Pomeranz Carries No-Hitter into Sixth Inning
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One of three Red Sox starting pitchers on the disabled list, Drew Pomeranz turned in a timely gem Wednesday night, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his best rehab start, as the Pawtucket Red Sox fell 3-0 to the Charlotte Knights at BB&T Ballpark.
Pomeranz (left biceps tendinitis) - in his fourth start with Pawtucket during this second rehab assignment of the season - logged 5.2 innings without surrendering a hit until Charlotte leadoff man José Rond?"n yanked a solo homer to left field to break up the no-no and break a scoreless tie. Pomeranz generated a weak comebacker moments later to finish off six innings of one-hit work in which he punched out five and walked two.
Charlotte (44-52) added a run in each of the seventh and eighth innings to ensure at least a split of the four-game series with the PawSox (45-49) ahead of tomorrow's finale, which features former Red Sox farmhand Michael Kopech on the bump for the Knights.
Allotted 90 pitches to work with Wednesday, Pomeranz needed just 69 pitches to get through his six sharp frames. When the bottom of the seventh inning began, Pomeranz went to the left-field bullpen and threw more pitches under the watchful eye of former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke. The 29-year old Pomeranz threw 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes - a 65% strike rate that exceeds his 2018 MLB strike rate (60%) and last year's rate (62%), as well. The 2016 National League All-Star spun knuckle-curveballs on nearly half of his pitches, generating all five of his strikeouts (and seven of his nine swinging strikes) on his hook. Pomeranz mixed in roughly a half-dozen cutters and a couple changeups, as well.
The southpaw retired each of the first 10 batters he faced before issuing a one-out walk in the fourth inning that was quickly erased on a 5-4-3 double play. Through 5.2 innings, Pomeranz (L, 0-2) had faced just one above the minimum.
Newly-signed veteran Brandon Phillips (0-for-3, BB) made his fourth start with Pawtucket and played the entire game as the designated hitter.
Pawtucket third baseman Iván De Jesús Jr. (3-for-4) powered an offense that outhit Charlotte, 8-4, and second baseman Tony Renda (2-for-4) continued his sizzling start to his PawSox tenure.
Charlotte starter Spencer Adams (W, 2-3) scattered six hits and a pair of walks over six shutout innings, and hard-throwing reliever Thyago Vieira (S, 6) bolted the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
After the PawSox stranded seven runners aboard over the first six innings, Rond?"n lifted his 10th Triple-A home run to left field in the home half of the sixth to propel Charlotte to a 1-0 lead.
In the seventh and eighth, the Knights broke through for runs against Pawtucket's bullpen, capitalizing on an error in each inning.
The PawSox conclude their four-game series against Charlotte on Thursday at 7:04 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander William Cuevas (6-5, 3.38) is scheduled to make a rehab start opposite Charlotte right-hander Michael Kopech (3-7, 4.48). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.
After the seven-game road trip, the PawSox will return home July 24-29 (Tuesday-Sunday) to square off with the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) and Knights. Good tickets 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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