Cashner worked around a leadoff single to record the save in Tuesday's 7-6 extra-inning win over Cleveland. He struck out two in one inning. Brandon Workman was unable to preserve the win in the ninth inning, so the Red Sox needed Cashner for the 10th. Jackie Bradley's home run in the top half of the inning created the opportunity for Cashner, who delivered the first save of his career. His arm was fresh after throwing just 1.2 innings in an abbreviated start Sunday.
Cashner will pitch out of the bullpen moving forward, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. The Red Sox don't need a fifth starter for the rest of August thanks to a flurry of well-placed off days, so the team will proceed with a four-man rotation for the time being while Cashner shifts to a relief role. The veteran right-hander has struggled to a brutal 8.31 ERA, 1.91 WHIP and 21:17 K:BB in 30.1 innings (six starts) since being acquired by the Red Sox at the beginning of the second half, but the hope is that he'll be more effective in shorter stints.
Cashner's spot in the rotation is safe while David Price (wrist) is on the injured list, but he may be removed as the Red Sox consider the rotation moving forward, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. Cashner had yet another shaky start Sunday, walking five and getting the hook after 1.2 innings. He has an 8.01 ERA in six starts for Boston. When asked about Cashner's spot in the rotation, manager Alex Cora would only say the Red Sox will meet Monday to determine how the rotation will line up over the next 19 days, a stretch that includes six off days. Cora is considering skipping starters and using piggyback starters. Once Price is ready to return, the Red Sox might be comfortable removing Cashner from the rotation.
Cashner surrendered three runs on three hits and five walks while striking out one over 1.2 innings Sunday against the Angels. He didn't factor into the decision. Cashner gave up one run in the first inning and two more in the second before being yanked from his start. It became apparent early on that he couldn't find his command, issuing five free passes while firing just 24 of 51 pitches for strikes. The 32-year-old right-hander may be in danger of losing his rotation spot at this point, as he's now allowed 15 earned runs over his last three outings (12.2 frames).
Cashner (10-7) allowed six earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four across 5.1 innings to take the loss Tuesday against the Royals. Cashner served up three home runs -- two to Jorge Soler -- that accounted for five of his six earned runs. Since being dealt to the Red Sox, Cashner has posted a 7.66 ERA and 20:12 K:BB across 28.2 frames. He'll look to get on track in his next start, currently scheduled for Sunday against the Angels.