There were no rookie jitters this time around. Brandon Workman, who provided a mixed bag while pitching in relief during his major league debut in Seattle on Wednesday, was called upon to start Sunday’s series finale in Oakland. The 24-year-old made the most of his opportunity. Workman carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Athletics before Coco Crisp broke it up with an infield single. Dustin Pedroia made a fantastic diving stop on a ground ball up the middle, but Crisp was simply too fast for Pedroia to record the out. Unfortunately for Workman and the Red Sox, Crisp’s single was soon followed by a game-tying, two-run homer and, eventually, a 3-2, 11-inning loss. But despite the end result, it’s hard not to be encouraged by the overall effort turned in by the rookie. Workman rolled through the A’s lineup twice before things unraveled in the seventh, demonstrating a number of positives along the way. The right-hander needed just 40 pitches to get through the first three innings, during which he fanned three hitters. His first minor hiccup came in the fourth inning, when he issued a one-out, 10-pitch walk to John Jaso, who had actually fallen behind in the count, 0-2. That free pass could have crept into Workman’s psyche as he moved forward, but he instead brushed it off and kept cruising along. Josh Donaldson, who eventually played the role of hero, followed Jaso’s lengthy at-bat in the fourth with a 10-pitch battle of his own. Only this time, Workman picked up a strikeout with a fastball on the outside corner, and Ryan Lavarnway threw down to second base to nail Jaso, who was running with the count full. Workman retired six straight from there, and he entered the seventh inning having faced the minimum 18 batters while throwing just 88 pitches.
Brandon Workman Shows Why He Could Fit Into Red Sox’ 2013 Plans While Flirting With No-Hitter in Oakland
NESN | Jul 15