Since returning from the suspension he received for throwing at Evan Longoria in May, Brandon Workman has run into a funk that he just can’t shake.
After going 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in his first five starts this season, Workman has struggled in his last five, losing his last four starts going into Thursday’s game with the Cardinals while holding a 5.87 ERA in that stretch.
Thursday didn’t start much better, as Workman allowed three runs in the first inning to St. Louis, needing 34 pitches to get out of the frame. Things improved in the second as Workman held the Cardinals pat, but he left the mound at the end of the inning having already thrown 52 pitches.
He turned it on in the third, setting the Cardinals down 1-2-3 on just 10 pitches. Workman then struck out Oscar Tavares to start the bottom of the fourth; Jon Jay to ground out to second; and Tony Cruz to pop out to Christian Vazquez to make it seven in a row retired.
Workman got the first two outs of the inning in the fifth, but a solo home run by Kolten Wong made it 4-2 and broke up retired streak at nine in a row before Matt Holliday flew out to end the frame.
After Matt Adams flew out to start the bottom of the sixth, Jhonny Peralta singled to left, prompting John Farrell to remove his starter in favor of Craig Breslow after Workman had thrown 96 pitches.
Workman’s final line was 5 1/3 innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
This was the fifth straight start that Workman gave up 4+ runs after not allowing more than three in any of his first five starts on the year. He will continue to get starts as the Sox use the rest of this season to see what they have, but Workman has to be better if he wants to earn a spot in the rotation in 2015 and beyond.