Red Wings shutout Pawtucket on the road
PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Sharp outings from a trio of relievers weren't enough for the Pawtucket Red Sox, who couldn't solve Rochester starter Stephen Gonsalves in a 2-0 loss Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium.
The PawSox (11-11), who for the third time this season played as Los Osos Polares in partnership with Minor League Baseball to celebrate the team's surrounding Hispanic community at Tuesday night games, were limited to three hits and dropped their second game to begin the three-game series with the Red Wings (10-10). After ascending a season-high three games over the .500 mark following Saturday's win at Buffalo, Pawtucket has dropped three in a row and been held to one run combined (a lone run in Monday's 5-1 loss to the Red Wings) dueing the slide.
Pawtucket starter Justin Haley (L, 0-4) only ceded two runs in five innings of work, scattering seven hits, fanning five and not issuing a free pass, but Gonsalves (W, 1-0) one-upped Haley and shined in his 2018 Triple-A debut. Gonsalves, a 23-year old former fourth-round pick out of high school, fired 7.2 innings of one-hit, shutout work with five strikeouts and merely one walk. Gonsalves allowed a one-out single to Jordan Betts in the second inning and then cruised until he allowed a leadoff walk to begin the bottom of the eighth inning.
The PawSox bullpen kept the squad within striking distance, as left-hander Williams Jerez punched out three in two innings of one-hit work, Bobby Poyner worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Ryan Brasier struck out in a clean ninth.
Pawtucket center fielder Rusney Castillo singled in the bottom of the ninth inning - stretching his team-best on-base streak to 13 games - as the PawSox mounted a threat. Third baseman Chad De La Guerra had led off the frame with a single to center, and Castillo later reached to place runners at first and second with just one out. However, Red Wings reliever Alan Busenitz (S, 1) collected back-to-back strikeouts to squelch the threat and save Gonsalves' gem.
With Haley and Gonsalves trading zeroes to begin the ballgame, Rochester finally broke through in the top of the fifth inning when Kennys Vargas smacked a two-out solo homer to right-center field to make it 1-0. Leonardo Reginatto then singled and advanced to third on a balk and a wild pitch, allowing Jake Cave to reel him in with an RBI double to left, widening the gap to 2-0.
Pawtucket concludes its three-game series with Rochester on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. PawSox right-hander Marcus Walden (0-3, 9.00) is scheduled to oppose Red Wings righty Myles Jaye (0-1, 6.59). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 11:35 a.m.