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Steven Wright passes another important test

Rob Bradford
September 05, 2018 - 8:52 am

ATLANTA -- It wasn't the type of pressure-packed situation Steven Wright may be expecting to see in the coming weeks. But it was important, nonetheless.

With the Red Sox building their lead up to five runs thanks to a two-run sixth inning, Wright was called on to take over for starter Rick Porcello against the hosts Braves. The result was one inning in which he allowed a hit and a walk. 

So why so much focus on the 21-pitch outing.

It was the first time since June 19-20, 2015 Wright pitched back-to-back days ... and the latest test for the pitcher's surgically-repaired knee.

"I felt better than I thought it would be," Wright said. "I think the adrenaline helps out a lot. It felt good. It caught me a little off guard, but I was ready. Dana asked me before how I felt. I told him I felt fine. He asked me if I could pitch and I told him I could.

"I just have to make sure I stay moving around. That’s the biggest thing with the knee is I can’t do what I used to do where I just sit there and the phone rings and it takes me a couple of minutes to get going. I have to keep moving around. I just have to keep my knee moving. But I went in and I felt pretty good."

Wright hasn't been perfect in his two outings since returning off the disabled list, but he has represented an intriguing option out of the bullpen. It's one that has offered some optimism heading into the regular season's final weeks.

Heading into the road trip's final game, the Red Sox' relievers have managed a 2.73 ERA over in 29 2/3 innings, striking out 40 and walking nine.

"Guys haven’t changed, to be honest with you. When I was out there in May and when I first came back you couldn’t tell the difference. I think that’s what great teams do," Wright said. "They kind of keep it even. When you don’t do well you feel like you’re letting the team down. With the group of guys we have, we know you have to go out and work. You might have a bad week or a bad month but at the end of the day you know you’re good enough so it’s just a matter of keeping that confidence and staying aggressive, and they have."

Related: This is the Rick Porcello the Red Sox need