(Moosic, PA) – Scranton scored five early runs against starting pitcher Steven Wright and held off a late Pawtucket rally as the RailRiders topped the PawSox, 6-4, Monday night at PNC Field to earn a split in the four-game series.
It was the second straight loss for Pawtucket (61-50) following a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. The PawSox finished an eight-game road trip with a 6-2 record and fell 2.0 games behind North Division-leading Syracuse, a team they will face at McCoy Stadium the next three games.
Will Middlebrooks, playing in the tenth game of his most recent injury rehab stint, played the entire game at third base and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Middlebrooks, on the Boston DL since May 16th, is now 11-for-40 (.275) with three homers over his last ten games played.
Scranton scored a pair of runs in the first against Wright (5-2), then three more in the third to take a 5-1 lead. Wright allowed season-highs of nine hits and five runs in six innings of work, walking one and striking out five while earning his second loss of the year.
Garin Cecchini (4) and Travis Shaw (9) homered for the PawSox, who were held to only one run and four hits by Scranton starter Chris Leroux (3-2) in six solid innings of work. Shaw’s two-run shot in the eighth against reliever Joel De La Cruz cut a 6-2 deficit in half.
Matt Daley extinguished Pawtucket’s comeback effort by recording a scoreless ninth inning. Daley struck out Dan Butler with a runner at second base to earn his ninth save of the season.
Austin Romine’s RBI double highlighted the first-inning rally for the RailRiders, while Adonis Garcia, Kyle Roller and John Ryan Murphy all collected RBI hits for Scranton in the third. Romine added another RBI hit in the seventh off of reliever Drake Britton to provide the RailRiders’ sixth run of the night.
Ryan Lavarnway went 2-for-3 with a walk and batted 5-for-9 in three games during the series as he continued his MLB rehab assignment. Corey Brown doubled and tripled in four at-bats as he also collected a pair of Pawtucket’s eight hits.
Following a day off on Tuesday, the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium for a seven-game homestand beginning Wednesday night with the opener of a three-game series against Syracuse. Right-hander Brandon Workman (6-1, 4.45) is slated to make the start for the PawSox against Chiefs righty A.J. Cole (3-0, 2.64).