Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release
ALLENTOWN, Penn. — With two home runs, Bryce Brentz headlined the best offensive performance of the season for the Pawtucket Red Sox, who thrashed the league-leading Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 14-5, on Tuesday night at Coca-Cola Park.
The PawSox (37-38) matched a season high with 14 runs and tallied a season-high 20 hits — the third-most by any team in the International League this season and the most for the PawSox since the 2014 season — en route to their second victory in as many nights over the IronPigs (49-29).
Brentz continued his ridiculous run at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a pair of two-run home runs (plus a couple flyouts near the warning track). Brentz has now homered in three consecutive games (with four total) and has 17 round-trippers this season, tied for second in the International League. Since Brentz revamped his swing before Pawtucket’s May 23 game, it’s hardly hyperbolic to say he’s been one of the very best hitters in all of professional baseball. In those 32 games, Brentz has slashed .330/.434/.678 with 13 home runs, 35 RBI and 20 walks (compared to 20 strikeouts). In this stretch, only one player in all of MLB or MiLB has hit more home runs — Cody Bellinger (15). No one has as many RBI.
Rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (inner ear infection) went 2-for-4 and was lifted for a pinch-runner in the top of the sixth inning. Sandoval, who didn’t have a ball hit to him at third, flew out to right field, grounded to short and singled to left-center from the right side and poked an RBI single up the middle in the sixth in his only action from the left.
Pawtucket shortstop Mike Miller (3-for-6, RBI), designated hitter Matt Dominguez (3-for-4, 3 R, RBI) and second baseman Heiker Meneses (3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) rounded out a thorough offensive performance in which all but one starter had multiple hits.
PawSox starter Shawn Haviland (W, 4-5) punched out seven over six innings and ceded four runs on a trio of homers. Right-hander Chandler Shepherd, who fanned four in two shutout innings Saturday, faced the minimum in his two hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Lehigh Valley starter Cesar Ramos (L, 4-2) gave up 11 hits and seven runs in five innings. Naturally, the best of the four IronPigs pitchers on this night was 5-foot-5 infielder Jorge Flores, who recorded the final four outs.
IronPigs second baseman Scott Kingery led off the bottom of the first by connecting on his career Triple-A home run — a line drive to left.
The PawSox took a 2-1 lead in the second. With runners in motion from first and second with two outs, catcher Dan Butler rolled an RBI infield single behind the mound, and Dominguez scored all the way from second. Meneses then scored on an RBI base knock to left from Miller.
Brentz tattooed a two-run home run in the fifth — his 16th of the season — to extend the lead to 4-1. Later in the inning, Meneses laced his first long ball of the year, a three-run rocket on a line to left to make it 7-1.
Lehigh Valley grabbed a pair of runs back in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run shot from Kingery, slicing the gap to 7-3.
Sandoval stretched the lead back to 8-3 in the top of the sixth with an RBI single up the middle past the drawn-in defense. First baseman Allen Craig and Dominguez then delivered consecutive opposite-field RBI base knocks to make it 10-3.
The IronPigs inched closer in the home half of the sixth, as center fielder Dylan Cozens unloaded on a solo blast, his league-leading 18th homer.
Butler plated two more in the eighth and widened the gap to 14-4 with a two-run double to center.
The IronPigs added a run on three hits in the ninth off Pawtucket reliever Jamie Callahan.
Pawtucket continues its four-game series against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. PawSox right-hander Kyle Kendrick (2-4, 6.94) is scheduled to oppose IronPigs righty Tom Eshelman (5-2, 2.08). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.
Following the eight-game road trip, the PawSox return home June 30-July 3 (Friday-Monday) to McCoy Stadium. 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.