BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston bullpen did not have a good Monday evening in Cleveland, squandering a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning before the Indians walked off with a 5-4 win.

But there was some good news just south of Boston, as reliever Carson Smith tossed a perfect 1-2-3 sixth inning for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Smith, who is on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery, came in to a 2-2 game and needed just 14 pitches to retire the Buffalo Bison in his fifth appearance for the PawSox. He retired the first batter he faced on an easy comebacker before striking out the next two, getting Dwight Smith Jr. looking at a fastball and Teoscar Hernandez swinging on a slider.

The PawSox would lose 6-3 after Buffalo scored four runs in the top of the ninth, but Monday’s showing was another step in the right direction for Smith.

The 27-year-old reliever, who has pitched just 2.2 innings for the Red Sox since being acquired ahead of the 2016 season, now has six minor league innings under his belt during his comeback. In 4.1 innings for the PawSox, Smith has surrendered two runs off of four hits and two walks while striking out five. He’s tossed three 1-2-3 innings in Triple-A, and may be ready for a promotion at some point in the near future.

The Red Sox probably won’t be able to count on Smith during the playoffs, but the righty may be able to provide another arm for the pen down the stretch of the regular season.

 

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