Steven Wright pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief on two days rest to pick up in the win. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Unsung hero Steven Wright on 2 days rest comes up big for Red Sox in comeback win

Ryan Hannable
June 07, 2015 - 3:27 pm
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Not to be forgotten because of the seven-run eighth inning in the Red Sox' 7-4 comeback win over the A's, is arguably the unsung hero of the game, Steven Wright. Prior to Sunday's game, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "Joe Kelly will pitch Friday here against Toronto and that puts Steven Wright into the bullpen as of today." And when Farrell said today, he actually meant today. After throwing 92 pitches Thursday against the Twins, Wright was called on Sunday following Clay Buchholz going just 4 2/3 innings and allowing four runs. Wright gave the Red Sox 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, to pick up the win. Even though he was on just two days rest, Wright said he knew there was a chance he could get called upon. "Once they put you in the pen, there's always a chance you're going to go in," Wright said. Wright said it was the fastest turnaround he's ever experienced between starting and relieving, but said it wasn't a big deal mentally and didn't need to do anything different physically. "No. I throw knuckleballs, man," he said with a chuckle. Wright is now the team's long relief man with Kelly staying in the rotation. It wasn't that the knuckleballer pitched poorly -- as he went 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts and has gone at least five innings and allowed three earned runs or less in all four '€” it's just Kelly has a better upside with a high 90s fastball and good off-speed pitches to go along with it. Wright said the only difference now is the amount of time he has to get ready. "I just take the same approach no matter what I do," Wright said. "To me, the game plan, there really is no preparation other than just trying to throw quality knuckleballs, so for me it really doesn't matter. Nothing changes for me. Now I have to get ready within 15-20 pitches, rather than having the whole day." Sunday was his second win in relief of the season, both in dramatic fashion, as the first was the 19-inning game against the Yankees in early April and then Sunday's win with seven runs in the eighth after trailing 4-0. "It's just exciting," Wright said. "I just try and go out there and try and keep the team within striking distance. The team did an amazing job coming back there in the eighth." Starter or reliever, it won't change Wright's calm and cool mentality. "I throw knuckleballs, man. I just get up there and throw," he said.

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