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Workman Struggles as Sox Get Shellacked

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Mike Olt rounds the bases after hitting a two-run homer off of Brandon Workman in the top of the fourth, one of two home runs Workman gave up on the night. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Brandon Workman seemed to have an off night in his first start back from his six-game suspension, but it was nothing compared to his second game back.

Workman struggled all night on Wednesday, giving up six runs including two home runs, in the Sox’ eventual 16-9 loss that completed a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs.

Things didn’t get off to the way that Workman would have hoped, as a two-run homer by Justin Ruggiano followed a leadoff walk to Chris Coghlan that put the Cubs up 2-0. Anthony Rizzo then walked and stole second, scoring on a Starlin Castro single to center to make it 2-0 before Workman even got an out. Despite Castro stealing second, Workman got the next three hitters out to end the top of the first.

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The top of the second went much better, as Mike Olt grounded out to shortstop, Darwin Barney flew out to center, and Coghlan struck out for a 1-2-3 inning.

Workman struck out Ruggiano to start the third inning, then allowed a single to Rizzo. Castro popped up to Dustin Pedroia for the second out and Luis Valbuena grounded out to leave the Sox still down by three.

Welington Castillo walked to lead off the top of the fourth before Nate Schierholtz flew out to center for the first out. Olt then hit a two-run shot over the Green Monster to make it 5-1, which Barney followed up with a wall-ball triple. Coghlan then hit a sac fly to left for the second out that scored Barney for the sixth Chicago run before Ruggiano popped out to end the inning.

The Sox cut the deficit to three in the bottom of the fourth, but Workman wouldn’t come out for the fifth, as John Farrell brought in Felix Doubront in relief.

Workman’s Wednesday numbers stacked up to the worst start of his MLB career, hurling four innings and allowing six runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 69 pitches in his outing, 42 of them for strikes.

After dominating his first five starts of this season, Workman hasn’t looked right since he came back from his suspension for throwing at Evan Longoria on May 30. If he remains in the rotation, his next start would be during the Red Sox’ four-game set with the White Sox next week.