Portland, Maine – The Sea Dogs (44-50) were propelled by a season-high five home runs, as Portland beats Hartford (44-51) 12-6 in the series opener on Thursday night at Hadlock Field.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Three days after the Red Sox played a 16-inning marathon at Fenway Park, the ripple effects extended to McCoy Stadium, where a wave of PawSox relievers combined on a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over the Toledo Mud Hens on Tuesday.
“I’ll tell you what, this bullpen what they did tonight [was great], because we had some moves, some guys go to the big leagues,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said.
With Brian Johnson and Héctor Velázquez promoted to Boston earlier in the day, the PawSox bullpen stepped up to stifle the Mud Hens and power Pawtucket (50-44) to an eighth consecutive win and a 10th victory in the last 11 games. The PawSox notched their 14th shutout win of the season, the most in the International League.
On a bullpen day, PawSox reliever Chandler Shepherd made the spot start and tossed two shutout innings with a strikeout. Ty Buttrey (W, 1-1), who was sent to Double-A Portland over the weekend and returned to Pawtucket on Tuesday, fanned four in three scoreless stanzas of one-hit ball. Jamie Callahan punched out three in two strong frames of his own, and left-hander Robby Scott, who had spent all of the season with the Red Sox until his option Tuesday, got the next four outs before righty Noe Ramirez nabbed the final two.
PawSox right fielder Bryce Brentz (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) lofted his 20th home run of the season, tied for second-most in the International League, and designated hitter Rafael Devers went 2-for-4 with a line drive single up the middle and a hard grounder through the right side. Left fielder Ryan Court (1-for-3, BB) extended his hitting streak to 16 games, tied for the longest by a Pawtucket player this season.
Rehabbing Tigers starter Daniel Norris (L) logged three innings and surrendered five runs (four earned) on three hits and a pair of walks to go along with four strikeouts.
Pawtucket placed the first two aboard to begin the bottom of the first and, with two outs, third baseman Matt Dominguez yanked a two-run double down the left-field line and then scored himself on a throwing error to make it 3-0.
In the third, Brentz skied a towering two-run homer to the right-center bleachers to stretch the lead to 5-0. Five innings later, he made it 6-0 when he drilled an RBI double off the wall in straightaway center.
The Road Ahead
The PawSox continue their series with the Toledo Mud Hens on Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox right-hander Kyle Kendrick (3-6, 6.84) is scheduled to oppose Mud Hens righty Drew VerHagen (6-7, 4.95). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 10:35 a.m.
The seven-game homestand runs through Sunday. 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 PawSox.com for tickets.
At some point this summer, the Rafael Devers promotion was inevitable, especially considering his dominance of Double-A and the lack of organizational at third base. In Portland, Devers hit an even .300 with 56 RBI and 18 HR in 77 games. Of course, that was more than enough production to gain a call-up to Pawtucket.
Thus, the 20-year-old is a stud. No questions asked. But that’s exactly why the Red Sox shouldn’t rush him.
Whenever this topic is brought up, a lot of comparisons are made to Andrew Benintendi (age 21) last season. However, Benintendi had already played two full seasons of D-I college ball in the Southeastern Conference before he was even drafted. Devers, on the other hand, was signed at age 17 and has less than 80 games in the high minors.
Dave Dombrowski vowed in a press conference on Friday that the Red Sox would not put pressure on Devers to contribute during a pennant race.
Ultimately, Devers needs the extra time in Triple-A to develop his defense and mature in all facets before he is rushed to Boston. I believe the Red Sox can invest in the 2017 team and make them competitive for a championship. I also believe they can do this without rushing another Rafael Devers promotion and certainly without trading him.
Best Course of Action
If the Red Sox want to acquire Todd Frazier or Martin Prado on a rental and buy time for Devers then I’m all ears. But Red Sox fans should not want to over pay with prospects and commit to Prado or Frazier long term. Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero could get the job done as long as the rest of the lineup hits.
The team finally solved their shortstop problem with Xander Bogaerts. Now they need to solve their third base problem with Rafael Devers.
By season’s end, he’ll probably have about 175-225 AB’s with the PawSox. Should he have a phenomenal Spring Training in February, the job could be Devers’ in April.
Although regardless of how this season or the spring pans out, it’s important to not rush young talent. There’s a certain third baseman in Round Rock, TX that could agree, and he shares my name.
Manchester, NH – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (35-55) scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back, defeating the Portland Sea Dogs (42-45), 15-8, Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The series is now tied at one game apiece.
Finishing Up in The Granite State
Weekend Series Ahead
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Backed by a Jhonny Peralta home run, the Pawtucket Red Sox earned a pair of 5-2 victories over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Saturday night at McCoy Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 10,032.
Pawtucket smacked three home runs and outhit the RailRiders (49-32), 13-3, in the first game and followed that up with a second win just hours later thanks to a pair of blasts.
In the first game, Jhonny Peralta debuted at third base and went 2-for-5 with a double and a solo home run to left.
Red Sox utility man Brock Holt (vertigo) began another rehab assignment in the second game, batted leadoff and served as the designated hitter. Holt went 1-for-3 with a soft line drive single over short.
Rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (inner ear infection) went 1-for-8 in the two games with a no-doubt, solo homer yanked to left in the second game.
PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz continued his recent surge by combining to go 4-for-7 with a home run, two doubles and a walk. Brentz now has 18 home runs this season, including five this week.
PawSox starting pitcher Jalen Beeks threw the first three innings Friday and stacked up five strikeouts over the three frames of one-hit ball. Right-handed reliever Jamie Callahan (W, 1-1) retired all six batters he faced with a trio of strikeouts, and righty Austin Maddox (S, 2) stranded two in a scoreless ninth.
RailRiders reliever J.R. Graham (L, 0-1) allowed two runs on four hits over two stanzas.
Before the game was suspended Friday, Peralta pulled a one-out double to left in the first inning, and, two batters later, Brentz clobbered a two-run shot to left-center — his 18th homer of the season and his fifth of the week.
After the game’s resumption Saturday, the RailRiders tied the game in the fifth when designated hitter Jake Cave blasted a two-run shot to right-center.
PawSox left fielder Ryan Court, however, pushed Pawtucket back ahead with an opposite-field, two-run long ball in the bottom of the sixth, making it 4-2.
Peralta hit a solo homer to left in the eighth to add an insurance run.
Following, Héctor Velázquez (W, 5-1) worked six-plus innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts. Right-hander Brandon Workman (S, 2) entered, fanned two and buttoned up the victory.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Dietrich Enns (L, 0-1) retired the first 10 batters he faced but ceded three runs on four hits and a walk in five frames.
The PawSox broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Sandoval crushed a solo homer over the left-field bullpen and became the first Pawtucket batter to reach against Enns.
Aneury Tavarez bounced a two-run single up the middle in the fifth to stretch the lead to 3-0.
In the sixth, Pawtucket first baseman Matt Dominguez hammered a two-run blast to center to make it 5-0.
The RailRiders climbed on the board in the seventh on a two-run long ball from left fielder Devyn Bolasky.
The PawSox continue their four-game series Sunday at 6:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox right-hander Shawn Haviland (4-5, 3.86) is scheduled to oppose RailRiders righty Chance Adams (5-2, 2.27). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 5:35 p.m.
The four-game home series runs through Monday at McCoy Stadium. Box seats are sold out for Monday’s game, and other seats are going fast. 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 PawSox.com for tickets.