Red Sox’ Brandon Workman to make Fenway debut

Rookie pitcher staying focused

In Brandon Workman’s first start, against the A’s at Oakland Coliseum July 14, the righty took a no-hit bid into the seventh.
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In Brandon Workman’s first start, against the A’s at Oakland Coliseum July 14, the righty took a no-hit bid into the seventh.

Brandon Workman used the All-Star break to make a pit stop in Pawtucket, to the apartment he shared with his PawSox teammates.

The Red Sox were on the road when they called up Workman from Triple A on July 9. The pitcher brought one suitcase.

Two weeks passed.


“And I needed to get more clothes,” Workman said.

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For now, it appears, he is staying in Boston.

Workman (0-0, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled for his second career start Monday night as the Sox open a critical series against the Rays at Fenway Park.

Workman, a highly touted prospect from Texas, said he won’t be nervous.

“Obviously I’ve never thrown here yet,” the 24-year-old said, sitting in the dugout Sunday afternoon. “And obviously the pennant race is a factor,” he added.


But Workman, soft-spoken with a slight Southern drawl, said he is only focused on locating his pitches.

“I’m going to do my best to keep it as [just] another start,” Workman said.

The Sox, plagued by injury, have used nine starters this season.

In Workman’s first start, against the A’s at Oakland Coliseum July 14, the righty took a no-hit bid into the seventh.

He ended up surrendering two runs in 6 innings. He struck out five. The Sox lost, 3-2, in 11 innings.


“This is a guy who’s got a quiet confidence about him,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “[He] doesn’t fear the setting in which he’s performing in.”

The Sox learned that in Seattle July 10. Workman came out of the bullpen for his first major league appearance. The first batter hit a home run.

“Even in the first inning when he got squared up, he didn’t fear the strike zone,” Farrell said. “He didn’t start to walk people just because there was some loud contact. He went out and had a very good second inning.”

Said Workman: “When I came out of relief in Seattle, I had a bit of nerves. But when I threw in Oakland I felt pretty comfortable out there . . . and I expect to feel comfortable here [at Fenway].”

At 6 feet 4 inches, Workman is considered a fly-ball pitcher. He started the season in Portland, where he went 5-1 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance.

He was promoted to Pawtucket June 5. In six starts there, he was 3-1 with a 2.80 ERA.

Workman has a fastball, cutter, changeup, and curveball. The latter has been his “go-to pitch” this season, he said.

“It’s always shown flashes of being sharp and being able to command it,” Workman said. “This year I’ve been able to take it to the next step and put it a lot more consistently in the strike zone.”

Added Farrell, “The one thing that he does is he throws a lot of strikes.”

Of his 113 pitches against the A’s, 62 were strikes.

The Rays present a new challenge. They have won 13 of their last 14, averaging nearly five runs per game in that span.

“As well as [Workman] pitched against a very good team in Oakland, we’re going to have a team coming in here as hot as anyone in the game right now,” Farrell said.

For Workman, the 2012 Red Sox minor league pitcher of the year, the Rays are unfamiliar.

Tampa Bay, too, has a hot-shot rookie.

Wil Myers, 22, is hitting .310 with 18 RBIs through 28 games.

Workman said he never faced Myers in the minors.

“Well, they’ve never seen [Workman] before,” Sox outfielder Shane Victorino said. “So maybe that’s a positive for us.”

Workman is one of six Boston pitchers to make his major-league debut this season, joining Alex Wilson, Allen Webster, Steven Wright, Jose De La Torre, and Drake Britton.

Only Britton, De La Torre, and Workman are on Boston’s active roster entering Monday’s game.

If Workman stays longer — which he hopes — he might need to retrieve the rest of his wardrobe.

Emily Kaplan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @emilymkaplan.