PawSox Fall 7-4 to RailRiders in Series Opener
MOOSIC, Penn. - The Pawtucket Red Sox bullpen dealt five-plus effective innings, and Mike Miller, Ramon Flores and Mike Olt steered the offense, but the PawSox fell in their series opener against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 7-4, on Friday night at PNC Field.
The RailRiders (39-39) grabbed the opener of the three-game series thanks in large part to a five-run second inning in which they sent nine to the plate and netted all five runs with two outs. After being limited to six total runs in their four-game series at Buffalo to begin the road trip, the PawSox (38-41) did plate four runs on nine hits but lost their fourth consecutive game.
Flores (3-for-4, R, 2B), who spent the first seven seasons of his career in the Yankees organization, recorded his second three-hit game of the season. Olt (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB) launched his team-leading 10th home run of the season and upped his team-high OPS to .842, while Miller (2-for-4, 2 RBI) notched his first multi-hit game since June 10.
Pawtucket starter and International League All-Star Jalen Beeks (L, 5-5) lasted a season-low 2.1 innings and ceded a season-high five runs on six hits and three walks. With two runners aboard in a scoreless game in the bottom of the second inning, Beeks was ahead in the count (0-2) of Scranton's No. 9 hitter, who delivered a two-run single to set off the five-run frame. From there, however, the bullpen steadied the ship, as righty Ty Buttrey (2 IP, 2 K), lefties Williams Jerez (1.2 IP) and Robby Scott (1 IP, 0 H, 2 K) and righty Ryan Brasier combined to allow just two more runs. Scott and Brasier lowered their Triple-A ERAs to 1.27 and 1.46, respectively.
RailRiders starter Chance Adams (W, 3-3) tossed five innings of one-run work, and hard-throwing reliever Cale Coshow (S, 3) maneuvered through a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the victory.
Scranton catcher Wilkin Castillo started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with a two-run single. Two batters later, center fielder Clint Frazier provided a two-run double to left-center, and right fielder Billy McKinney followed with an RBI double to right-center to make it 5-0.
Olt led off the top of the fourth inning with a solo homer into the left-field bullpen to trim the gap to 5-1.
The RailRiders tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Rey Navarro greeted Jerez by clubbing a two-run homer to left.
Pawtucket loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning, and Miller's groundball to second allowed designated hitter Adam Lind to score from third and cut the deficit to 7-2.
The PawSox scratched out two more runs in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI groundout from catcher Dan Butler and an RBI single up the middle from Miller.
The PawSox continue their three-game weekend series against the RailRiders on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Josh D. Smith (4-3, 2.61) is scheduled to oppose RailRiders southpaw Josh Rogers (6-5, 3.32). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with PawSox Insider at 5:05 p.m.
The PawSox then return to McCoy Stadium on July 2-3 (Monday-Tuesday) for the start of a holiday home-and-home series against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). 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.
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