Bats Drop Series Opener to Pawtucket, 2-1
PAWTUCKET, R.I. - The Louisville Bats (35-59) dropped the opening game of a four-game series to the Pawtucket Red Sox (38-55) by a 2-1 score on Monday night at McCoy Stadium. Right-hander Tejay Antone tossed his second straight quality start in the loss.
In what was the Bats' first non-divisional game since June 22 after playing in a season-high 18 straight, Louisville's offense stayed stagnant for much of the night, which has been a rarity to this point in the season. The PawSox scored a run off Antone in both the second and fourth innings, on a Josh Ockimey RBI single and a sacrifice fly from University of Louisville product Cole Sturgeon.
Antone (2-3, 4.44) allowed the two earned runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out a pair on 97 pitches and 55 strikes. The right-hander was stuck with the loss despite the quality start, owning a 1.80 ERA (3er/15.0ip) over his last three games, two of them being starts. He recorded his last out of the game in the sixth on a brilliant diving catch by center fielder Brian O'Grady.
The offense never really got it going on the night, with the Bats squandering an opportunity in the second after failing to drive in Narciso Crook, who tripled with one out for his team-leading third of the season. In the fourth, the Bats would have three straight baserunners, but back-to-back caught stealings would cost them in that frame.
Louisville would push across its lone run of the game in the eighth, after Aristides Aquino scored on a wild pitch by Pawtucket reliever and former Bat, Domingo Tapia. Aquino singled and subsequently advanced to third on a Nick Longhi single. Out of Louisville's bullpen, right-hander Brad Markey contributed a pair of scoreless innings in the 2-1 defeat.
The Bats and PawSox are back at it tomorrow night at McCoy Stadium for game two of the four-game set, with another 7:05 first pitch. Right-hander Keury Mella (5-9, 5.00) is slated to start for Louisville, with Pawtucket's probable still up in the air after right-hander Ryan Weber (1-2, 5.16) was recently recalled to Boston.
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