Offensive Explosion Puts PawSox Ahead of Mud Hens
A night after the Pawtucket Red Sox rallied with late offense in the ninth inning, the PawSox broke out the bats early on Friday and cruised to a 10-2 throttling of the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.
The PawSox (3-4) scored three runs in the first, two in the second, three in the third and another in the fourth to build a hefty early advantage en route to season highs in runs and hits (15) and a series-evening win over the Mud Hens (5-3). Eight of Pawtucket's nine starters recorded hits, headlined by left fielder Jeremy Barfield, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles and his second home run in as many days.
PawSox designated hitter Rusney Castillo (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI), center fielder Aneury Tavarez (2-for-5, R, RBI) and first baseman Sam Travis (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) also added multi-hit efforts. Castillo, coming off his International League All-Star season in 2017, is now 9-for-18 with five RBI in his last four games.
That was plenty of offensive backing for Pawtucket starter Dedgar Jimenez (W, 1-0), who was promoted from Double-A Portland earlier in the day and made his Triple-A debut. The 22-year old left-hander from Venezuela dealt six sharp innings of two-run work in which he scattered five hits, only walked one and fanned four. Lefties Robby Scott and Williams Jerez and right-hander Ryan Brasier each threw a scoreless inning to close out the victory, which leveled the four-game set at a game apiece.
Toledo right-handed starter Artie Lewicki (L, 1-1) got tagged for eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits and a pair of walks in his 2.2 innings.
Pawtucket wasted no time jumping on Lewicki and the Mud Hens in the top of the first. After an RBI single from Tavarez, second baseman Ivan De Jesus Jr. lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, and shotstop Chad De La Guerra singled to center to stake Jimenez and the PawSox to an early 3-0 advantage.
In the second, Pawtucket added two more runs on a wild play in which Toledo third baseman Ronny Rodriguez made a diving stop on an RBI infield single from Travis. An inaccurate throw and an ensuing rundown netted the second run, pushing Pawtucket ahead 5-0.
Barfield doubled in a run in the third, and Castillo then roped a two-run double into the right-field corner to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Toledo responded in the bottom half of the third with its first run on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Pete Kozma to make it 8-1.
But, in the fourth, Pawtucket countered with another Barfield RBI double.
Toledo trimmed the gap to 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth when second baseman Dawel Lugo contributed an RBI single to right field.
Barfield bashed his second home run of the season in the top of the ninth through the wind out to the left-center field power alley, stamping the victory.
The PawSox continue their four-game series with Toledo on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Jalen Beeks (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Mud Hens righty A.J. Ladwig (1-0, 1.80). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with PawSox Insider at 3:35 p.m.
The PawSox return home for a six-game homestand April 20-25 (Friday-Wednesday) against the Gwinnett Stripers and Toledo. 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.