Extra Bases

Workman Looks to Add to Stretch of Strong Starting Pitching

Brandon Workman allowed four runs in seven innings to the Yankees his last time out. Julie Jacobson/AP

After taking the last two games of their 10-game road trip, the Red Sox are on the verge of being swept by the lowly Chicago Cubs in their first series at Fenway since they took three straight over the Minnesota Twins.

So far in the series, the Sox pitching has been great, as starters Jake Peavy and Clay Buchholz have allowed a combined three runs on 10 hits in 12 1/3 innings, while the Sox offense has generated a grand total of one single run.

The Sox will turn to Brandon Workman on Wednesday and hope that another strong pitching performance can coincide with the bats returning to form. Workman has made six starts for the Red Sox this year, going 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in those starts, also making three appearances out of the bullpen. In his first game back from his six-game suspension, Workman allowed four runs on seven hits in seven innings to the Yankees on June 27, walking two and striking out five in what would be a 6-0 loss.

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Workman will be making his first career start and appearance against the Cubs on Wednesday, which will also be his first career start against an NL club. He has totaled 2 2/3 innings of relief work against NL teams in his career, allowing three runs.

No hitter on the Cubs’ roster has ever faced Workman.

The Red Sox will try to reverse their weak-hitting ways against Chicago southpaw Travis Wood, who sits at 7-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 16 starts this season. He gave up three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings his last time out, adding five walks and four strikeouts to the Washington Nationals on June 26.

Like Workman, this will be the first time that Wood has ever faced the Red Sox. Four every day players on the Sox have hit against Wood, but the most experienced, Stephen Drew, who is 1-for-4 with two walks, will start the game on the bench. Brock Holt is the only other with a hit, going 1-for-5, while Jonathan Herrera and A.J. Pierzynski are both 0-for-3.