PawSox Blanked by Iron Pigs for Second Straight Night

PawSox news release…

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Jalen Beeks piled up a season-high nine strikeouts, but the Pawtucket Red Sox fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 7-0, on Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium.

The IronPigs (47-24) won the second game of the three-game set with the PawSox (34-34), who’ve lost five in a row and have gone 23 consecutive innings without a run. The back-to-back shutout losses are Pawtucket’s first such two-game sequence since August 2015.

In his fourth Triple-A start, Beeks (L, 2-2) fanned nine and only allowed four hits in his 6.1 innings of three-run ball. The 23-year old left-hander from Arkansas didn’t allow a hit until the start of the fifth inning and finished one strikeout away from matching a career high (set in June 2016 with Double-A Portland).

Hard-throwing Pawtucket reliever Jamie Callahan allowed two earned runs (three total) on four hits and a walk in one inning, and fellow right-hander Noe Ramirez ceded a run in 1.2 frames.

Lehigh Valley starter Jake Thompson (W, 3-7), who began the night with a 6.79 ERA, followed up Mark Appel’s 8.1-inning gem on Monday and spun eight shutout innings of his own with six punchouts.

A night after his 16-game hitting streak ended, PawSox center fielder Rusney Castillo (3-for-4) collected three more hits, extended his on-base streak to 22 games, the longest active stretch in the International League, and nudged his average to .309.

The teams traded zeroes until the top of the fifth inning, when a single and a walk placed two aboard for leadoff man Pedro Florimon, who blooped a two-run double near the right-field line, where it hit off the glove of a sliding Brian Bogusevic.

Lehigh Valley third baseman Hector Gomez singled to start the seventh and, with one out, Callahan replaced Beeks. The IronPigs tacked on another run — lengthening the lead to 3-0 — on an RBI single up the middle from shortstop and stud prospect J.P. Crawford.

The IronPigs put two on with nobody out in the eighth and made it 4-0 on an error by PawSox shortstop Mike Miller. Later in the inning, Gomez smacked a two-run double into right-center to stretch the lead to 6-0 and chase Callahan.

Pawtucket threatened in the home half of the eighth but left the bases loaded.

Lehigh Valley slugger Rhys Hoskins smoked an RBI single in the ninth.

Pawtucket concludes its three-game series against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday at McCoy Stadium at 6:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Marcus Walden (6-3, 3.10) is scheduled to oppose IronPigs lefty Cesar Ramos (4-1, 2.56).