The Red Sox will play the third and final game of their series against the Orioles on Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park. Brandon Workman will get the start for Boston and will oppose left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. The Red Sox will look for an improved performance from their offense, which has scored a combined two runs over the last three games.
Workman (1-8, 4.90 ERA) did not factor into the decision during his last start against the Yankees in the Bronx last Thursday. He did, however, strike out five and get charged with three runs over six innings. The Red Sox could not hang on late, as then-closer Koji Uehara surrendered two home runs in the ninth inning — including a walkoff homer to Chase Headley — and the Red Sox fell 5-4.
Despite not getting the win, Workman said he thought he pitched well at Yankee Stadium.
“I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand well today,” Workman said after the game. “It may not have been the biggest numbers I’ve ever put up. More important than the velocity, though, is I was keeping the ball down for the most part today. That’s a big part of it.”
The no-decision last week ended a streak in which Workman lost eight consecutive decisions from June to the end of August. Over his last 10 outings, Workman’s ERA is a 6.04, pushing his season total closer to five. During his start against the Mariners on Aug. 23, Workman was knocked around for 10 hits and seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. He kept the Mariners off the board through three innings, but a seven-run fourth, which included a Dustin Ackley three-run home run, ended Workman’s day.
One of Workman’s better starts with Boston this season came against the Orioles back on June 10. He pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings at a rain-soaked Camden Yards in Baltimore. He allowed just two baserunners — one single and one walk — in the start.
Three current Orioles have one hit against Workman, while the rest of the team is hitless.
While Workman has struggled, Chen (14-4, 3.69 ERA) is in the midst of the best season of his three-year career. His .778 winning percentage is the best mark in the American League. His strikeouts-per-nine innings rate is just 6.7, but he is effectively pitching to contact, as his WHIP is 1.248. In four out of his previous five starts, Chen has thrown at least six innings. During his last start on Friday, Chen kept the Rays scoreless for six innings, though he did not factor into the decision.
Two of Chen’s early starts this season came against the Red Sox back in April. His first start of the year on April 3, and one of his worst, saw him give up four runs and a season-high 12 hits. Later in the month on April 21, Chen won the game against Boston but was charged with three runs.
After some hiccups against the Red Sox in April, Chen dominated Boston on June 11 with seven shutout innings and seven strikeouts.
Dustin Pedroia, whom Red Sox manager John Farrell said could be shut down for the rest of the season because of inflammation in his wrist, has some gaudy numbers against Chen. The second baseman’s .519 batting average and .778 slugging percentage lead the team. David Ortiz has one home run and five RBIs in 21 career plate appearances against Chen.
Orioles vs. Workman (RHP)
Kelly Johnson (7 career plate appearances): .167 average/.286 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts
Alejandro De Aza (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk
J.J. Hardy (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk
Adam Jones (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Nick Markakis (4): .000/.000/.000
Nelson Cruz (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts
Chris Davis, Caleb Joseph and David Lough all are 0-for-2 against Workman. Jonathan Schoop and Delmon Young each have one plate appearance against the right-hander, with Young reaching base once.
Red Sox vs. Chen (LHP)
Dustin Pedroia (30): .519/.567/.778, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 5 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
David Ortiz (21): .389/.429/.556, 5 RBIs, 1 home run, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks
Will Middlebrooks (19): .421/.421/.526, 2 doubles, 4 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (18): .176/.222/.588, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 1 double
David Ross (15): .267/.267/.333, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 4 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (14): .538/.571/.769, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Yoenis Cespedes (11): .273/.273/.273, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk
Xander Bogaerts (8): .286/.375/.286, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk
Jackie Bradley (7): .500/.571/.667, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Jemile Weeks (7): .000/.286/.000, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Brock Holt (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout