Ryan L. Fox
Rain or shine, nothing was going to keep the Pawtucket Red Sox from facing off against the Rochester Red Wings their series opener.
Taking the mound for the Pawtucket Red Sox was Chandler Shepherd (0-1, 6.75 in 3 starts), looking for his first win of the 2018 season against the visiting Rochester Red Wings. Unfortunately the Red Wings made Shepherd wait at least another turn in the rotation for his first win of the season.
The Red Wings wasted no time jumping onto Shepherd. After CF Nick Buss flied out to left, the next 4 Red Wings batters reached base as 3 of them crossed the plate to give the visitors the quick 3-0 lead.
For the next two innings, the PawSox could only manage just 2 hits total. Then in the bottom of the 3rd inning, the PawSox were poised for a breakout inning. After SS Mike Miller got on base via walk, he was able to score on an RBI single to center by RF Rusney Castillo. Then 2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. got on base via single with no out followed by a long pop-up to first base side that allowed Castillo to tag up and advanced to third. But with runners at the corner, C Mike Ohlman grounded into an inning-ending double-play.
During the following inning, Shepherd started off strong by getting the first two Red Wing batters he faced out. But after giving up a hit and then a walk, PawSox skipper Kevin Boles pulled him in favor of RHP Ty Buttrey. Buttrey then gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, C Willians Astudillo, that ended up driving in a run to push the Red Wings lead to 4-1.
For the next couple of innings offense was at a premium with both teams getting no hits. Boles continued to use his bullpen, going to Robby Scott to pitch in the top of the 6th inning after Buttery.
Then in the top of the 7th inning, Boles decided to go with RHP Tyler Thornburg, who was on an MLB injury rehab assignment after recovering from right shoulder thoracic outlet surgery during Spring Training earlier this year. After the first man Thornburg faced got on via a double, he proceeded to mow throw the next three batters on strikeouts. He was then pulled from the game in favor of RHP Kyle Martin to begin the top of the 8th inning.
However the Red Wings pushed in another run across the plate the following in, thanks to a sac fly to left by LF Jake Cave to score teammate SS Gregorio Petit to push the Red Wings lead to 5-1.
After the ballgame, PawSox skipper sat down with the media for a Q & A session about the game. During of which, he discussed about reliever Tyler Thornburg's performance, whether or not he will be make another game appearance in Pawtucket, the performance of starter Chandler Shepherd, and more.
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