PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Rafael Devers continued his rehab assignment and recorded a second consecutive multi-hit game, but the playoff-bound Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 5-1, in the season finale for the PawSox on Monday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.
The PawSox were limited to four hits and close the season with a 66-73 record. Pawtucket, which used 59 different players this season, were involved in a whopping 74 player moves since July 22 yet still heated up down the stretch (17-12 in August). A resilient team all season, 74 of Pawtucket's 139 games (53 percent) were decided by one or two runs.
Pawtucket pitchers, who notched the second-best ERA as a staff in the International League, set a franchise record with 1,221 strikeouts.
PawSox center fielder Rusney Castillo officially clinched the International League batting crown, as the All-Star hit a league-best .319 in 117 games and also finished second on the circuit with 151 hits. Castillo is the first Pawtucket player to lead the league in batting average since Hall of Famer Wade Boggs hit .335 in 1981 - the year before the 12-time All-Star debuted with the Red Sox as a 24-year-old third baseman. Four different Pawtucket players won the International League batting title in the 1970s, including fellow Hall of Famer Jim Rice, who hit .337 in 1974. Castillo is one of just two PawSox players in the last 15 seasons to eclipse 150 hits, joining Joe Thurston (2008).
Playing in his sixth game with Pawtucket, Devers (hamstring) went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Since joining the squad Wednesday, the 21-year-old is 7-for-21 with two doubles and a homer.
Pawtucket starter Mike Shawaryn (L, 3-2) tossed 5.2 innings of two-run ball and struck out five without a walk, while sidearmer Trevor Kelley chipped in with two crisp, scoreless frames.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Mike King (W, 4-0), a native of Warwick, Rhode Island, who had dozens of family and friends in attendance at McCoy Stadium, fired six innings of one-run work, only allowed three hits (two to Devers) and ended his afternoon by getting a backwards K with runners at the corners in the sixth. King is a product of both Bishop Hendricken and Boston College.
The PawSox placed runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the first inning and capitalized on two Scranton defensive misplays to snatch a 1-0 lead.
With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the fourth inning, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher Wilkin Castillo socked a solo homer to right field to tie the game 1-1.
The RailRiders placed runners at the corners with nobody out in the top of the sixth inning, and a 6-4 fielder's choice vaulted Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in front, 2-1.
An inning later, Scranton loaded the bases and extended its lead to 3-1 on a sacrifice fly.
Pawtucket placed the would-be tying runs aboard in the bottom of the eighth inning, and designated hitter Michael Chavis laced a line drive to third base, where Scranton's Bruce Caldwell made a terrific jumping catch to keep the RailRiders in front.
RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli smacked a two-run homer in the ninth.
The PawSox are tentatively scheduled to open the 2019 season April 4 at Syracuse, which will become a Mets affiliate next year.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.