Red Sox Notes: Brandon Workman Puts Boston’s Bullpen In Bad Spot Early

Brandon Workman, Mike OltBOSTON — The Red Sox just can’t put it all together.

The Red Sox’s offense broke through for nine runs on 16 hits Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. Boston still faltered, as Chicago produced 16 runs on 19 hits en route to completing a three-game sweep.

The Red Sox now have been swept six times this season, including four times at Fenway. The 16 runs allowed were the most given up by the Sox since surrendering 20 runs to the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 31, 2012.

Let’s go over some notes.

– Brandon Workman lasted just four innings. He gave up six earned runs — the most he has allowed in any of his 10 career starts — on five hits and three walks while striking out three and throwing 69 pitches (42 strikes). It was the shortest start of his career.

Justin Ruggiano and Mike Holt homered off Workman, who allowed three runs in the first inning. The right-hander settled down in the second and third innings before struggling again in the fourth.

“It was just inconsistency with locating the bottom of the zone,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “And on an unforgiving night, things got away from us.”

The Red Sox answered in the bottom of the fourth, but they never fully caught up. The Cubs responded every time the Sox chipped away.

“I didn’t really set a good tone coming out. Three runs in the first kind of gets them in the swinging mindset. They start feeling good about themselves,” Workman said. “I kind of got their bats warmed up for the bullpen, I guess. I kind of put some guys in some bad spots in the game before they should have been in if I had thrown the ball the way I wanted to throw the ball.”

– The Red Sox had limited opponents to three runs or less in 14 straight home games before Wednesday — the longest such streak in franchise history.

– Felix Doubront was the first one out of the Red Sox’s bullpen. He was ineffective, allowing three runs on four hits over 1 1/3 innings.

– Craig Breslow (four runs) and Junichi Tazawa (two runs) combined to allow six runs on seven hits in the ninth inning.

– Mookie Betts crushed his first major league home run into the Monster seats in the fifth inning. The ball, believe it or not, was caught by someone he played baseball against in high school.

Betts met up with the gentleman, Chris Large, who happily gave the rookie his special baseball.

Betts and Xander Bogaerts are the first pair of Red Sox players age 21 or younger to homer in the same season since 1980 (Glenn Hoffman and Chico Walker).

– Betts misplayed a ball in center field in the fourth inning. He raced back on a drive by Darwin Barney and got too close to the wall. The ball bounced off the Monster and past Betts, enabling Barney to cruise into third base with a triple.

“There’s a lot of different angles,” Betts said of the Fenway outfield. “There’s so many different ways to go about getting the ball. I had a couple of mishaps today. I’m still learning.”

– Dustin Pedroia is hitting .706 (12-for-17) over his last five games after collecting three hits and reaching base four times.

– Mike Napoli reached base four times

– David Ortiz picked up his 1,000th career extra-base hit with a third-inning double. Only Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols have more among active players.

– Bogaerts went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk. He’s hitless in his last 23 at-bats, but Farrell said before the game that a demotion hasn’t been considered.

– Will Middlebrooks and Mike Carp continued their rehab assignments at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Middlebrooks served as the DH for eight innings and went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. Carp played first base for four innings and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

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