Six Unearned Runs In The Second Inning Help PawSox Past Knights
Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release
Charlotte, NC - Pawtucket sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six unearned runs in the second inning against Charlotte starter Chien-Ming Wang and Blake Swihart hit his first Triple-A home run as the PawSox topped the Knights, 11-8, Friday afternoon at BB&T BallPark to win their second straight to open a four-game series.
In a game that featured 19 total runs and 29 base hits, Pawtucket collected seven hits in the second including five consecutive two-out RBI knocks against Wang (11-7) en route to an early 6-0 lead. PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo (13-4) scattered a career-high ten hits in 6.1 innings but limited the Knights to four runs and won his IL-leading 13th game.
With the victory, Pawtucket (66-54) moved 1.0 games ahead of Rochester in the IL wildcard standings pending the result of the Red Wings Friday night game in Indianapolis. The squad moved within 1.5 games of first-place Syracuse in the North Division, also pending the result the Chiefs Friday night contest against Louisville.
After two earlier errors behind Wang helped extend the second inning, Derrik Gibson (double), Mookie Betts (single), Alex Hassan (double), Bryce Brentz (double) and Travis Shaw (single) all collected RBI hits to cap the PawSox's six-run rally. Carlos Rivero had two infield singles in the inning.
Pawtucket led 7-0 after three, 9-2 after 4 1/2, then 11-4 after 7 1/2 innings before Charlotte plated the final four runs including three in the ninth against Drake Britton. The Knights brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but Miguel Celestino induced a soft ground out from catcher Miguel Gonzalez to end the game and record his third save.
Swihart's long ball, a two-run blast to left-center against reliever Charlie Leesman, made the score 9-2 in the fifth. Andy Wilkins had driven a two-run shot against Ranaudo in the fourth, his league-leading 28th of the season, to put Charlotte on the scoreboard. The Knights also plated a pair of tallies against Ranaudo in the fifth.
Betts (3-for-4 with a walk) and Rivero (3-for-4 with a walk) each collected three of Pawtucket's 14 hits. Wilkins and Matt Davidson each picked up three of Charlotte's 15 knocks while Wilkins extended his IL-leading RBI total to 75 with three in the game.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for Saturday night with first pitch at 7:05 pm, as Pawtucket looks for its third straight win to start an eight-game trip. PawSox right-hander Matt Barnes (5-8, 4.45) is slated to start against Charlotte righty Chris Beck (1-2, 4.86). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.
Following the eight-game road trip the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium for an eight-game homestand that begins on Friday, August 15th at 7:05pm. The stand features four games against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and four with Lehigh Valley. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.