While the spotlight has been thoroughly stolen by the Jake Peavy trade, the Red Sox both played and won a baseball game Tuesday night.
Even as the Red Sox went to work acquiring the man who could potentially replace him in the rotation, Brandon Workman was doing his damnedest to show he could fill the role himself. The Mariners would get to Boston's young starting pitcher for an early run on a pair of hits that were well placed rather than scalded, but that was it.
With the strikeouts flowing more than they had in either of his first two starts, Workman once again proved himself equal to the task of quieting a major league lineup. While the Mariners were not completely shut down, picking up either a baserunner or at least a loud out in every inning to come, Workman never let another run actually cross the plate against him. He would finish the night with an odd sort of exclamation mark, allowing the Mariners to load the bases with one out on three straight singles before striking out Michael Morse and Justin Smoak to ensure the inning ended with a whimper.
Of course, after the first couple innings, Workman's superlative pitching didn't so much matter, because the Red Sox had made short work of Joe Saunders. Some shaky defense helped them immediately make up for Workman's early run and then some, with an error from Brad Miller and a passed ball playing roles in a two-run first-inning rally bookended by a double from Shane Victorino and single from David Ortiz.
There was nothing much the defense could have done about what came in the second, however. In fact, Jose Iglesias getting caught between bases to start the inning eventually saved a run. No, the three runs in the second would be all Saunders. First it was a slider to Jacoby Ellsbury that didn't slide quite enough. Ellsbury hooked the pitch shading the outside half of the plate into the bullpen to make it 3-1, and after Shane Victorino picked up his second hit of the night, it was Dustin Pedroia breaking out of his slump by golfing a straight fastball into the Monster seats for a two-run shot.
Victorino and Pedroia would combine for a sixth Boston run in the fourth, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia tacked on two more with the deepest homer of the night late in the game, but by then the game had largely been sealed, with the most interesting event the ominous replacement of Jose Iglesias at third. The bullpen did their mop-up work, and all eyes quickly shifted to trade talks as the Red Sox headed back into the clubhouse with a win.
Read more Red Sox:
- The complicated left side of the Red Sox infield
- Why do we obsess over the trade deadline?
- Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox, and an ever changing future
- Despite drop in velocity, Felix Doubront turning into top arm for Red Sox
- Dustin Pedroia's extension perfect for Red Sox and Pedroia