Brandon Workman has pitched very well in his first three career starts with the Red Sox, but it took him until Tuesday night to earn the first win of his career. Workman pitched six strong innings with nine strikeouts to give the Red Sox a relatively easy 8-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Boston jumped over starter Joe Saunders early, scoring six runs in the first four innings to give Workman enough of a cushion to pitch strikes and keep the Sox within a half of a game from the division leading Tampa Bay Rays. Here are the four at bats that changed the game.
1) Top of the Lineup Gettin' it Done. With the Sox down 1-0 in the first, Shane Victorino doubles and Dustin Pedroia reaches on an error. With David Ortiz batting, catcher Henry Blanco lets a ball go to the backstop to score Victorino. Ortiz swings at a 2-2 pitch and grounds it through the hole in left field to score Pedey, and just like that, Boston takes a 2-1 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
2) Overrunning. In the bottom of the second, Jose Iglesias pops the first pitch he sees off of the Green Monster. He gets a little too excited and rounds the base, looking for second. Raul Ibanez fires a bullet to second and Iggy is caught dead. The choice is not a smart one for Iglesias, as the next batter up, Jacoby Ellsbury, hits his fifth homerun of the season for a solo shot. If the game was closer at the end, Iglesias's mistake would have been much more amplified. 3-1 Sox.
3) Laser Show. Still in the second inning, with Shane Victorino on first with a single, Dustin Pedroia does what he does best; He works the count full and waits until he sees a pitch he likes. Pedey cracks an inside fastball into the second row of the Green Monster to put this game out of reach for the Meriners, and the Red Sox lead 5-1 early.
4) Jam Buster. In the top of the sixth, the Mariners make their comeback. After Workman gets Nick Franklin on a curveball that made the hitter look silly, he gives up three straight singles to load the bases. Workman bears down and then gets both Michael Morse and Justin Smoak on swinging strikeouts. It was a pivotal moment in the game, and the rookie righthander came out on top.
Craig Breslow, Matt Thornton and Pedro Beato closed it out for the Sox. Wednesday night, Boston's John Lackey faces Hisashi Iwakuma at 7:10pm as Seattle looks to even the three game series.