Bats Club Three Home Runs in 4-2 Win
PAWTUCKET, R.I. - The Louisville Bats (37-60) defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox (39-57) by a 4-2 score in the series finale at McCoy Stadium, earning a four-game series split. Louisville hit three home runs in the win, with Brian O'Grady setting a new team record with his 26th.
In Louisville's final scheduled morning game of the season, right-hander Sal Romano (4-7, 4.90) made the spot start after Lucas Sims was scratched prior to the game. Romano continued his brilliance as a starting pitcher this season, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing just one earned run on one hit, walking three and tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts on 80 pitches and 53 strikes. In three starts, Romano is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1er/13.0ip) to go along with three walks and 20 strikeouts.
Louisville's offense was stymied in the first few innings, held in check by Pawtucket starter Travis Lakins in the first and Major League rehabber Nathan Eovaldi in the second, who struck out the side with one walk. The Bats got to originally scheduled starter Teddy Stankiewicz (4-6, 4.31), who got the loss and allowed each of Louisville's four runs.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the fourth inning, Louisville scored three runs, both on home runs, to take a 3-1 lead. Brian O'Grady hit his 26th homer of the season, setting a new Louisville record since the team has been affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds (2000), and the most since Scott Krause hit 26 for the 1998 Redbirds.
Narciso Crook homered later in the inning, a two-run shot that scored Alex Blandino, with the blast being Louisville's 114th as a team this season, which passed the 2018 Bats' team total. In the series against Pawtucket, Crook batted .545 (6-for-11) with two triples, two home runs and seven RBI.
The PawSox made it a one-run game in the sixth on a Jantzen Witte RBI single off Louisville reliever Joe Mantiply, before the Bats used more power to extend their lead. Catcher Chadwick Tromp hit a solo shot in the top of the seventh in his first game back with Louisville since August 11, after being sidelined with a right rotator cuff strain.
Right-hander Alex Powers worked a scoreless eighth for the Bats, while right-hander Joel Kuhnel earned his second Louisville save with a scoreless ninth to give the Bats a series tie, rattling off back-to-back wins to secure it.
The Bats travel to Moosic, Pennsylvania to face off against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for the first time this season, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (2-8, 7.15) is slated to start for Louisville, and he's expected to oppose right-hander Brody Koerner (3-1, 4.21) with a 7:05 Friday night first pitch.
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