ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A day after the Pawtucket Red Sox blasted three home runs, the Rochester Red Wings launched four of their own and topped the PawSox, 10-1, in the season finale Monday afternoon at Frontier Field.
The Red Wings scored in two of the first three innings and never looked back, punctuating their regular season with a five-run seventh inning to defeat the PawSox (67-75) and split the four-game series. Rochester (80-62) began the day tied with Lehigh Valley for the wild card spot, but the IronPigs withstood a furious rally from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, survived for a 4-3 win and own the tiebreaker over the Red Wings to secure a playoff spot.
The PawSox concluded a season below the .500 mark for just the second time in the last seven years, though they played in 33 one-run games and 37 more games decided by two runs. Over the final 51 days of the season — dating back to the All-Star break — the PawSox were involved in 93 player transactions.
Pawtucket center fielder Brian Bogusevic (3-for-5) finished an outstanding two-month run to end his season, upping his OPS to .798. First baseman Jantzen Witte (2-for-4) and catcher Jake Romanski (2-for-4, two infield singles) added a multi-hit performance as well.
PawSox starter Jalen Beeks (L, 6-7) collected five strikeouts in 4.2 innings but yielded four runs on six hits and a trio of walks. All told, in 26 starts this season between Pawtucket and Double-A Portland, the 24-year old Beeks struck out 155 in 145 total innings.
Twins rehabbing left-handed starter Adalberto Mejia (W, 1-1) turned in five innings of one-run work with a pair of strikeouts and left with a 2-1 lead that eventually ballooned after his departure. Fellow rehabber Dietrich Enns (S, 1) followed with four shutout stanzas.
Two of Rochester’s first three hitters singled in the bottom of the second, and left fielder J.B. Shuck lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to prop up the Red Wings to a 1-0 lead.
Twins rehabber and designated hitter Robbie Grossman then blooped a single into shallow right field in the third to plate another run and double the lead to 2-0.
Pawtucket jumped on the board in the top of the fourth when shortstop Ryan Court yanked a leadoff double into the left-field corner and scored on an RBI double poked down the right-field line by second baseman Mike Miller.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Rochester No. 5 hitter Jonathan Rodriguez clobbered a two-run homer to left field to make to make it 4-1.
After Pawtucket reliever Shawn Haviland retired the first four batters he faced, he allowed a leadoff wind-blown solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to Red Wings leadoff man Matt Hague, strengthening the lead to 5-1. Second baseman Leonardo Reginatto then ripped an RBI single to left, and Shuck hammered a three-run big fly to right field to make it 9-1.
Hague went deep again in the eighth to give Rochester double-digit runs in the finale.