Jackie Bradley homers in minor league game Wednesday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Pawtucket) – Jackie Bradley Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday in style on Wednesday night at BB&T Ballpark, hitting one of the Pawtucket Red Sox’ two home runs en route to a 4-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

Bradley, playing in his second game with the PawSox (7-6) as part of his rehab assignment and recovery from a right knee sprain, went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with his solo blast.

Pawtucket starter Héctor Velázquez (W, 1-0) and relievers Brandon Workman, Blaine Boyer and Noe Ramirez combined to stymie the Knights (5-8) and even the three-game series at a game apiece. In his second start of the season, Velázquez spun five shutout frames, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out three. Workman added two perfect innings and piled up five punchouts. In three appearances totaling seven innings this season, Workman has only allowed two baserunners.

In his PawSox debut, Boyer, who was added to the roster Tuesday and has pitched parts of 10 MLB seasons with seven different teams, worked a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts.

Pawtucket pitching has now logged 17 consecutive scoreless innings since Charlotte’s three-run first in Tuesday’s series opener.

PawSox designated hitter Josh Rutledge, who also joined the team Tuesday to begin a rehab assignment for his left hamstring strain, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Charlotte starter and top prospect Lucas Giolito (L, 0-2) racked up eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings of three-run ball. The righty allowed four hits, including two home runs, and walked three.

With two outs and nobody on in the top of the fifth, Bradley lined a solo rocket to right-center field, lifting Pawtucket ahead 1-0. Neither team had scored a run in the previous 12 innings in the series.

The next inning, cleanup man Matt Dominguez smashed his first home run of the season – a two-run shot to left to prop up the PawSox to a 3-0 lead.

Pawtucket added insurance in the eighth inning when left fielder Junior Lake stroked an RBI single up the middle to score Dominguez and extend the margin to 4-0.

The bullpen buttoned up the win for Pawtucket’s second shutout victory of the young season.

The PawSox conclude their three-game series in Charlotte against the Knights on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Henry Owens (1-0, 0.82) is scheduled to oppose Charlotte righty Tyler Danish (1-1, 2.25). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.

The PawSox return home to McCoy Stadium April 25-30. Good seats 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.

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