Portland, Maine – Trey Ball (2-6) pitched six shutout innings, leading the Portland Sea Dogs (33-38) to a 5-1 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (31-44) on Monday night at Hadlock Field.
Portland, Maine – The Harrisburg Senators (32-41) led wire-to-wire and defeated the Sea
The Road Ahead
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — The IronPigs impressive horde of home run hitters drilled a trio of solo shots en route to a 5-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on a rainy Monday night at McCoy Stadium. The PawSox (34-33) were held to just five hits. Including three singles from designated hitter Allen Craig and dropped the opener of the three-game set with the IronPigs (46-24). Lehigh Valley began the night with the third-best record in all of full-season Minor League Baseball.
PawSox starter Shawn Haviland (L, 3-5) worked six-plus innings and yielded five runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Lefty Josh Smith, in his second appearance since being promoted from Double-A Portland, added three shutout stanzas.
Lehigh Valley starter and former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel (W, 5-3) delivered 8.1 shutout innings in the longest outing of his professional career, which now spans 75 starts. The 25-year old fanned eight, walked three and gave up five hits before leaving after 119 pitches with a 5-0 lead and runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Additionally, IronPigs slugging first baseman Rhys Hoskins hit a pair of solo home runs, moving into the International League lead with his 16th and 17th long balls.
Lehigh Valley leadoff man Cam Perkins ripped a solo shot to left field to begin the ballgame, and Hoskins started the second with a blast to center to make it 2-0.
Following zeroes over the next four frames, Hoskins led off the seventh by vaulting the third pitch he saw to left field to extend the gap to 3-0. Then, after a trio of consecutive singles, IronPigs No. 9 hitter Angelo Mora and Perkins lofted sacrifice flies to make it 5-0.
The Road Ahead for the PawSox and IronPigs
Pawtucket continued its three-game series against Lehigh Valley on Tuesday at McCoy Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Jalen Beeks squared off against Jake Thompson.
Radio coverage on of PawSox games can always be found on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network beginning with the PawSox Pre-Game Show.
It’s no secret that the Red Sox pitching staff is struggling. David Price isn’t 100% yet. Drew Pomeranz can’t quite maintain consistency. Rick Porcello can’t win a game. Chris Sale is the only one who’s dominating opposing pitchers. Unfortunately, AAA Pawtucket pitchers don’t offer the Boston Red Sox much in terms of relief.
Henry Owens Continues To Struggle
Henry Owens signed with the Red Sox as a 1st round draft pick (36th overall) in 2011. Many touted him as an eventual addition to the Red Sox rotation but his performance in Boston has been anything but promising. In 16 MLB game starts between 2015 and 2016 Owens is 4-6 with a 5.19 ERA. For now Owens is a mainstay in Pawtucket where he has a 4-4 record with a 3.72 ERA as of June 17th. Owens’ main problem continues to be his control. Unfortunately, unless we see some dramatic improvement, Owens likely won’t make it to the majors anytime soon.
Noe Ramirez Is Questionable
Noe Ramirez signed with the Red Sox in 2011 in the fourth round (142nd overall). While he’s currently 3-2 in Pawtucket as of June 18th, his MLB debut keeps many doubtful about his future. He made his debut with the Red Sox in July of 2015 and pitched an inning of relief. His debut proved disastrous. Ramirez allowed four runs (one unearned) on three hits, hit a batter, and struck out one while picking up the loss. Not exactly a debut that strikes confidence.
Brandon Workman’s 2014 Record Still Haunts Him
Brandon Workman has a 3-1 record with Pawtucket so far this season. Workman pitched well in 2013 finished with a 6-3 record including a perfect 8th inning in Game 6 of the 2013 World Series. 2014 was another story. Not only did he finish with a 1-10 record for a .091 winning percentage, but he received a six game suspension for throwing behind the Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria. A 7-13 MLB record with a suspension under his belt doesn’t make it likely he’ll move up to Boston anytime soon.
Pawtucket Hitters Don’t Offer Much Either
While Pawtucket pitchers aren’t a beacon of hope right now, their hitters aren’t faring much better. Blake Swihart, once a promising player, now lingers in Pawtucket with a .210 batting average as of June 17th. Boston once thought they’d make Swihart a staple behind the plate, or even in left field. But Christian Vazquez is playing better. Andrew Benintendi is doing well in left field. This leaves Swihart’s role with the Red Sox in question. Then there’s Rusney Castillo who, after signing a $72.5 million contact, was supposed to be the next big thing in Boston. While he played okay in 2015 with a .253 batting average, he continues to linger in Pawtucket and goes up to Boston for a cup of coffee here and there. Then there’s Allen Craig…
It’s hard to assign 100% of the blame to these players, especially the hitters. Except for 3rd base, Boston has an everyday man with plenty of utility players to plug the holes. But these players will find it difficult to advance if they’re not traded or start playing better, especially the Pawtucket pitchers.