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The Pawtucket Red Sox have finally fallen back to Earth. After sweeping the Bisons in Buffalo, Pawtucket was swept in Syracuse, then returned home and was swept by Louisville and has lost the first game of a four-game series against Charlotte. The skid drops the Sox to second place in the IL North.
On Sunday, reliever Mark Prior was placed on the DL to make room for starter Zach Stewart, newly acquired in the Kevin Youkilis trade. On Tuesday, Jose Iglesias was activated from the DL, and pitcher Jeremy Kehrt was sent down to Portland. Ronald Bermudez remains on the DL.
Justin Germano kept rolling with a seven inning, three hit effort, but the bullpen blew yet another lead. With Pawtucket leading 4-1 in the eighth, Junichi Tazawa allowed a 2-RBI double to cut the margin to one. Jonathan Hee singled home Thomas in the ninth to extend the Sox lead to two, but Daniel Bard uncorked two wild pitches in the bottom of the inning, each allowing a run to score. Garrett Mock gave up back-to-back-to-back singles in the bottom of the eleventh to earn his second loss of the year.
Billy Buckner finally had a decent outing, pitching five shutout innings while scattering three hits, but this time it was his turn to have defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. With Pawtucket clinging to a 1-0 lead in the sixth thanks to a Tony Thomas homer, Alex Wilson allowed an RBI triple to former teammate Brett Carroll to tie the game. Carlos Rivera singled home Carroll and Syracuse moved ahead, 2-1. Mark Prior waked three batters and allowed a run in the eighth inning.
After a 67 minute rain delay, Kristopher Negron homered off of Pawtucket starter Brandon Duckworth in the third to extend Louisville’s lead to 2-0. Alex Hassan went deep in the sixth to put the Red Sox on top, 3-2, but Daniel Bard gave up a solo shot to Miguel Rojas to blow his second save in three days. Tony Pena, Jr. tossed three scoreless innings, but Bats reliever Nick Christiani did the same. Just after midnight, in the 13th, Daryl Jones singled home Felix Perez to drive in the go-ahead run, and Kanekoa Teixeira earned his first save of the season.
Pawtucket jumped out to an early lead against Louisville starter Sean Gallagher in the first on a Mauro Gomez three-run blast. Sox starter Jeremy Kehrt gave the runs back on a home run from Paul Janish in the second, and Janish doubled in the fifth off of Red Sox reliever Will Latimer to give the Bats the lead. Ryan Lavarnway hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to drive in Ciriaco and tie the game. After Garrett Mock gave up an RBI single in the eighth, Pawtucket edged closer in the bottom of the inning on Lars Anderson’s RBI double, but Jordan Smith closed the door in the ninth to receive his ninth save.
Doug Mathis was great, giving up two runs on five hits over six innings. Louisville starter Will Feierabend was dominant, however, throwing seven one-hit innings while striking out five. Alex Hassan doubled in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but Donnie Joseph struck out Juan Carlos Linares to end the game.
Pawtucket struck first on Ryan Lavarnway’s RBI single in the first against Louisville starter Chad Reineke, but the Bats tied it in the third when Pedro Ciriaco allowed an easy grounder scoot into the outfield, allowing Miguel Rojas to score from second. Pedro Ciriaco atoned in the bottom of the inning by lacing an RBI triple down the right field line to give the Red Sox the lead. Cody Puckett homered in the fourth to cut the gap to one, and Felix Perez went deep in the sixth to take a 4-3 lead. Jordan Smith retired the last four batters of the game to record his 10th save.
Billy Buckner returned to his old ways as he allowed all eight runs over 4.2 innings, including two home runs. Charlotte starter Matt Zaleski kept the Sox in check, scattering six hits over seven innings. Gregory Infante and Donnie Veal each pitched scoreless frames to seal the Knights’ 45th win of the season. Jose Iglesias went 0/5 in his return from the DL.