Headlined by two hefty innings, the Pawtucket Red Sox offense broke out and provided plenty of support for the pitching staff, as the PawSox four-hit the Indianapolis Indians in an 11-1 win in front of a sell-out crowd at McCoy Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The PawSox (28-32) salvaged the finale of the three-game series with the Indians (32-28) by plating five runs in the third and four more in the fourth - all with two outs - en route to the victory. Eight of Pawtucket's nine starters recorded at least one hit. A day after the PawSox pounded out 11 hits but stranded 11 and only netted one run, the offense converted its 11 hits into 11 runs to conclude the six-game homestand, which was capped in front of a second consecutive sell-out crowd (11,443 on Saturday and 10,061 on Sunday).
The offense backed a stout team pitching performance. Rehabbing Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg made his third appearance of his second rehab assignment and started the ballgame, throwing a scoreless first inning. Thornburg threw 12 of his 17 pitches for strikes, and all 11 of his fastballs were clocked between 93 and 95 MPH. Thornburg induced a flyout to medium-depth center field and a weak ground ball to third, issued a two-out walk after battling to a full count and finished his frame with a flyout to deep left-center. The 29-year old right-hander from Atlanta made three appearances in a span of six days this week and only allowed one hit and one walk.
"Talking with [catcher Dan] Butler, he said he looked like he had a little more zip to his fastball," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. "The ball was coming out of his hand good. He said he felt really good after his outing."
Pawtucket left-handed reliever Josh Smith (W, 3-2), who had initially been slated to start before Thornburg moved up to throw the first inning, dazzled over a season-long 4.1 innings. The 28-year old - not to be confused with yesterday's starting pitcher, conveniently and not-confusingly also named Josh Smith - fanned seven and didn't allow a hit until the final batter he faced in the top of the sixth inning, when he left with an 11-0 lead. Right-hander Kyle Martin supplied 2.2 scoreless innings, and righty Ryan Brasier clamped the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Pawtucket designated hitter Adam Lind (2-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI), second baseman Ivan De Jesus Jr. (2-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB) and shortstop Mike Miller (2-for-3, 3 R, BB) all recorded multi-hit efforts.
Indianapolis starter Brandon Waddell (L, 1-2) allowed five runs on five hits and a trio of walks in three innings.
Pawtucket struck first in the bottom of the third inning as Lind laced an RBI double off the right-field wall to plate Miller. The next batter, third baseman Jordan Betts, lined a two-strike, two-out RBI single into shallow left field to double the lead to 2-0. Two batters later, first baseman Mike Olt smashed a hanging curveball into the left-field bullpen for a three-run jack.
In the fourth, Indianapolis reliever Jesus Liranzo walked the bases loaded and then issued a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Betts, as Pawtucket added a run to its lead, 6-0. De Jesus then cleared the bases with a two-strike, two-out double into the right-center gap to make it 9-0.
Pawtucket tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth on consecutive RBI singles from center fielder Rusney Castillo (who also walked twice in this game for just the second time in the last two seasons) and Lind.
With their six-game homestand in the books, the PawSox now hit the road to square off with the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) on Monday at 6:35 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander William Cuevas (3-3, 3.39) is scheduled to oppose Chiefs righty Austin Voth (4-3, 4.35). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:05 p.m.
The PawSox will return home to McCoy Stadium on June 19-24 (Tuesday-Sunday) for a seven-game homestand against the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) and Syracuse. 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.