PawSox Fall in Walk-Off Fashion
MOOSIC, Penn. - For the second time in six days, Justin Haley pitched brilliantly, but the Pawtucket Red Sox dropped the series opener, 3-1, as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders earned a walk-off victory Friday night at PNC Field.
The PawSox (54-57) tied the game in the top of the seventh, but for the third time this season the RailRiders (70-41) walked off on Pawtucket in Pennsylvania, as cleanup man Tyler Austin mashed a two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth. The PawSox have now lost six consecutive games overall and 18 total games in an opponent's final at-bat.
Haley made his second appearance since returning from the Minnesota Twins (via the Rule 5 Draft process) and turned in similar results. After logging six innings of one-run ball Sunday, Haley dealt seven innings Friday, yielding just four hits and a run without a walk. Haley retired the final 13 batters he faced after giving up a pair of hits in each of the first and third innings.
Pawtucket first baseman Sam Travis (3-for-4, three singles) notched his second three-hit game of the season, and right fielder Rusney Castillo (2-for-4, HR) upped his OPS to .855, the sixth-highest mark in the International League, among qualifying hitters.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Luis Cessa fanned nine without a walk in five innings of three-hit, shutout ball but, fortunately for the PawSox, was lifted after 69 pitches (47 of which he threw for strikes). Reliever Ben Heller (W, 4-3) tossed two shutout stanzas with a trio of strikeouts.
Pawtucket reliever Williams Jerez (L, 0-1) fired a scoreless eighth but gave up the walk-off winner in the ninth.
The RailRiders cracked the scoring seal in the bottom of the third when No. 3 hitter and third baseman Miguel Andujar scorched an RBI single back by the mound to plate catcher Wilkin Castillo and make it 1-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, Pawtucket tied the game, 1-1, when Castillo pounded a breaking ball to deep left-center for his 13th home run of the season. The PawSox then loaded the bases with three consecutive singles, but RailRiders reliever Jonathan Holder responded with a popout and a strikeout.
Andujar led off the bottom of the ninth by rolling a single up the middle. On the very next pitch, Austin sent everyone home with his two-run rocket.
Pawtucket continues its three-game weekend series in Pennsylvania against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at PNC Field. PawSox left-hander Brian Johnson (3-2, 2.84) is scheduled to oppose RailRiders righty Domingo German (3-1, 3.51). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with PawSox Insider at 5:05 p.m.
The PawSox return to McCoy Stadium on Monday to begin a seven-game homestand that runs through next Sunday (August 13). 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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