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Forget the Fenway Failures – if you want well-played Red Sox baseball this summer, it’s going to be 45 miles down I-95 at McCoy Stadium. The Pawtucket Red Sox moved back into first place this week by taking two out of three from the Yankees. Pawtucket has accomplished this despite their last two remaining starters from the beginning of the season, Doug Mathis and Brandon Duckworth, leaving to pitch in Japan.
On Monday, SP Daisuke Matsuzaka began another rehab stint, and C Matt Spring went back down to Portland. On Tuesday, RP Will Inman and IF Tony Thomas were activated from the DL. RP Clayton Mortensen and OF Ryan Kalish were sent to Boston to make room on the roster. Mortensen later went back down so the Red Sox could make room for Craig Breslow.
Pawtucket scored a run in each of the first four inning, capped by Nate Spears’ eighth homer of the year in the fourth. Nelson Figueroa made his Sox début, giving up two runs over five innings and earning the win. Jose De La Torre also made his Red Sox début, tossing a scoreless ninth and striking out two.
Tony Pena, Jr. lost again, giving up four runs over 5.1 innings. Indians starter Chris Leroux shut down the Sox offense, scattering three hits over five shutout innings. Jon Hee went 2-for-four, raising his batting average to .246.
Ryan Kalish singled to lead off the game and scored on a Lars Anderson singled. Mauro Gomez stole his first base of the year and Juan Carlos Linares singled him home to make it 2-0 after the top of the first. Scott Atchison, making his first appearance of the season, gave the lead right back as Jeff Clement hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the innings. Pawtucket re-took the lead in the fifth when Indians SS Chase d’Arnaud threw away what would have been the third out, allowing Anderson and Gomez to score. Daniel Bard walked consecutive batters in the eighth, but induced a double play to get out of the jam. Jose De La Torre threw a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.
Billy Buckner turned in what was easily his best start of the year, permitting just one hit over six innings. Pawtucket opened the scoring in the third on Jason Repko’s solo shot. Andy LaRoche also went deep in the eighth to increase the lead to 4-0. Chris Carpenter fired a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 1.29.
Former Met John Maine stifled the Sox offense, pitching seven innings of one-hit ball. The Yankees couldn’t get him a lead until the sixth, though, when Kosuke Fukudome singled home Corban Joseph. Pawtucket had the winning run at the plate in the ninth, but Jose Iglesias grounded into a game-ending double play to lower his batting average to .247.
Pawtucket took another early lead in the first when Mauro Gomez singled home Repko. Repko homered in the second to increase the lead to 3-0. The Yankees got on the board in the fifth on former Red Sox Darnell McDonald hit his first home run of the year off of Zach Stewart. The Sox got an insurance run in the sixth when Andy LaRoche doubled home Gomez. Chris Carpenter pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Tags: Brandon Duckworth, Clayton Mortensen, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Daniel Bard, doug mathis, Indianapolis Indians, jason repko, Jose de la Torre, Matt Spring, Pawtucket Red Sox, Red Sox, Ryan Kalish, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Tony Thomas, will inman