Chris Johnson Homers Twice, Tides Blank PawSox To Complete Four-Game Sweep

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Rafael Devers tallied three hits, but the Norfolk Tides connected on a trio of solo home runs in the first three innings and topped the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.

The PawSox (50-49) mustered 10 hits but stranded 10 and couldn’t avoid the four-game sweep at the hands of the Tides (44-57).

Devers, in his ninth Triple-A game, went 3-for-4 with three singles, including a bunt base hit rolled down the third-base line against a Norfolk defense that continually shifted him to pull.

PawSox starter Brian Johnson (L, 3-2) worked 6.1 innings and allowed the three runs on seven hits and a walk to go along with five strikeouts. Right-handed reliever Noe Ramirez struck out three of the six batters he faced and has now recorded 16 punchouts in his last six outings, spanning seven innings.

Norfolk starter Gabriel Ynoa (W, 3-8) logged 5.1 shutout stanzas and scattered seven hits, while relievers Matt Wotherspoon (1.2 IP, 4 K) and Jimmy Yacabonis (S, 8) finished off the combined shutout.

Tides second baseman Chris Johnson and catcher Francisco Peña drilled back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning with one out, and Johnson mashed another solo shot off the batter’s eye in the third.

The PawSox, meanwhile, stranded runners at the corners in the fourth, left the bases loaded in the fifth and left a pair at first and second in the eighth.

Pawtucket now begins an eight-game road trip Monday at 7:05 p.m. against the Toledo Mud Hens. PawSox right-hander Héctor Velázquez (6-1, 1.48) is scheduled to oppose Mud Hens righty Drew VerHagen (7-7, 4.90). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.

The PawSox return home next Tuesday (August 1) to begin a three-game series through Thursday. Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to for tickets.