Brandon Workman came into his start looking to snap the longest losing streak he’s ever endured. He ended with the shortest outing of his career.
After hanging up three clean innings, Workman was roughed up in the fourth, allowing a career-high seven runs as the Seattle Mariners rolled to a 7-3 win. It was Workman’s eighth start in a row in which he has ended up getting the loss.
The Mariners batted around in the fourth, with the big hit a three-run homer by Dustin Ackley.
“I just left balls up and they put really good swings on them, hit the ball hard off me,” Workman said. “I let a lot of balls up and over the plate.”
Workman (1-8) was coming off his best start in two months, giving up two runs on six hits Monday to the Angels, but still taking the loss.
He threw 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes Saturday, but the issue he’s tried to resolve — leaving pitches up in the strike zone — still haunted him.
“It was really just not executing pitches,” Workman said. “The ball was up all day for me, and you can’t pitch like that. You can’t pitch everything belt high. That’s what I did today and they took advantage of it.”
Early on, he seemed to get comfortable, brushing off a 12-pitch walk to Ackley in the first inning by striking out Robinson Cano and getting Kendrys Morales to bounce out to second.
When Workman got himself into a second-inning jam by giving up a leadoff single to Kyle Seager and a one-out single to Endy Chavez, he got help from Yoenis Cespedes, who threw out Seager at the plate trying to score on Jesus Sucre’s single to left. It was Cespedes’s 14th outfield assist this season.
The third inning was easily his cleanest, a six-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that made it seem like he was getting into a rhythm.
“It was a quick inning, I threw strikes, made some good pitches, got ground balls,” Workman said. “It was a quick inning and I didn’t execute like that in the fourth.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said the team hasn’t talked about the possibility of changing Workman’s role.
“That hasn’t been discussed yet,” Farrell said. “I thought today, he came out, he showed good arm strength, he showed decent action to his curveball early, but then he made some mistakes on the plate.”
Ortiz on target
David Ortiz suffered a left arm contusion after being hit with a 92-mile-per-hour fastball from Charlie Furbush in the sixth inning.
“He stiffened up and gained some swelling above the left elbow on the inside of the arm,” Farrell said. “It got him in a pretty good place.”
Ortiz was pulled after four plate appearances. He extended his on-base streak to 11 games going back to Aug. 9.
His first-inning pop out snapped his run of nine plate appearances getting on base.
Kelly Johnson hit in Ortiz’s place in the ninth inning. Farrell said he expects Ortiz to be in the lineup on Sunday.
“It’s a little swollen,” Ortiz said. “But I’ll be all right.
Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup after being hit in the head by Felix Hernandez in the fifth inning Friday. Bogaerts was required by Major League Baseball to go through tests for concussion-like symptoms.
“Any time you get hit in the head like he did last night and removed from the game, he’s got to go through a protocol, which he’s going through today, just to see if there’s any concussion symptoms,” Farrell said.
Bogaerts stayed in the game after being hit, going out in the top of the sixth inning to play shortstop, but he was lifted in the bottom of the frame. Farrell explained why he was initially cleared to stay on the field.
“On the field tests — the eye test, the walking of a straight line, having him stand there with his eyes closed — all those were negative results,” Farrell said. “So it was determined at that point that he could continue based on his response to questions and all that our trainers put him through in the moment. But not uncommon, as time goes on that, you start to feel the onset of symptoms and that was the case last night and that’s why he was removed.”
The right shoulder discomfort that caused Joe Kelly to leave his start Friday after five innings wasn’t bothering him Saturday. “Joe came in and felt no ill effects from last night,” Farrell said. “After a battery of tests that he went through after the game last night that didn’t reproduce any of the symptoms, it was followed up with him feeling well this morning and he’s on target to start in five days.” . . . With the game out of hand in the fourth inning, Alex Wilson was called on to pitch a career-high 3⅔ innings of hitless relief. He set down the first nine batters he faced before dotting Cano with a first-pitch fastball in the seventh. That broke up a streak of 24 batters retired going back to Aug. 14. After Workman left the game, Wilson, Junichi Tazawa, and Burke Badenhop worked 5⅔ nearly perfect innings — Cano’s HBP the exception — with five strikeouts . . . Cespedes has driven in 17 of the Sox’ 56 runs over the past 15 games . . . Mookie Betts extended his on-base streak to eight games, going 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @julianbenbow.