Workman gets first win as Red Sox beat Mariners
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Brandon Workman reacts after striking out Seattle Mariners' Justin Smoak to end the top of the sixth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury claps as he crosses home plate on solo home run as Seattle Mariners catcher Henry Blanco watches during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia, left, pats teammate Shane Victorino on the helmet after they scored on Pedroia's two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston Red Sox's Jose Iglesias runs back toward first base as Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller holds the ball at second base during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Iglesias, who tried to stretch a single into a double, was tagged out in a rundown. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Joe Saunders delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON – Rookie Brandon Workman may be working his way into Boston’s starting rotation.
Workman struck out nine while picking up his first major league win, allowing one run over six innings as the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-2, last night.
“It’s great that they have confidence in me, to let me make these starts and think that I can help contribute,” said Workman, who was making his third career start. “It’s something I’m trying to make the most of.”
Workman (1-1) has allowed five runs in 18 1∕3 innings as a starter, going at least six innings each time.
Workman allowed six hits, half of which came when he got himself in and out of a jam in the sixth to preserve a 6-1 lead. Seattle loaded the bases with three straight singles with one out, then the rookie regained his composure with two more strikeouts.
Workman didn’t allow a run after Seattle took a 1-0 lead on a pair of hits in the first.
“Once he gets through the first or second inning, he really starts to find a very good rhythm. I thought he showed a tremendous amount of poise, particularly in the sixth,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “The thing that stands out is just his willingness to attack the strike zone.”
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered in the second, giving Workman a cushy 5-1 lead, and the young right-hander held on tightly.
“He doesn’t look like a young guy. He looks like a veteran guy,” Pedroia said.
Joe Saunders (9-10) allowed six runs over five innings for Seattle, including two in the first as the Mariners set themselves back with an error and a passed ball.
Pedroia drove in three runs, Shane Victorino had three hits and scored three runs, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run homer in the eighth for Boston, which finished with 11 hits and left just three runners on base.
The Red Sox led 2-1 after the first, before breaking it open with three more runs. Ellsbury hit a one-out homer into the Mariners’ bullpen, which appeared to be in for a busy night.
It was Boston’s fifth hit off Saunders, who was lucky Ellsbury’s fifth homer of the season was a solo shot. Jose Iglesias led off the inning with a single, but tried to stretch it into a double and got caught in a long rundown.
Victorino followed with a single, then Pedroia hit one out to left for a 5-1 lead, snapping an 0-for-16 slump.
“I was throwing good pitches. I wasn’t getting much help,” Saunders said, declining to clarify whether he meant from his teammates or the umpires. “It was just a tough night for us. We didn’t get any breaks.”
Saunders allowed one more run in the fourth when Victorino doubled and scored on a single by Pedroia.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first when Nick Franklin doubled with one out and scored on a single by Kendrys Morales.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on consecutive singles by Kyle Seager, Morales and Raul Ibanez. Workman struck out Michael Morse for the second out, then got Justin Smoak swinging on his 103rd pitch of the night to end the threat.
“We had our backs up against the wall there early and were never able to make a run at it,” Acting Manager Robby Thompson said. “We did have a chance in the sixth.”
Workman’s previous high for strikeouts was five against Oakland in his first career start on July 14, when he left with the score tied at 2 in the seventh and didn’t figure in the decision.
His only other start was last Monday against Tampa Bay, when he allowed two runs in six innings but got absolutely no offensive support in the 3-0 victory for the Rays.
∎ The Red Sox held a pregame ceremony honoring former manager Joe Morgan, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Red Sox won their first 12 games after Morgan took over midway through the 1988 season and went on to win the American League East during the era dubbed “Morgan Magic” in Boston.
∎ Farrell said before the game that Boston hoped to have RHP Clay Buchholz (right shoulder) back in the rotation, but could not say how soon. “That would be as good of an addition as we can make at any deadline,” Farrell said.
∎ Saunders opened July with four straight wins and ended the month on a two-game losing streak.
∎ Iglesias was applauded after his baserunning blunder in the second. He avoided the tag at second with a slide beyond the bag, then went back and forth until Seattle eventually got him on a 7-4.