Ryan L. Fox
If you thought the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees was only just in the MLB level, the rivalry has trickle down into their Triple-A clubs, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. Earlier this week, the PawSox and Railriders faced off against each other down in Moosic, Pennsylvania, for a minor 2-game series with each team winning one game in dramatic fashion.
The two teams then traveled up to McCoy to continue their series over the weekend. Chandler Shepherd (0-2, 7.36) took the mound for the PawSox in their Saturday night match up as he faced off against Railriders LHP Josh Rogers (2-2, 3.00).
The beginning of the game looked all too similar for Shepherd. After getting the leadoff man to fly out, the next two RailRiders batters he faced got on base and into scoring position with only one out in the inning. Fortunately for Shepherd, he got RailRiders 1B Mike Ford to line out to shortstop and then struck out C Kratz for the final out of the inning to get out of the inning unscathed.
That would be the only time that Shepherd would face that kind of situation.
For the remainder of the game, Shepherd stymied the RailRiders. Over the next 6 innings of work, only 3 RailRiders batters made it on base and those batters never made it past first base.
On the offensive side, the PawSox got a big lift in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Facing a 3-2 count , DH Mike Olt took a Rogers pitch deep to left for a solo home run to give his team the early 1-0 lead. Then in the 5th inning, with two men on base and one out, 1B Jordan Betts smacked a single to left that scored C Mike Ohlman from second to push the lead to 2-0.
After Shepherd finished pitching in the 7th inning, PawSox skipper Kevin Boles decided to go to the bullpen. He brought RHP Tyler Thornburg to pitch in the top of the 8th. Continuing his MLB rehab assignment with the PawSox, Thornburg gave up one single in the inning while striking out another batter and inducing 2 popup outs.
Then in the top of the 9th, Boles went to LHP Robby Scott to close things out. Scott struck out the first batter he faced and then induced a pop up out in foul territory. Finally with the last batter he faced, RailRiders 3B Tyler Wade, Scott struck him out for the final out as the PawSox got the 2-0 victory.
Shepherd collected his first win of the season. He went 7 innings, giving up just 4 hits, hit 1 batter, and struck out 5 RailRiders batters. He also lowered his season ERA from 7.36 to 5.33.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. to conclude the 4-game series as well as 'Evil Empire' weekend. Taking the mound for the PawSox is RHP Justin Haley (0-4, 4.32) as he will go against LHP Justus Sheffield (NR) of the RailRiders.
After the game, PawSox skipper Kevin Boles sat down with the media for his Postgame Q & A to discuss about Shepherd's outing, Thornburg's rehab status and where he is at now, and much more.
Also RHP Tyler Thornburg spoke with the media after the game, talking about his outing against the Railriders, how he's progressing through his rehab, and more.
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