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The Pawtucket Red Sox returned home to McCoy Stadium this week after struggling on a Southern swing. This past week, the hitting surged while the pitching struggled, as the Sox scored over 6.5 runs per game, but gave up over 4.5 runs per game.
Darnell McDonald began his rehab stint on Friday. Through three games, he is 0-8 with an RBI. After being scratched from his start on May 22nd, Daisuke Matsuzaka made his fourth rehab start on Saturday and went five one-hit innings to lower his ERA to 3.74. On Monday, Boston sent OF Che-Hsuan Lin back to Pawtucket when Ryan Sweeney was activated from the DL.
Ross Ohlendorf was stellar, tossing six shutout frames while striking out six. Pawtucket got on the board in the second when Nate Spears launched a solo shot to right-center. Mauro Gomez singled home Lavarnway in the fourth to make it 2-0, and that was all the offense the Sox needed. Will Inman and Mark Melancon each threw scoreless innings to seal the Red Sox’ 30th victory of the year.
In his first plate appearance of the season, Darnell McDonald hit a sacrifice fly in the first to drive in Ciriaco and give Pawtucket a 1-0 lead. In the second inning Toledo responded with a two-run bomb from Pedro’s brother, Audy Ciriaco. That, however, was Justin Germano’s only blemish. He completed seven innings and gave up only two hits over his last five. In the seventh, Pedro Ciriaco singled home Gomez and Hassan to make it 4-1 Sox. After throwing a 1-2-3 eighth, Alex Wilson came back to start the ninth. Jose Iglesias committed an error to open the inning, and the Tides capitalized with a two-out double from Argenis Diaz that drove in Eric Patterson and Audy Ciriaco. In the bottom of the inning, Josh Kroeger doubled and then reached third on a ground out, but Pedro Ciriaco struck out to end the game with the tying run 90 feet away.
Josh Kroeger opened the scoring with a solo shot in the second, and after Matsuzaka’s previously mentioned great start, Chorye Spoone pitched a perfect inning to earn his second hold. With runners at the corners in the seventh, Junichi Tazawa balked to give Toledo the lead. Then, in the eighth, Brad Eldred took Tazawa deep with a three-run blast. The Mud Hens bullpen then committed the blown save to end all blown saves. With the score still at 5-1, Hens reliever Luke Putkonen allowed doubles to Spears and Ciriaco, and then a long ball to Ryan Lavarnway to make it 7-5, Pawtucket. In came Darin Downs. Anderson walked and Tony Thomas doubled him home before Ronald Burmudez mercifully grounded out to end the inning. Mark Melancon threw a perfect ninth to notch his eighth save.
Toledo wasted no time in scoring off of Sox starter Brandon Duckworth, with Brad Eldred driving in Justin Henry on a sacrifice fly in the first. Pawtucket answered right back in the bottom of the inning with home runs from Ciriaco, Spears, and Anderson off of Hens starter Thad Weber. Pawtucket tacked on another run in the third with an RBI single from Anderson, but the Mud Hens got the run back in the fourth with an RBI single from Jeff Frazier. Clayton Mortensen came in in relief of Duckworth in the sixth, but blew his first save when Justin Henry singled to plate Frazier. Anderson homered again to lead off the bottom of the inning to regain the lead, and this time the bullpen held it, with Tony Pena, Jr. and Will Inman each pitching scoreless frames.
Doug Mathis got lit up for six runs on ten hits over 5.1 innings. Pawtucket got on the board in the third when Nate Spears cranked a two-run shot. Garrett Mock and Alex Wilson combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings of relief to keep the game close. Josh Kroeger homered in the ninth to bring the Red Sox to within two, but Gomez grounded out with Ronald Bermudez at second to end the game.
Toledo starter Eddie Gamboa got torched for nine runs over 3.2 innings. Pawtucket starter Ross Ohlendorf wasn’t that much better, giving up five runs on ten hits over four innings. Both starters threw only 85 pitches. Former Red Sox Luis Exposito doubled in the sixth to cut the lead to three runs. Lavarnway singled home Thomas in the seventh to expand the lead back to four. Gomez led off the bottom of the eighth with his 11th homer of the year to make it 11-7, Pawtucket. Things got interesting in the ninth when Will Inman loaded the bases with nobody out, but he induced Bill Hall to ground into a double play to end the game. Lars Anderson’s fourth inning blast took out part of the video board (you can see it here); he finished 2/4 with 5 RBI. For the Tides, Lew Ford went collected five hits, all singles.
Tags: Audy Ciriaco, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Darnell McDonald, josh kroeger, Lars Anderson, mauro gomez, Nate Spears, Norfolk Tides, Pawtucket Red Sox, pedro ciriaco, Red Sox, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Lavarnway, Toledo Mud Hens