Rhys Hoskins launched two solo home runs to take control of the International League lead in homers with his 17th home run, and Cameron Perkins led off the game with a solo home run as the IronPigs (46-24) shutout the Pawtucket Red Sox (34-33) Monday night at McCoy Stadium.
Not to be outdone by his offense, Pigs starter Mark Appel had a fantastic outing as the Dallas native pitched a career-high eight 1/3 innings in the Pigs 5-0 win. The Pigs now tie the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders with their International League leading ninth shutout victory of the season.
The right-hander's previous career-high was eight innings, which he had done twice previously with the last being August 12, 2015 with the Fresno Grizzlies.
Appel entered the bottom of the ninth inning at just over 100 pitches, as Manager Dusty Wathan allowed the 25-year-old an opportunity at just the fourth complete game shutout in franchise history.
Appel surrendered a lead-off walk to former IronPig Brian Bougesevic, he then struck out Sam Travis before surrendering a base hit to Allen Craig. That marked the end for Appel's night as he gave way to Ricardo Pinto with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Pinto then struck out Blake Swihart, and induced a Mike Miller game ending ground out to Hector Gomez who fired across the diamond to Hoskins for the final out. The 2/3 scoreless innings adds on to Pinto's now 11 scoreless innings since moving to the Pig 'Pen.
The Pigs wasted no time giving Appel a lead, as Perkins led off the game with a solo shot to left field to give the Pigs a 1-0 lead.
Hoskins then scored the games next two runs as he hit his 16th and 17th home runs this season. He launched his 16th homer, tying fellow Bash Brother Dylan Cozens and Columbus Clippers Richie Shaffer.
The 24-year-old then launched another solo shot to left field, giving him a league-leading 17th homer of the year and a 3-0 Pigs lead.
Nick Williams, Hector Gomez and Brock Stassi then followed with three singles in a row to load the bases for Angelo Mora. Mora then sent a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Williams to give the Pigs a 4-0 advantage. Perkins then followed with yet another sacrifice fly, as Gomez scored on a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Pigs the 5-0 lead.
The series continues with game two of the three-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium. The Pigs will send right-hander Jake Thompson (2-7, 6.79) and the Paw Sox will send left-hander Jalen Beeks (2-1, 3.38). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The 2017 Season is the IronPigs 10th Anniversary season at Coca-Cola Park and 10th as the top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The IronPigs are debuting the brand-new Bacon, USA, Membership Program this season -- a year-round IronPigs experience pass featuring numerous new amenities such as savings on parking at games and at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park, on-field VIP access to watch batting practice, access to an annual holiday party, an invitation to an exclusive player and coaches photo session and more. For more information, visit ironpigsbaseball.com or call (610) 841-PIGS (7447). Memberships and group outings are on sale now.
The 2017 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.