone, baby, gone: The Sox hit a total of three home runs. Along with Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo shot in the second inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth.

Back in there: After he was given a night off against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, Red Sox infielder Jose Iglesias was back in action Tuesday. He started at third and hit ninth in the order. He was pulled in the top of the ninth and replaced by Brandon Snyder.

Up next: The Red Sox will send right-hander John Lackey (7-8, 3.19 ERA) to the mound Wednesday to face Mariners righty Hisashi Iwakuma (10-4, 2.87).