(Pawtucket, RI) - On the night of the inaugural PawSox Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Brian Johnson delivered a start fit for the big stage, blanking the Scranton RailRiders in a 1-0 victory for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday night at McCoy Stadium.
Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and the late Ben Mondor (represented in the pregame ceremony by his widow Madeleine) were all inducted into the PawSox Hall of Fame before the 2016 pitching staff made all in attendance proud.
Johnson (3-4) tossed six shutout innings in his second start since rejoining the PawSox (55-52) and his first start at McCoy since May 14.
He struck out five, while allowing four hits and no walks in his 82-pitch effort.
"It was enjoyable and it definitely feels good to come back and help the team win," said Johnson. "I was just attacking the glove, keeping things simple and going pitch to pitch."
Johnson retired the final six batters he faced and struck out four of the final five hitters.
"He attacked the zone, had a real good feel for his curveball and had good tempo," said manager Kevin Boles. "His mound presence was completely different from his last start and it was just good to see him walk off the mound with that type of outing."
Chandler Shepherd threw two scoreless innings, while Heath Hembree earned his fourth save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Hembree fanned the final two batters of the game and he has struck out 11 of the last 18 Triple-A hitters he has faced.
The only run of the game came across in the bottom of the third inning against Scranton starter Dietrich Enns (4-2).
Chris Dominguez doubled to center field, advanced to third on Jose Vincio's single to right field and scored on Rusney Castillo's RBI groundout to second base.
Henry Ramos had two hits, including a double, in the victory.
The RailRiders (67-39), owners of the best record in Triple-A, were shut out for only the fifth time this season.
Pawtucket improved to 4-1 on its homestand and has won seven of its last eight home games.
The PawSox continue their three-game series against the RailRiders tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. Pawtucket righthander Justin Haley (4-3, 4.12) is scheduled to take the mound against Scranton righthander Kyle Haynes (4-4, 4.46). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox radio network begins with PawSox Insider at 4:35 p.m.
Good seats for both of this weekend's games, including tomorrow's Xander Bogaerts Bobblehead Giveaway, are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office; call (401) 724-7300 or visit pawsox.com to get your tickets today.