The ailing Boston Red Sox are hoping a new addition to the starting rotation can help them avoid their longest losing streak in 20 years.
Brandon Workman will attempt to end the Red Sox's nine-game skid when he makes his first start this season in Sunday's series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.Boston (20-28) appeared ready to end its woes after scoring five runs in the opening inning Saturday with a short-handed lineup, but that lead was all gone by the fifth and the Red Sox fell 6-5 in 15 innings after reliever Andrew Miller's throwing error.David Ortiz was limited to pinch-hitting duties while resting an ailing calf but could return Sunday. Mike Napoli might be out for a couple of games with a few issues, including flu-like symptoms, and Shane Victorino was placed on the disabled list Saturday after aggravating a right hamstring injury in Friday's 1-0 loss at Tropicana Field."There is no give up in this group," manager John Farrell said. "You do the best you can with what you have. That's the mode we're in right now."Brandon Guyer had four hits and drove in two runs in the Rays' third consecutive walkoff win while Logan Forsythe ended a 1-for-13 slump by going 3 for 5 with two RBIs."We've been playing hard. We've been putting the work in. Tonight was a great example of not giving up," Forsythe said. "Everybody that came into pitch battled their butt off. We put some good quality at-bats together, and came out on top."Tampa Bay (22-28) hasn't won four in a row since a seven-game run Sept. 20-26. Boston, meanwhile, is attempting to avoid its first 10-game skid since dropping 11 in a row June 8-19, 1994.The Red Sox turn to a 25-year-old making his fourth career major league start to end the slide.Workman (0-0, 1.42 ERA), replacing an injured Felix Doubront (shoulder) in the rotation, made three relief appearances this season before being optioned to the minors April 8.The right-hander went 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts as a rookie with the Red Sox in 2013, including one against Tampa Bay on July 22. He gave up two runs over six innings but was outdueled by the currently injured Matt Moore in a 3-0 defeat.Workman also made two relief appearances against the Rays, including one in the division series."I definitely will be going over scouting reports and stuff like that to get ready, but there was a little bit of familiarity because I've seen them a few times," he told the team's website.Jake Odorizzi takes the ball for Tampa Bay trying to bounce back from his first loss in four starts.After two solid efforts, Odorizzi (2-4, 4.98) failed to make it out of the fifth inning in a 3-0 loss to Oakland on Tuesday. He walked a career-high five batters while giving up three runs but struck out eight.The right-hander has 26 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in his last three games, and gave up six hits in 11 scoreless innings in his previous two starts.In his lone outing against the Red Sox on June 18, Odorizzi permitted one run over 5 2/3 innings but did not get a decision in a 3-1 loss.