BOSTON (CBS) – Wednesday night is a night many Red Sox fans were hoping wouldn’t take too long to happen.
Rookie Allen Webster will get his second career start for the Red Sox on Wednesday night, as Boston looks to bounce back from Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Webster became one of Boston’s top-rated prospects after being acquired in last August’s blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the anticipation of seeing Webster toe the rubber again was high following his Major League debut back on April 21. Webster gave up three runs over six innings against the Kansas City Royals, a game the Red Sox eventually lost 5-3 in extra innings, striking out five and surrendering just one walk.
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After the game, he was sent back down to Triple-A.
But in just that one start, Webster learned some important lessons. His first pitch was clubbed off the monster by Alex Gordon for a leadoff double. Gordon scored after the very next batter on an infield single and an error, and Webster found himself in an early jam. But he showed poise in striking out the next two batters, and then getting Lorenzo Cain to ground out without any further damage on the scoreboard.
Webster kept the Royals quiet until the fifth inning, when he allowed a pair of solo home runs. He worked around a leadoff walk in the sixth to finish his evening, and helped Boston preserve their bullpen in the second game of the double header (a good thing since the game went to extra innings).
Overall, Webster said he mixed in all his pitches and had good command of his fastball, but learned from those he left over the plate.
Red Sox manager John Farrell had high praise for the 23-year-old after his debut, and that praise continued on Tuesday when it was announced he would get the start on Wednesday.
“I think everyone looks forward to seeing that guy on the mound,” Farrell said. “He’s got very good stuff. He showed he’s got great poise in his first start, and we’ll see him again (Wednesday) night.”
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Back in the minors, Webster made a pair of starts for Pawtucket since he last saw a major league field, allowing five earned runs over 10 innings. He struggled in his first start back, allowing four earned over four innings, but bounced back to pick up his first win of the year with six innings of one-run ball against Durham last Friday.
Webster struck out nine batters that game while allowing just two hits, giving him 26 K’s in 20 minor league innings this season.
Those solid numbers and the poise he showed at Fenway Park back on April 21 — along with Boston’s current injury situation — have earned him another call up to the bigs.
Using what he’s learned so far in the minors and his lone big league start will go a long way in his success, and a strong outing could earn him a longer stay in the Majors this time around.