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The Pawtucket Red Sox wrapped up an eight-game inter-division homestand this week, taking three out of four from Indianapolis and splitting a four game set against Gwinnett. In Friday’s voting update for the AAA All-Star Game, Pawtucket’s Ryan Lavarnway led at catcher and Pedro Ciriaco led at second base. You can vote for the AAA All-Star Game here.
On Sunday, Boston called up Mark Melancon and sent Marco Duarte from Portland to Pawtucket to take Melancon’s roster spot. Jose Iglesias and Ronald Bermudez remain on the DL.
Things didn’t start well for Billy Buckner, who was making his first start of the year. Chase d’Arnaud homered to lead of the top of the first, and the Indians doubled, walked, and doubled again to make it 3-0 Indianapolis with nobody out in the first. Pawtucket closed the game to one when d’Arnaud made an errant flip to second with two outs to allow Spears and Kalish to score. Buckner left the game after four innings, having already thrown 85 pitches.
Tony Pena, Jr. came in to start the fifth, but gave up an RBI double to Brandon Boggs (which increased Pena’s ERA to 6.91!) and was replaced by Junichi Tazawa. In the bottom of the inning, Ryans Kalish and Lavarnway hit back-to-back bombs off of Indy starter Rick VandenHurk to tie the game at five. With the score still tied in the bottom of the eighth, Yamaico Navarro booted a grounder to allow his former teammate Lars Anderson to reach base. Anderson stole second and advanced to third when Jose Morales’ errant throw went into center field. Che-Hsuan Lin singled him home to give the Sox a 6-5 lead, and Mark Melancon tossed a perfect ninth to record his 10th save.
Sox starter Brandon Duckworth went six innings and gave up three runs, two earned. In the bottom of the fifth, Josh Kroeger doubled, and then Hassan, Spears, and Rivera singled to bring the Red Sox to within a run. The next inning, Kroeger launched a three-run blast off of Indians reliever Duke Welker to put Pawtucket on top. Clayton Mortensen threw two shutout innings for his third hold, and Mark Melancon tossed another perfect ninth for his 11th save.
Pawtucket starter Daniel Bard got rocked in his first start of the season. He hit the first batter of the game on the second pitch, and left after going only one inning and giving up three runs on two hits and two hit batters.
Doug Mathis pitched a great throwback game in relief, going six innings and giving up two runs while striking out six. The Sox closed the gap in the third on Mauro Gomez’ 13th home run of the year. Tony Thomas tied the game with a homer in the sixth off of Indians reliever Evan Meek. Yamaico Navarro went deep in the seventh to put Indy back on top, but the Red Sox tied it in the bottom of the ninth with a Ryan Kalish double to drive in Ciriaco.
Mark Prior tossed two scoreless innings while striking out four to keep the game tied. Indianapolis took a 6-5 lead in the 12th on a Brandon Boggs double off of Will Inman, but Josh Kroeger singled home Lin in the bottom of the inning. After walking the leadoff hitter in the 13th, Inman threw the ball away on a bunt attempt, resulting in runners on first and second with nobody out. Starling Marte singled to drive in two, and the marathon was finally over.
Gwinnett starter Jose Lugo was stellar, giving up just one run in six innings. Lars Anderson doubled home Gomez in the eighth to bring Pawtucket to within a run. Garrett Mock allowed a homer to Jose Yepez in the ninth followed by doubles from Lance Zawadzki and Tyler Pastornicky to increase the Braves’ lead to three.
After Mike Rivera was hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth, Spears, Ciriaco and Kalish singled to advance the tying run to third. After a little pep talk from his pitching coach to settle his nerves, reliever Cory Gearrin induced Mauro Gomez to fly out to end the game.
Ernesto Mejia homered to lead off the second, and that was the only scoring through the seventh-inning stretch. After Anderson singled and Gomez doubled, Gwinnett starter Eric Junge intentionally walked Kroeger to load the bases. This backfired, as Junge proceeded to unintentionally walk Alex Hassan to tie the game at 1. Nate Spears singled to give Pawtucket the 3-1 advantage, and Jonathan Hee tripled to increase the lead to four. Justin Germano went the distance for the Sox in his first complete game of the season.
Billy Buckner was even worse in his second start of the year, giving up seven runs in 4.2 innings. Ryan Lavarnway singled home Hee in the fifth to make it 7-2. Daniel Bard then entered the game and allowed one run on one hit and one walk to lower his ERA to 18.00.
Pawtucket got the run back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles from Anderson and Hassan. Felix Pie and Josh Wilson homered in the ninth off of Clayton Mortensen to give Gwinnett a seemingly insurmountable 11-4 lead, but the Sox bats wouldn’t go down easy. Ciriaco doubled and Kalish singled to open the inning. After Lavarnway hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to six, Gomez, Anderson, and Hassan singled to bring the Red Sox to within four. Che-Hsuan Lin doubled to bring the tying run to the plate, and in came Anthony Varvaro. Varvaro struck out both Thomas and Spears looking to end the game.
Gwinnett opened the scoring in the second with an RBI single from Josh Wilson, but that was all the Braves could muster against Sox starter Brandon Duckworth. Kris Medlen pitched a good game as well, giving up three runs over six innings. Pawtucket tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on Mauro Gomez’ 15th homer of the year, and Junichi Tazawa nailed it down in the ninth for his second save.
Tags: Billy Buckner, Daniel Bard, doug mathis, Gwinnett Braves, Indianapolis Indians, josh kroeger, justin germano, Lance Zawadzki, Marco Duarte, Mark Melancon, mauro gomez, Pawtucket Red Sox, pedro ciriaco, Red Sox, Ryan Lavarnway, Yamaico Navarro