Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski made his major-league debut in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
Serving as Boston’s 27th man for the twin bill and donning the No. 73, Winckowski allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over three innings of work.
Both of those Baltimore runs came in the top of the third. After working his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and recording his first career punchout in the second, Winckowski ran into trouble in the third. The right-hander yielded a leadoff single to Austin Hays and a seven-pitch walk to Anthony Santander. The right-hander then got the first two outs of the frame before giving up an RBI single to Ramon Urias and three-run home run to Rougned Odor.
Odor’s 410-foot blast came off a 1-0, 93.8 mph sinker from Winckowski that was at the bottom of the zone. It gave the Orioles a 4-0 lead and played a key role in Winckowski’s day ending after just three innings. He was relieved by left-hander Austin Davis and ultimately took the loss as Boston fell to Baltimore by a final score of 4-2.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 62 (36 strikes), the 23-year-old hurler threw 29 sinkers, 16 sliders, 16 four-seam fastballs, and one changeup. He induced seven swings-and-misses between those four pitches while hovering around 92-97 mph with his fastball.
Winckowski, who turns 24 next month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system, which ranks sixth among pitchers in the organization.
Since he served as the club’s 27th man, Winckowski will more than likely be optioned back down to Triple-A Worcester following the conclusion of Saturday’s night cap.
(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)