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It was quite an exciting week for the Pawtucket Red Sox. After slipping just out of first place due to a 1-7 slide, the Sox roared back with four wins in four days in four different cities to reclaim the penthouse.
McCoy Stadium hosted another rehab on Monday, with Daisuke Matsuzaka making his first start for Pawtucket since 2010. Matsuzaka took the roster spot vacated by
Mike Schmidt Will Middlebrooks. Daisuke will make one last rehab start on Saturday before being called up to the big club. Boston called up Andrew Miller to fill the roster spot that was vacated when Jose Iglesias was sent back down to Pawtucket. Jesse Carlson remains the only player on the DL.
Ross Ohlendorf couldn’t build on his previous start and struggled to complete three innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks. For Toledo, Doug Fister was the polar opposite, tossing four shutout innings while giving up only two hits. Nate Spears hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning off of Austin Wood to close the gap to two runs, but Zach Miner, Jose Ortega, and Chris Bootcheck threw 4.2 innings of two-hit ball to close the door. Ryan Lavarnway struggled, allowing stolen bases on all six of Toledo’s attempts while going 0-4 at the plate.
Tony Pena, Jr. turned in another underwhelming performance, giving up three runs on seven hits over three innings while striking out only one to increase his ERA to 6.75. Mauro Gomez hit his ninth homer of the year in the fifth inning off of Mud Hens starter Casey Crosby to cut the Toledo lead in half, but Sox reliever Justin Thomas gave the runs right back in the sixth. Pawtucket had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, but Mauro Gomez struck out and Josh Kroeger flied out to end the game.
Second-inning doubles from Daniel Nava and Jose Iglesias gave Pawtucket an early 4-0 lead. Sox starter Justin Germano posted a good line of 5 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 K. Andrew Miller, Alex Wilson, and Garrett Mock were stellar in relief, allowing just two hits over the last four innings. Ryan Lavarnway hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth that plated Jose Iglesias to provide an insurance run.
The Sox bats got off to a hot start against Yankees starter Nelson Figueroa, lighting him up for eight runs before chasing him in the fourth. For Pawtucket, Brandon Duckworth had a solid outing, striking out seven over 5.2 innings while giving up a sole run. Mauro Gomez hit his 10th bomb of the year off of Scranton reliever Michael O’Connor in the seventh to give the Red Sox a 9-1 lead. Daniel Nava went 3-5 with a double and two runs batted in.
This game was originally scheduled to be played in Batavia, but after the Yankees announced that Andy Pettitte would be making his last rehab start on May 6th, the demand for tickets was so overwhelming that the game was relocated to Rochester’s Frontier Field. Over 13,000 fans showed up to see Pettitte get outpitched by opposing starter Doug Mathis. Defense was sloppy for both sides, as each team committed two errors and gave up two unearned runs. Junichi Tazawa surrendered his first two runs of the year in the eighth to allow the Yankees to come within one run, but Garrett Mock tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
This time it was the Red Sox’ turn to field a World Series champion starting pitcher, with Daisuke Matsuzaka making his ninth career start for Pawtucket. Matsuzaka was stellar, allowing only two hits over 4.2 innings while striking out four. His pitch count was somewhat high at 87 and he left the game with runners on first and second. Alex Wilson induced a ground out to get out of the jam, and then pitched the sixth and seventh while punching out three to earn the victory. A fifth-inning home run from Daniel Nava provided all the offense the Sox needed.
Rochester starter Liam Hendricks was too much for the Red Sox bats, striking out eight over 5.2 innings of one-run ball. Pedro Florimon homered off of Sox starter Ross Ohlendorf to lead off the third inning, and the Red Wings scored again when home plate umpire Will Little called Darin Mastroianni safe at the plate on a double-steal. Replays showed that the throw home beat the runner. Pawtucket finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Josh Kroeger singled home Nate Spears. Casey Fien threw a perfect ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.
Tags: Alex Wilson, Andrew Miller, Andy Pettitte, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Daniel Nava, Doug Fister, garrett mock, mauro gomez, Pawtucket Red Sox, Red Sox, Rochester Red Wings, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Lavarnway, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Toledo Mud Hens