It was a good night for Steven Wright.
The knuckleballer made his first appearance as a starter after beginning the season in the bullpen, and tossed seven scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in their 6-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Of Wright’s 96 pitches, 57 of those were strikes, including nine swing-and-misses. Red Sox manager Alex Cora had nothing but high praise for his pitcher, despite a shaky first inning. Wright opened the game by walking Leonys Martin and then surrendering a ringing double to Nick Castellanos. Luckily for Wright, however, Martin was thrown out at home plate and he was able to escape the inning unscathed.
“It didn’t start the way he wanted to … (but) he settled down (and) he was outstanding,” Cora said after the victory, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He gives you quality innings, we’ve seen it since he got back from the DL.”
Wright said after the game that he hasn’t been healthy on the mound since August 2016 and felt “excited, antsy and nervous” going into Tuesday’s start. He seemed to keep his emotions in check and was able to eat up innings, as he’s done all season.
“I was trying to go as deep as I was able to go,” Wright said. “Going seven was huge, especially for our bullpen.”
The 33-year-old will fill left-hander Drew Pomeranz’s place in the rotation for now, after the lefty was placed on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. As for Wright’s future in the rotation after that, he’s just happy to be on the mound.
“We definitely need Drew (Pomeranz). I’ll do whatever they want me to do. I just want to pitch.”
Here are other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers game:
— After the game, Cora said Jalen Beeks will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his major league debut for Boston on Thursday. The pitcher has a 2.56 ERA with the PawSox with 80 strikeouts through 10 starts.
“It makes sense to bring him up and get him here to see how he does,” Cora said after the game.
— Dustin Pedroia met with doctors Tuesday in regards to his surgically repaired left knee. Cora told reporters that “everything about the surgery is fine” and the second baseman is just dealing with some inflammation and will receive treatment Wednesday and resume baseball activities in a few days.
— The offense collected six runs on 10 hits in the victory, with four batters having a two-hit night, including Jackie Bradley Jr.
“All around it was a good day for us,” Cora said.
— J.D. Martinez reclaimed the lead for most home runs in Major League Baseball when he hit his 20th blast of the season in the first inning. The slugger now has 13 home runs in 28 games at Fenway Park.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images