August 23, 2017 - International League (IL) - Pawtucket Red Sox
Bryce Is Right in 5-3 PawSox Victory
Brentz drills two more home runs in win over Buffalo
PAWTUCKET, R.I. - In a span of approximately 29 minutes, Pawtucket Red Sox outfielder Bryce Brentz continued his assault on the team's record book with a pair of homers and vaulted the PawSox to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Bisons on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.
Brentz (2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI) connected on a mammoth 459-foot shot in the fifth and a three-run job in the sixth, catapulting him into the International League lead with 30 home runs this season - the most for any Pawtucket player since Earl Snyder had 36 (the club record) in 2004. His 82 RBI are the most by a PawSox player since Jeff Bailey had 82, as well, in 2006. The PawSox (62-68), who trailed 3-0 before Brentz' first round-tripper, hung on to defeat the Bisons (59-71) in the third meeting of the four-game series.
"Baseball is a game of confidence, but I think the main key is going out there and competing whether you feel good or not," Brentz said. "My job is to just come out here and play baseball and compete."
"He's having a terrific season," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. "He's really turned things around for himself. He's put himself on the map. He's getting a lot of attention from a lot of different people. He's worked hard to get to this point. ... Very excited for him. He should be proud of what he's doing so far. He's not done yet. We still have some work to do."
Rehabbing Red Sox reliever Carson Smith (W, 1-0) made his sixth rehab outing with Pawtucket and his first after one day of rest, as opposed to two. The right-hander allowed a leadoff ground-rule double but proceeded to strike out Buffalo slugger Danny Jansen looking with a sharp slider, grab a second out on a pickoff from catcher Jake Romanski and finish his evening with a groundout to short. Smith fired six fastballs, averaged 91.0 MPH on them and touched 92 MPH. He threw four sliders, as well, and seven of his 10 pitches were strikes.
"He looked sharp," Boles said. "The other thing is afterward, he said he felt great after this outing. Most times, guys say, 'Ok, I feel pretty good' or 'I feel good.' He said 'great,' so that's very encouraging. With him to bounce back the way he has, we're obviously taking some steps in the right direction here. The ball's coming out of his hand. You can just tell that there's life to his pitches. The slider was pretty impressive too."
In his first start since July 25 after returning from the disabled list and a bout of right shoulder inflammation, PawSox starter Kyle Kendrick dealt five innings of three-run work in which he allowed five hits, walked one and punched out two. Relievers Marcus Walden (2 IP) and Austin Maddox (S, 5) combined to throw three hitless innings to secure the victory.
Buffalo spot starter Murphy Smith allowed two runs in five innings, while reliever Chad Girodo (L, 1-4) yielded two runs and only recorded one out.
As it has done throughout the series, Buffalo supplied two-out offense in the second inning when No. 8 hitter and second baseman Jon Berti scalded a two-run double into the left-center gap to stake the Bisons to an early 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Buffalo stretched its lead to 3-0 on an RBI double to left-center from designated hitter Christian Lopes, who plated center fielder Roemon Fields all the way from first.
Yet in a span of the first three pitches in the bottom of the fifth, the PawSox pulled within one, 3-2, on their first two hits of the night, as Brentz and first baseman Sam Travis teed off on back-to-back jacks. Brentz' homer to left-center field left the bat at 109 MPH and traveled an estimated 459 feet. Travis, meanwhile, hadn't homered since May 17 before he blasted a solo long ball of his own to center.
Brentz mashed the three-run shot over the left-field wall in the bottom of the sixth to lift Pawtucket to a 5-3 cushion.
The PawSox conclude their four-game series with the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox left-hander Jalen Beeks (6-3, 3.00) is scheduled to oppose Bisons lefty Brett Anderson. Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.
The seven-game homestand runs through Sunday. Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.