PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Sam Travis continued his recent run of hot hitting, but the Pawtucket Red Sox fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.
The RailRiders (16-14) scored all five runs in the third through sixth innings and avoided Pawtucket’s attempt at a sweep. The PawSox (15-14) had won six of their last seven games and hadn’t allowed more than four runs since April 27 (a span of 11 games).
Travis, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with a single, his team-leading seventh double, a walk and an RBI. The No. 4 Red Sox prospect has now hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games and recorded an RBI in five of his last six.
Pawtucket second baseman Jantzen Witte, who began the day fourth in the International League in on-base percentage (.429), extended his on-base streak to 16 games with a single and a pair of walks.
PawSox catcher Tim Roberson, in just his third start of the season, went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
PawSox starter Henry Owens (L, 3-1) allowed four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings, while striking out seven. Relievers Chandler Shepherd (2 IP, 3 K), Erik Cordier (1 IP) and Robbie Ross Jr. (1 IP, 3 K) were sharp, as Pawtucket’s pitchers combined to pile up 14 strikeouts. Shepherd, the 24-year old from Kentucky, has now fanned 19 in 12.2 innings this season.
Scranton starter Caleb Smith (W, 2-0) limited Pawtucket to a run on three hits with four punchouts across five frames, and righty reliever Tyler Jones (S, 1) earned his first save of the season after the PawSox brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth.
The bottom of the RailRiders’ lineup started the scoring in the third. No. 8 hitter Mark Payton worked a four-pitch walk to start the frame, and catcher Eddy Rodriguez followed with a high-arcing, two-run long ball down the left-field line, making it 2-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, the PawSox placed a pair on base with a hit by pitch and a walk. Travis then stung an RBI double to left-center to plate leadoff man Aneury Tavarez and trim the gap to 2-1.
The RailRiders snatched the run back in the fourth. Second baseman Rob Refsnyder doubled to left, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly to left from right fielder and Pawtucket native Mason Williams.
Scranton extended the lead to 4-1 in the fifth. With a pair of runners aboard, first baseman Ji-Man Choi stroked an RBI single to left.
Williams singled off Shepherd in the sixth and eventually scored from third on a wild pitch, making it 5-1.
The PawSox nabbed a run back in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single from Roberson, reeling in third baseman Matt Dominguez. Pawtucket then loaded the bases, but Jones induced a groundout to finish the victory and salvage the series finale.
The PawSox continue their homestand Thursday at 6:05 p.m. when they welcome the Rochester Red Wings to McCoy Stadium to begin a four-game set. Pawtucket right-hander Marcus Walden (1-2, 2.01) is scheduled to oppose Red Wings lefty Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.91).