In for E-Rod, Owens hit hard; Buchholz starts Tuesday
Red Sox lefty to throw sim game, while Wright will toss another 'pen session
By Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- Henry Owens was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Sunday against the Tigers in place of Eduardo Rodriguez, who is experiencing lingering tightness in his left hamstring. Deven Marrero was optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Owens on the roster.
In Boston's 10-5 loss, Owens allowed eight runs on six hits over five innings, striking out six while walking five (one intentional).
Owens gave up a pair of three-run home runs to Justin Upton, pushing his ERA to 7.79 in four starts with the Red Sox this season. Manager John Farrell elected to intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera to load the bases in the third before J.D. Martinez hit a two-run double that was followed up by Upton's first homer.
"It's a pick your poison situation with Cabrera and J.D. Martinez, so you load the bases, and he's working through the at-bat against Martinez in pretty good shape," Farrell said. "He gets in a 1-2 count and Martinez ends up putting the bat on the ball on a changeup that was off the plate away, and pokes it inside the first-base bag."
Owens racked up five strikeouts in the first two innings, keeping the Tigers from putting a ball in play. He had even limited the damage until Martinez delivered. He said he was happy with the location of the changeup to Martinez, but he wasn't able to capitalize after getting himself into a two-out situation.
"It was off the plate, it was a little up, but we're looking for a swing," Owens said. "Again, it was just a piece of good hitting. But I've got to finish innings with two outs."
Rodriguez threw 20 pitches Saturday to see if he would be ready for Sunday's start and it was initially announced that everything went according to plan. Rodriguez, however, still felt tight after the session and Farrell did not want to risk any further complications with Rodriguez.
Farrell said before Sunday's game that Rodriguez will have to throw a simulated game in the next couple of days to determine whether he will need to go on the disabled list. Part of the doubt surrounding the decision to scratch Rodriguez was his mindset, Farrell said.
"Where he had reluctance was thinking about, envisioning, trying to be at 100 percent and not having complete confidence or conviction to throw pitches," Farrell said. "With that questionable mindset, I took it out of his hands and made the adjustment for today."
Rodriguez battled a knee injury earlier this season that kept him out longer than expected and warranted multiple rehab assignments at Pawtucket. Farrell said the Red Sox are keeping the progression of the previous injury in mind and are being more cautious with him this time around.
"I'd like to say that there's no concern, but given the history, we have to take that into account," Farrell said. "And that's why the simulated game and facing hitters is going to be the next required step, just so it proves to him that with increased intensity he doesn't feel it or he's restricted."
While questions surround Rodriguez, good news came on the other end of the injury spectrum as Steven Wright threw a bullpen session Sunday. It was the first time he threw off a mound since injuring his shoulder Aug. 8 and he came out of the session with no issues.
The Red Sox announced after Sunday's loss that Clay Buchholz will start Tuesday's game against the Rays, while Wright will throw another bullpen session. Wright is expected to be available to pitch next weekend as long as everything works out well after the next bullpen session, Farrell said. If things do work out, he would likely pitch Friday to break up left-handers Drew Pomeranz and David Price.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.