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Brandon Workman on return to Pawtucket: ‘Not what I was hoping to hear after the game’

07.09.14 at 12:09 am ET
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The night had already been hard enough on Brandon Workman.

The right-hander entered a solemn Red Sox clubhouse after Tuesday night’s 8-3 loss to the White Sox with his third straight defeat in hand and bitter memories of a 3-2 cutter he wishes he could have back as the Sox fell to 1-7 on their current homestand.

Then he was summoned into manager John Farrell‘s office.

Workman was informed that he had been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket as a corresponding roster move after the Sox called up Rubby De La Rosa to start for the team Wednesday night.

“Definitely it’s not ideal,” Workman said of his demotion. “Not what I was hoping to hear after the game. It’s part of it. I just have to keep getting my work in, keep getting better and get ready to go again.”

After holding opponents to three runs or fewer in his first eight major league starts dating back to last season, Workman has struggled to find the same consistency that made him so valuable to the Red Sox‘ rotation in his last three outings, going 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA in that span.

Tuesday was arguably the best of those three starts. Just three of his five runs allowed were earned and he threw 70 of his 106 pitches for strikes. Workman said it was a definite improvement from his six-run clunker over four innings against the Cubs last Wednesday.

“I thought it was a step in the right direction off of last time,” he said. “Obviously I could still be sharper, there are still pitches I need to make, but I thought it was a step in the right direction coming off of a rough one the other day.”

The Sox didn’t give Workman much help in the second inning when Mike Napoli bobbled what would’ve been an easy throw home with the bases loaded and no outs. Workman limited the damage to two unearned runs and looked strong over the next three innings, giving up a run and three hits.

But his biggest mistake came in the sixth. After the Sox tied the score at 3-3 with a three-run fifth, Workman hung a 3-2 cutter that Conor Gillaspie lifted into the seats for a two-run home run.

“If I could take back one pitch it would be that one,” he said. “We just kind of gathered some momentum in the bottom half, so you know, it’s definitely a situation when you want to go out there and put a big zero out there. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that.”

That one pitch was enough to end what could have been a much more positive ending for Workman and the Sox.

“I think you’ve got to look beneath the line score on Workman tonight,” Farrell said. “Seven solid innings other than that [homer] and we contributed to that cause in the second inning.”

Workman’s next start will likely be with Pawtucket. When asked if his demotion offers a chance to get back to form on the mound, he said, “I’m not sure. If that’s the case, then yeah, hopefully I can continue building off what I was able to do today, take the good out of today.”

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