Josh Winckowski wasn’t aware of the rather dubious milestone he passed by picking up the win in the Red Sox’ 7-2 win over Milwaukee on Sunday, but based on the right-hander’s nervous chuckle, it was a good thing.
He became the first Sox starter since Rich Hill in a June 26 win over Cleveland to get a winning decision, thus helping the Celtics avoid joining the 2022 Pirates and 1996 Tigers as the only teams in MLB history to not get a win from a starter in a calendar month.
Winckowski’s afternoon – five innings pitched, two runs, seven hits – was also an improvement over his last start, when he gave up five runs, including two homers, in a three-inning outing against Cleveland last Tuesday.
He had just come off the COVID list at the time.
“It never feels great to have a bad start, and the last one wasn’t very good, but I’ve always prided myself on bouncing back,” he said. “Did that today, kept the team in the game.”
Alex Cora said that while there is not a timetable on Trevor Story’s return from a hairline fracture in his right wrist, the hope is to have the second baseman back at some point this month.
“It’s good. He’s gonna stay back, but talked to him today and he’s feeling better,” Cora said of a road trip that starts Monday night in Houston. “The goal is for him to be ready at some point this month. Don’t want to put a timetable, that’s unfair for the player, but the way things are going and the way he’s feeling it seems that at one point this month he’ll be part of this.”
Story is wearing a brace on his wrist.
Vazquez climbs the iron man list
There’s many reasons Christian Vazquez would like to remain in Boston. In terms of longevity, he moved into fifth all-time among Red Sox catchers on Saturday, and has now played in 651 games at the position.
Trade rumors be damned, as they say.
“If it’s affecting him he’s not showing it on the field. He’s been great,” said Cora. “When you’re good, people want you and are going to talk about you. The goal here is for Christian to finish with us this year and enjoy it. I know there’s a lot of talk but that’s the business. He’s going with 30 teams.
“Just happened we’ve struggled lately, but it’s half empty or half full, and it’s still half full for us. Very proud of him on a personal level, and he’s matured a lot. No more empty fly falls to right field. There’s a lot of line drives. He’s made some adjustments, and whenever we have a close game that’s the guy we want in the eighth or ninth inning at the plate, because he’s been clutch, too.”