Pawtucket's Johnson puts up seven zeros

Red Sox No. 10 prospect sharp in third start since shoulder injury

Brian Johnson is 32-23 with a 2.62 ERA over 485 innings in 96 career Minor League starts. (Kelly O'Connor)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | July 13, 2017 9:03 PM ET

Brian Johnson showed Thursday night that he is all the way back from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of June.

Boston's No. 10 prospect gave up three hits, walked two and struck out two over seven innings as Triple-A Pawtucket blanked Syracuse, 5-0, at NBT Bank Stadium.

Johnson (3-1) worked around baserunners in five frames. However, the Chiefs never put more than one man aboard in an inning and only Spencer Kieboom advanced past first base after leading off the second with a double.


Gameday box score


"Part of my game is attacking the strike zone with all my pitches and not being predictable," Johnson said. "For me, that's the biggest thing, whether there are runners on base or not."

The left-hander threw 57 of his 90 pitches for strikes and relied heavily on a particular one in his longest start since May 20.

"I threw a ton of fastballs," the Lakeland, Florida native said. "I think in the first two innings I didn't throw anything but fastballs. [Catcher Dan Butler] and I got onto the same page quick and everything worked out pretty well."

Video: PawSox's Johnson registers a strikeout

Johnson went on the 10-day disabled list June 15 after suffering a left shoulder impingement while in the Major Leagues. After a brief rehab appearance with Class A Short Season Lowell on June 30, he rejoined the PawSox on July 5 to face Rochester.

The 26-year-old took things slowly at first, allowing three runs on five hits through 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Red Wings. But Thursday, he said everything felt perfect.

"Everything has been going well," the 6-foot-4, 235-pound hurler said. "My shoulder feels great. I'm just happy to be back and injury-free."

The 2012 first-round pick sports a 2.68 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 20 walks over 57 innings in 10 starts for Pawtucket this season. He's also 2-0 with a 4.29 ERA in four starts with Boston.

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Back in the International League, Johnson hopes to continue fine-tuning his game so he will be ready to contribute in the Majors again.

"Fastball command can always get better, no matter how good you are at it," the University of Florida product said. "That, and for me in hitters' counts, mixing in my off-speed pitches is [important]."

Brian Bogusevic plated two runs, while Butler finished 3-for-4 and scored three times for the PawSox.

Syracuse starter Jacob Turner (0-1) surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings.

Longtime Major League veteran Edwin Jackson surrendered his first run in 17 1/3 innings spanning seven appearances with the Chiefs. He gave up five hits in three innings Thursday.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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