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The Pawtucket Red Sox enjoyed an offensive explosion this week en route to a 4-3 record. The Sox scored 32 runs over seven games this week despite being shut out on Saturday. In the standings, Pawtucket remains in second place, but now trails the Yankees, as the IronPigs fall to third.
On Friday, starter Chris Hernandez was called up from Portland, and Will Latimer was sent back down to make room. On the same day, Will Inman was placed on the DL with a strained right forearm and Jason Repko was activated. Tony Thomas remains on the DL.
Billy Buckner pitched well, giving up two runs in six innings, but was hit with the tough luck loss as the Pawtucket bats were stifled by Chiefs starter Jeff Mandel. The Sox’ sole run came in the fifth inning when Che-Hsuan Lin singled home Linares. Corey Brown put the game out of reach in the ninth with a two-run homer off of Sox reliever Mark Prior. Jose Iglesias went 2-for-4.
Syracuse wasted no time getting on the board against Sox starter Zach Stewart, as Corey Brown led off the game with a home run in his second consecutive at bat. Pawtucket took the lead in the bottom of the inning on a double from Andy LaRoche that drove in Podsednik and Lin. Juan Carlos Linares tacked on an insurance run in the third with a solo blast, his third of the year. Stewart cruised for six innings before giving up a homer to Koyie Hill that tied the game at three runs apiece. Daniel Bard (barely – see here for details) pitched a scoreless eighth and Juan Carlos Linares connected on another home run in the bottom of the inning to give the Red Sox lead. Chris Carpenter struck out the final two batters to earn his first save.
Brandon Duckworth shut down the Bats bats, scattering four hits over six shutout innings. Doubles from Ryan Kalish and Mauro Gomez put Pawtucket on top in the first, and Jason Repko doubled in the third to increase the Sox lead to 5-0. Travis Webb relieved Louisville starter Pedro Villarreal in the fifth, and uncorked a wild pitch to allow Repko to score the Red Sox’ sixth run. Jon Hee doubled home Lin to make it 7-0, and Gomez singled home Kalish to chase Webb. Clayton Mortensen pitched struck out two in a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 1.93.
Louisville starter Todd Redmond returned the favor, tossing seven scoreless frames while striking out eight. Tony Pena, Jr. was matching him inning for inning until the sixth, when Didi Gregorius hit his second home run of the year to put the Bats on top 3-0. Lars Anderson authored three of Pawtucket’s eight hits, raising his batting average to .261.
Chris Hernandez made his first start of the year, allowing two runs over six innings while striking out four. Louisville starter Tim Gustafson held Pawtucket scoreless until the sixth inning, when Ryan Lavarnway doubled home Iglesias. The Bats expanded their lead to 3-1 in the seventh with a Denis Phipps home run off of Sox reliever Chris Carpenter. The Red Sox tied the game in the ninth on a Nate Spears RBI single off of J.J. Hoover. Alex Wilson hurled two shutout innings and Clayton Mortensen, one, to keep the game tied. Mauro Gomez singled home Lavarnway in the 12th to give the PawSox their first lead of the game. In the same inning, Juan Carlos Linares and Jonathan Hee to increase the lead to 8-3. Nate Spears hit another RBI single to cap the scoring, and Jon Hee, pitching for the first time in his professional career, threw a perfect bottom of the inning to seal the victory.
Louisville once again scored first, plating a lone run in the first thanks to a Mauro Gomez throwing error (Stick to DH!). That was all Sox starter Billy Buckner would allow, as he went seven innings and gave up just four hits and one walk. Pawtucket got Buckner the lead in the third on singles from Andy LaRoche and Alex Hassan. Lars Anderson tripled home Iglesias in the fifth, and scored on Louisville starter Sean Gallagher’s wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-0. Mike Rivera padded his stats with an RBI double in the ninth and scored on Scott Podsednik’s single. Daniel Bard and Chris Carpenter each threw a scoreless inning.
Indians starter Justin Wilson was lights out, scattering five hits over five shutout innings while striking out five. Pawtucket finally broke through in the eighth on a Juan Carlos Linares RBI single off of Indianapolis reliever Daniel McCutchen. Ryan Lavarnway went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .306.
Nelson Figueroa improved to 8-2 after allowing two runs in 5.0 innings of work.
The Sox offense scored solo runs in each of the first four innings, capped off by Nate Spears’s eighth home run of the season.
Tony Pena, Jr. took the loss yet again, falling to 1-9. He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 5.1 innings.
Ryan Lavarnway knocked in the only Sox run. He has 42 RBI this season.
Tags: Billy Buckner, Chris Hernandez, Indianapolis Indians, jason repko, Juan Carlos Linares, Lars Anderson, Louisville Bats, Nate Spears, Pawtucket Red Sox, Red Sox, Ryan Lavarnway, Scott Podsednik, Syracuse Chiefs, will inman, Will Latimer