MOOSIC, Penn. - Rafael Devers smacked a two-run homer in a three-run fifth inning for the Pawtucket Red Sox, who blanked the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 3-0, on Saturday evening at PNC Field.
Following a 3-1 loss Friday in the opener of the four-game, season-ending, home-and-home series, the PawSox (66-71) responded Saturday night to level the series with the RailRiders (71-65). Four Pawtucket pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout.
After scheduled starter William Cuevas was called up to Boston with the expanded big-league rosters, Pawtucket left-hander Josh D. Smith made a spot start and fired four shutout innings of three-hit ball in which he struck out two and didn't issue a walk. From there, young right-hander Travis Lakins (W, 1-0) tossed two scoreless stanzas and lowered his Triple-A ERA to 1.65. Fellow righty Fernando Rodriguez Jr. sailed through a 1-2-3 seventh inning and maneuvered out of a bases-loaded bind in the eighth. Sinkerballer Marcus Walden (S, 2) earned his second save of the season in the ninth.
Rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers went 1-for-4 with his two-run jack and played all nine innings at third. Pawtucket shortstop Mike Miller continued his second-half surge with a hit and two walks out of the leadoff spot.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Nestor Cortes (L, 6-6) ceded three runs in five innings with a half-dozen strikeouts.
The PawSox struck for all three runs in the top of the fifth inning. After catcher Dan Butler doubled and right fielder Aneury Tavarez dropped down a bunt single, Butler later scored on a 4-6-3 double-play ball to make it 1-0. Following a Miller walk, Devers went deep to triple the lead to 3-0.
Following their final road trip of the season, the PawSox now head home to McCoy Stadium for the final two games of 2018 - beginning Sunday at 6:15 p.m. against Scranton. Pawtucket right-hander Josh A. Smith (5-5, 4.16) is slated to start opposite RailRiders righty Adonis Rosa (2-1, 3.71). The game will be televised live on myRITV, and radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 5:45 p.m.
The PawSox conclude the season Sunday (6:15 p.m.) and Monday (1:35 p.m.) at McCoy Stadium. Good tickets are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.