PawSox Shut Out RailRiders Over Entirety of Evil Empire Weekend
For the second consecutive day, the Pawtucket Red Sox blanked the Triple-A affiliate of the Yankees, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, cruising to another 2-0 win to cap a resounding Evil Empire Weekend at McCoy Stadium.
Following a Chandler Shepherd-led, five-hit combined 2-0 shutout Saturday night, three more PawSox pitchers - starter Justin Haley and relievers Brandon Workman and Bobby Poyner - combined to hold the RailRiders (13-16) to just four hits in the win. The PawSox (15-12), who led the International League in shutout victories in 2017, claimed three of four games in the home-and-home series. Pawtucket, which began the day tied for first in the North Division with the Syracuse Chiefs, is once again a season-high three games over the .500 mark after a third consecutive victory.
Haley (W, 1-4) spun five shutout innings and punched out five before he was replaced in the sixth inning by Workman. The right-hander from Texas entered the game with runners at first and second for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and proceeded to retire the next nine he faced, striking out longtime big leaguer Adam Lind in the sixth for the first out and fanning a pair to end the seventh before eventually handing off the ballgame to Poyner for the ninth. After being added to the Pawtucket roster following his option from Boston, Poyner (S, 1) worked around a Lind single to clamp down the victory.
RailRiders starter and highly-regarded prospect Justus Sheffield (L, 0-1) struck out six in 4.2 innings but walked four, surrendered four hits and allowed the pair of runs.
Pawtucket designated hitter Rusney Castillo, who leads the International League in hits, returned to his perch atop the order and delivered a 3-for-4 day - notching three of the team's four hits.
Pawtucket generated the only offense it would need in the first inning. The PawSox immediately loaded the bases against Sheffield, as Castillo led off with a single, second baseman Ivan De Jesus Jr. walked and first baseman Mike Olt singled. From there, third baseman Jordan Betts and catcher Dan Butler supplied consecutive sacrifice flies to plate Castillo and De Jesus and make it 2-0.
Haley buzzed through the order his first time, striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 first inning and, in total, retiring the first seven he faced.
The PawSox now hit the road again and visit the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) for a three-game series that begins Monday at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Josh Smith (0-0, 0.59 ERA) is scheduled to oppose IronPigs lefty Cole Irvin (1-1, 4.50). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.