Steven Wright gave the Red Sox a much-needed win over the White Sox Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Knuckleballer Steven Wright uses fastball to pick up much-needed win over White Sox

Ryan Hannable
July 30, 2015 - 7:48 pm
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For obvious reasons Steven Wright is most known for his knuckleball, but Thursday night it was his fastball that was able to get him his fourth win of the season. Wright went seven innings allowing two runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out a career-high eight in the Red Sox' 8-2 win over the White Sox snapping a three-game losing streak. Making the win even more impressive was Wright and the Red Sox were going up against ace Chris Sale. The Red Sox knuckleballer was able to keep the red-hot White Sox offense in check by mixing his fastball and knuckleball more than in any other start this season. According to Brooksbaseball.net, Wright threw a season-high 21 fastballs. His previous high in any other start this season was seven. "It's one of those things I don't go out there thinking I am going to throw fastballs tonight," Wright said. "The scouting report that I've seen on those guys -- they are pretty patient early on and I wasn't throwing a lot of strikes at the beginning so I thought it was a good opportunity to do some fastballs so I tried to get ahead in the count and then later on in the game me and Blake [Swihart] were able to mix it in in good situations to really keep them off the knuckleball. I just go out there and feel it out. Sometimes I throw more than other times. Today I mixed it in a little bit more in the past." Things got off to a rocky start as he allowed a two-run home run to Jose Abreu in the first inning, which meant all four Red Sox starters allowed multiple runs in the first inning in the series. But, Wright settled in and didn't allow a run after that. The win evens his record at 4-4 after he was winless over his last four starts. It was his first win as a starter since May 23. "Early on I thought he mixed his fastball in well," manager John Farrell said. "Not exclusively to the use of his knuckleball. I think he needed it because he didn't have a real good feel for it the first couple innings. Once he did get the feel for it -- the consistency, the violence, the action in the strike-throwing ability improved across the board. Slowed him down. As they came into this series, we saw for three nights what they did. Started things off the same way, but he settled in and pitched a very solid outing for us." Wright threw a career-high 116 pitches, but you'd never know it by the way he was talking after the game. "I throw knuckleballs, man. I just throw all day," he said.

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