How did Red Sox pitching prospect Josh Winckowski fare in major-league debut?

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)

Red Sox Option Robert Stock to Pawtucket in Order to Make Room on Roster for Kyle Hart

As you may already be aware, left-hander Kyle Hart will be making his major-league debut for the Red Sox on Thursday evening. In order to make that happen, however, the Sox had to option right-hander Robert Stock to the club’s alternate training site in Pawtucket.

Stock, 30, was initially recalled by Boston on August 11, a little over two weeks after he was claimed off waivers from the Phillies on July 27.

In his brief first go-around with the Red Sox, the University of Southern California product allowed one unearned run on two hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings of relief this past Tuesday against the Rays.

Stock threw 42 pitches, just 18 of which were strikes, in his Red Sox debut and topped out at 98.9 mph with his four-seam fastball. It would not be a surprise to see the flamethrower up with the big-league club once again sometime in the near future.

As for Hart, the former 19th-round draft pick out of the University of Indiana will be making his long-awaited major-league debut Thursday exactly four years after making his first professional start for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox on August 13, 2016.

The 27-year-old southpaw had been limited to just working in intrasquad games against his teammates at McCoy Stadium since last month, but he will now have the chance to make a strong first impression against the Rays at Fenway Park.

For Hart, command over velocity will be key.

“If you’re not dialed in, locating, then for me, I’m probably not going to be in the game very long if I’m not locating because that’s almost not an option for me,” he told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo and Christopher Smith on the Fenway Rundown podcast. “But if you’re not locating, then you have to attack with whatever you have that day in the zone. And that kind of goes with trusting your catcher and trusting your defense. We’ve got a pretty darn good defense up here. When in doubt, I want to try to let them make a play. My philosophy is pretty simple on pitching. I want to get a guy out on the first three or four pitches. So I’m trying to miss their barrel early on. When I get to two strikes, I’m trying to miss the bat. That’s kind of how I think about it. If I get to two strikes, I’m going to give you my best punch-out pitch and miss your whole bat. Early in the count, I want to miss your barrel and get you out.”

Hart will take the mound for the Red Sox for the very first time at approximately 4:30 p.m. eastern time on Thursday. The series finale against Tampa Bay will be broadcast on NESN and WEEI.