PawSox Relievers Help Extend Streak to Eight Wins

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.

PawSox Relievers

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.

Ty Buttrey Back on Track This Season

The prospect game is like battleship— filled with hits and misses.

Last year, it looked like the Boston Red Sox were ready to give up on 2012 MLB draft fourth round pick Ty Buttrey but now, they are glad they stuck with him. His numbers last year compared to his performance now are truly a tale of two cities.

ty buttreyIn his first full season of professional ball, Buttrey got knocked around on a consistent basis. Marred by injury and command issues, he went 0-5 for the Greenville Drive (Red Sox low-A affiliate), posting a 6.85 ERA in 11 starts.

On the contrary, this season he is one of the top pitchers in the system. Already promoted to high-A Salem thanks to four strong outings, he is keeping the ball rolling at the next level. To start the 2015 season, he is 4-0 in seven starts with a 2.31 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 39 innings.

His only flaw is command issues, but even those are inconsistent. Sometimes he can go out there and throw nearly 70% strikes, while other times he might walk six batters.

Of course if the occasional control issue is the 22-year-old’s only problem in the low minors, that is not the worst thing in the world. He strikes guys out at a high rate which is something that scouts look for in the lower levels, even more so than wins or ERA.

As a righty, Buttrey could go in a number of directions in his pro career but for now, the Red Sox will keep him as a starter. If all else fails, he could relieve, but his splits are not dominant one way or the other.

Buttrey might not be as dominant as Layne one way or the other which of course is an advantage as a starter. He still has a long ways to go but this season at least, he is putting himself back on track with the Ty Buttrey whom Boston gave a $1.3 million signing bonus to three years prior.