Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — A patient approach and a string of five consecutive walks in the sixth inning pushed the Pawtucket Red Sox past the Charlotte Knights, 6-5, on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.
The PawSox (57-59) overcame a 3-2 deficit in that sixth inning, added insurance in the seventh and hung on down the stretch en route to a three-game sweep of the Knights (46-70) to jump-start the seven-game homestand.
PawSox starter Justin Haley (W, 2-0) impressed in 6.2 sharp innings in which he struck out a professional career-high 10 batters and allowed three runs on five hits and no walks. The right-hander’s 10 strikeouts are tied for the most by a Pawtucket starter this season, joining Henry Owens and his 10-punchout outing in mid-April. Haley hadn’t previously fanned more than seven in any Triple-A performance in his career.
“Good mix. I tell you what he did right out of the gate was pitch inside,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “He made them uncomfortable. He was able to do that. He was able to throw his curveball for land strikes. Slider, changeup, he did everything well. He was pretty impressive tonight. I love the aggressiveness to him.”
Pawtucket right fielder Brian Bogusevic (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) has now hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, a stretch in which he’s 18-for-43 (.419) with seven extra-base hits.
“He’s done everything well,” Boles said. “He’s played solid defense. He runs the bases hard, takes the extra base, stretches singles into doubles, and he’s a threat on the basepaths. And then offensively, we’re starting to see him drive the ball. It’s great to see him get another opportunity here. He’s battled some injuries. But he always keeps himself ready and in shape. I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s doing a great job.”
Designated hitter Bryce Brentz (1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB), meanwhile, supplied eight RBI in the three-game set. First baseman Sam Travis (2-for-4, R) added another two-hit night and made a pair of sterling defensive plays — starting a 3-6-1 double play with a nifty backhand pick and cementing the victory in the ninth with an over-the-railing grab in foul territory.
“He’s worked really hard as far as his throws, finding a consistent arm slot,” Boles said of Travis’ defense. “Very athletic on that [double] play. And then to make that catch on the wall. He had to go a long way to get there and to be able to downshift, get to the wall, feel it out and make that catch, because there’s a lot of activity going on with the stands hanging over. He had two web gems tonight.”
PawSox relievers Robby Scott (1.1 IP, 0 R) and Noe Ramirez (S, 5) finished off the victory.
Charlotte starter and former first-round pick Carson Fulmer (L, 7-8) walked four and ceded four runs in 5.1 frames in which he struck out seven.
Pawtucket broke out in the first as Bogusevic and Travis reached on singles before Brentz scalded a two-run single to center to make it 2-0.
The Knights tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the fourth when cleanup man and right fielder Rymer Liriano smacked a two-run homer to right-center.
Charlotte left fielder Cody Asche led off the top of the sixth inning by hammering a solo homer to over the right-field bullpen, handing the Knights their first lead of the series, 3-2.
The PawSox climbed ahead, 4-3, in the home half of the sixth after Fulmer walked the bases loaded, exited the game, and reliever Al Alburquerque issued two more walks — making it five consecutive — to second baseman Mike Miller and catcher Dan Butler.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bogusevic scorched a two-run liner into the bullpen in right field to make it 6-3.
Charlotte threatened in the ninth with a two-run homer from first baseman Casey Gillaspie, but the PawSox hung on for the victory.
The PawSox crack open a four-game series against the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox left-hander Brian Johnson (3-2, 2.77) is scheduled to oppose Clippers righty Adam Plutko (5-11, 6.79). The game will be televised live on NESN, and radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 6:35 p.m.
The seven-game homestand runs through Sunday (August 13). 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.