Trevor May struck out 11 and allowed just three hits, leading the Red Wings to a 6-1 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox 6-0 Monday night at Frontier Field.
The PawSox lineup included rehabbing Boston players Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks. Both players played five innings and went 0-2 at the plate. Victorino is in Pawtucket for the second time this year and wants, most of all, to make sure there is no third trip.
"I'm going in the right direction. Body feels good. I want to get there sooner than later. I want to get there as fast as I can," Victorino said. "It's ultimately knowing we want to get me out there and stay healthy the rest of the year and don't have these injuries lingering or re-surfacing."
Monday's pitching match-up featured two top right-handed prospects, the PawSox' Allen Webster and May. Both came into Monday's game in the International League for lowest ERA; May's .209 BAA was second best in the IL, and Webster brought a .236 BAA to the mound.
May had a one-two-three first inning, helped put by a nice play by second baseman James Beresford to rob Middlebrooks of a hit up the middle. Sox second baseman Mookie Betts' fine defensive play took away a hit from Beresford in the Red Wings;Deibinson Romero's two-out double was the only Wings baserunner Webster allowed in the first.
May breezed through the second and third innings, notching a strikeout in each. Webster worked around singles in the Wings' second and third innings, but kept the game scoreless.
Betts doubled to open the fourth inning, the PawSox' first hit of the game. May responded by striking out Victorino and retiring the next two batters on flyouts.
The Wings took the lead in their half of the fifth, after May retired the Sox in order in the top of the fifth. Wilkin Ramirez doubled with one out, and moved to third base on a wild pitch with Doug Bernier at bat. Bernier lifted a long flyball to center field, more than deep enough to score Ramirez for a 1-0 Red Wings lead.
Betts tripled with two outs in the sixth inning, and May fielded pinch-hitter Mike McCoy's bunt cleanly and threw to first for the final out. In the bottom of the frame, Romero did Betts one better - launching a two-out homer into the Pawtucket bullpen in left field, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead. It was the fifth homer of the season for Romero.
Chris Colabello and Josmil Pinto followed with hits, prompting a mound visit by PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur. Webster retired Brad Nelson on a flyball to left to strand the runners.
May struck out the middle of the order in the seventh, giving him nine strikeouts in the game - the fourth game this season he has recorded eight or more strikeouts.
Webster (3-4) left after throwing 94 pitches, 59 for strikes over his six innings of work. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out five. Alex Wilson took over to face the Wings in the seventh, and quickly had runners at first and second after Ramirez singled and Bernier walked. Ramirez and Bernier pulled off a double steal to improve the Wings' scoring chance. Chris Rahl followed with a triple to bring in both runners, boosting the Wings' lead to 4-0. Beresford's sacrifice fly plated Rahl, making it 5-0.
When May struck out Corey Brown in the eighth inning, it gave him 11 strikeouts in the game, and five straight batters retired by strikeout. The 11 strikeouts tied his season-best, which came at home against Louisville May 1.
With Jeremy Kehrt on the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning, Pinto slashed a one-out single, and Nelson followed with a double. The single was Pinto's third hit of the game. Bernier's single with two outs brought in Pinto for a 6-0 Wings advantage.
May took the mound in the ninth, got a quick groundout, then walked the next two batters. A single by Garin Cecchini ended the shutout and May's night on the mound, with Aaron Thompson coming out of the bullpen. May (7-4) exited to a standing ovation from the crowd, having thrown 120 pitches (83 for strikes) and allowing three hits, an earned run and a walk.
Thompson retired both batters he faced. The Wings bullpen has not thrown 17 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
The series with Pawtucket continues with a 7:05 p.m. game Tuesday.