HOUSTON -- With an impending roster move coming in the next two days, Tuesday felt like an audition among three pitchers making their case to stick with the Boston Red Sox.
When outfielder Daniel Nava returns from his three-day paternity leave on Thursday, manager John Farrell will have a decision to make.
Before Tuesday night’s 15-10 Red Sox victory over the Houston Astros, Thornton said he was hoping the lingering soreness in his right oblique muscle would not force him to the disabled list.
But after the slugfest where both Wright and Workman struggled to stop the league’s second-worst hitting team from hitting, waiting on Thornton’s recovery might emerge as a favorable option.
When he learned on Saturday that he would be making his first career start, Wright said one of his focal points would be to try and eat up as many innings as possible in order to aid a fatigued and banged-up bullpen.
Instead, he was pulled after the first inning after walking two, hitting one and allowing one hit, ultimately digging the Red Sox into a 3-0 hole.
His knuckleball seemed at times like a Farrell science experiment gone horribly wrong.
Ryan Lavarnway became the third catcher in major-league history to allow four passed balls in one inning. Lavarnway’s oversized mitt didn’t seem to help much as he tried to handle Wright’s fluttering pitches.
Enter Brandon Workman.
With the perfect opportunity to show why he deserves a roster spot, Workman was able to accomplish something that Wright couldn’t do, as he managed to gobble up 4 2/3 innings. However, Workman (2-1) was hit hard by the Astros, allowing six runs, two walks and nine hits.
It wasn’t exactly the type of relief appearance Farrell had in mind when the team recalled him from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.
Workman threw 91 pitches (54 for strikes) before he was relieved by Drake Britton in the bottom of the sixth.
Regardless of which direction Farrell chooses to go when Nava returns to the team in Kansas City on Thursday, Tuesday’s developments could very well become deciding factors. Adding to the mix is the work done by Britton (2 1/3 innings, 3 strikeouts, hit first run allowed in 11 1/3 innings this season) and Rubby De La Rosa, who hit the upper 90s in a perfect ninth, striking out two, in his Red Sox debut.
Luckily for the Red Sox, the lack of quality pitching ultimately didn’t cost them another loss to Houston.
Unlike Monday night’s 2-0 shutout loss, the Red Sox were aggressive at the plate, and the results were positive.
After struggling to hit left-handed starter Brett Oberholtzer on Monday, the Red Sox rocked right-hander Jordan Lyles for eight runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Even when the Astros brought in left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the Red Sox had few problems, tacking on four runs and three hits as Keuchel managed to get just two outs.
Five Red Sox hitters had multi-RBI games, including a 4-for-4, two-RBI performance from David Ortiz, who also added a walk.
Jacoby Ellsbury had two home runs, driving in three runs, while also scoring four times. Last week’s American League player of the week, Shane Victorino, resumed his hot streak, going 3-for-5, scoring four times.
Every Red Sox starter either scored a run or had an RBI in the game.