While it wasn't Allen Webster who was called upon to help out the big league club, he's doing everything possible to ensure that the next time, he will be.
The Red Sox's No. 2 prospect took a shutout into the seventh and ended up fanning seven over a season-high eight innings Friday night as Triple-A Pawtucket beat Norfolk, 7-2.
Webster (3-2) blanked the Tides until allowing a two-out solo homer to Christian Marrero. He allowed a run on three hits, tied a season low by issuing one walk and threw 65 of 102 pitches for strikes.
With Clay Buchholz landing on the disabled list, Webster was one of three pitchers considered to start for the Red Sox on Saturday, along with Rubby De La Rosa and Anthony Ranaudo. Although the club ultimately went with De La Rosa, it was not a slight against Webster.
"It's a tough choice, but it's a good problem to have. I think if you took any one of them, you were picking well," Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur told The Pawtucket Times. "The guys down here, they know they're fighting for their jobs because this is their career.
"I've seen all these guys grow in front of me and mature. I think (Ranaudo and Webster) are going to handle it well."
Webster has pitched well in his return to the International League this year. He's ninth in the circuit with a 2.93 ERA and has a 1.26 WHIP in 12 starts. The 24-year-old right-hander has fanned 50 batters over 67 2/3 innings, the latter total good for third in the league.
MLB.com's No. 38 overall prospect made eight appearances for Boston last year, going 1-2 with an 8.60 ERA.
Tommy Layne followed Webster for the PawSox and allowed a run on one hit in the ninth.
Corey Brown homered and drove in three runs, while Justin Henry had two RBIs for Pawtucket.
Tides starter Kevin Gausman fell to 1-3 after allowing two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked two, fanned seven and threw 48 of 82 pitches for strikes.