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Workman buckles down in high-pressure spot

KANSAS CITY -- Red Sox manager John Farrell is likely to think of right-hander Brandon Workman the next time Boston needs to defuse a big rally in the middle innings.

On Saturday, the Red Sox were in jeopardy of being bowled over by a big Royals' uprising for the second night in a row. But Workman bailed out Felix Doubront by entering the game in the fifth inning and preserving a 4-3 lead when it looked like Kansas City was poised to wipe out a four-run deficit.

The Royals had drawn within 4-2 and had runners at first and third with nobody out when Workman was summoned. Coming in with men on base was a new experience for the young right-hander.

"It's the first time I've ever done that," Workman said. "It's definitely a lot more of a high-pressure situation than being able to have my own inning. But it kind of made me a little more focused to execute my pitches a little better."

Workman wasn't perfect. He allowed an RBI single to Miguel Tejada and a double steal that put men at second and third with one out. But Workman roared back to get Mike Moustakas on a popup and Brett Hayes on a strikeout to protect the one-run lead.

"Given where we were in the game, he was the choice," Farrell said. "There was no hesitation there."

The reward for Workman was that he picked up a win. He's the first Red Sox rookie to win three straight appearances since Justin Masterson in 2008.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to
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