8/1/2013 7:37 P.M. ET
Maturing Britton shows poise in first career win
By Michael Periatt / MLB.com
BOSTON -- David Ortiz called Drake Britton over to his locker just moments after he picked up his first career Major League win.
Ortiz grabbed his hand, pulled him close and patted him on the back, congratulating the 24-year-old left-hander on a job well done.
It wasn't long ago that Ortiz and plenty of others barely had an idea who Britton was. Those who did likely associated him with his arrest for driving under the influence in March earlier this year.
More than four months later, his manager and teammates say Britton has matured. That maturity has led to Britton better being able to handle things off the field, manager John Farrell said. And as he's matured off the field, he's started to get more attention for what he's done on it.
"He's quickly gained a lot of acknowledgement among his teammates down there and a lot of guys have a lot of confidence in him -- including us, the staff," Farrell said.
The physical talent has never been the question for Britton. His live arm has always made him an intriguing prospect. He's lived up to that potential ever since the Red Sox promoted him to pitch in the squad's ailing bullpen, which has fallen victim to three season-ending injuries this season.
He has yet to give up a run in six appearances spanning eight innings. During the 15-inning game the Red Sox won Wednesday, Britton was forced into the game on short rest. He pitched a scoreless 14th and 15th innings and after Stephen Drew hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the 15th frame, he earned his first Major League win.
"I was prepared to go as long as they wanted me to," Britton said. "It was just an amazing feeling to be out there on the mound with all those guys behind me and to be able to win it."
It wasn't the first time Britton has been put in a tight spot. A Boston bullpen short on arms has had no choice but to turn to the rookie with the game on the line. So far, he's thrived.
"Thank God he's responded," Farrell said.
The next step will be to see how Britton responds after things don't go his way. Whether he can perform at the same level after a rough outing will be a determining factor in how valuable Britton can be as Boston pursues a deep playoff run this season, Farrell said.
"We'll probably see a different side of him how he responds to maybe a situation that doesn't go well," said Farrell. "That's going to be another insight into him as a competitor."
At least for now, the Red Sox manager will continue to rely on his new weapon out of the bullpen. Until he's given a reason to doubt Britton, Farrell won't go searching for one.
"The biggest thing to me that stands out is just his overall poise," he said. "You know on short rest, multiple innings again he's shown resiliency physically. And the consistency from the mental standpoint, he's got exceptional concentration ability that he's shown in a short period here."
Peavy's arrival, taxed bullpen lead to pair of moves
BOSTON -- It took what manager John Farrell called a "unique set of circumstances," but Brandon Workman was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket in one of two roster moves the club made Thursday.
The arrival of Jake Peavy and a taxed bullpen in the aftermath of a 15-inning game on Wednesday was enough to send the right-hander back to Pawtucket. His performance had nothing to do with it, Farrell said. The Sox just needed another arm with endurance in the bullpen -- Steven Wright -- and Workman will not be available to throw after pitching six innings on Tuesday.
Right-hander Jose De La Torre was also sent down to Triple-A to make room for Peavy on the active roster.
"A unique set of circumstances that we had to make two roster moves today," Farrell said. "One, for obvious reasons in Jake's arrival, and then two, … for the simple fact that if something unforeseen happened early in the game, we need someone that's got the capability of five or six innings. Steven has that where as we didn't feel as if Jose has that kind of length built up."
Workman had been effective as a fill-in starter for the injured Clay Buchholz, recording a quality start in his last three outings. He'd still be in the rotation if the Sox hadn't completed the deal for Peavy.
Workman's stay in Pawtucket isn't expected to be a long one, and when he returns to the Red Sox, it will be as a reliever. Farrell said the team would still like him to maintain his endurance in the event the club needs a spot start in the future.
"Over the next 10 days we will get multiple innings for him," Farrell said. "There's no plans to start him but depending on what happens the next couple days that could possibly change."
Wright has made two appearances for Boston this season, compiling a 4.82 ERA over 9 1/3 innings. He has a 5-6 record with a 3.82 ERA in Pawtucket.
• Buchholz had a scheduled off-day on Thursday. He'll throw on flat ground the next three days. There is no current plan for him to throw off a mound.
• After catching 15 innings on Wednesday, Jarrod Saltalamacchia got a day off on Thursday. Ryan Lavarnway started in his place and batted eighth. Farrell also gave Mike Napoli the day off, starting Mike Carp at first base and batting him fifth.
• After Drew's walk-off single in the 15th inning on Wednesday, the Red Sox have 10 walk-off hits this season. That is tops in the Major Leagues and matches the 1918 and 1931 Red Sox teams for the most in club history before August.
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Michael Periatt. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.