Big Fourth Inning Dooms PawSox at Lehigh Valley
Lehigh Valley rode a five-run fourth inning and defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 8-1, on Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park.
The IronPigs (39-29), who have found early offense in each of the first three games of the four-game series, grabbed a run in the third inning and then exploded for five runs in the fourth. Pawtucket (32-34), which three-hit Lehigh Valley in a 2-1 win Friday, was limited to just an eighth-inning run and seven hits.
PawSox third baseman Iván De Jesús Jr. (2-for-4) continued his torrid stretch at the plate. The 31-year old from Puerto Rico, who is in his third stint in the Red Sox organization, is on a 16-game on-base streak in which he's 20-for-49 (.408) with 10 walks. Left fielder Aneury Tavarez (2-for-4, R, 2 2B) added a multi-hit game of his own.
Pawtucket starter William Cuevas (L, 4-4), who had only allowed two earned runs over his previous four starts in 27.1 total innings, ceded six runs in four innings on nine hits and a walk. Southpaw Robby Scott (1.48 ERA) spun a hitless seventh inning, and right-hander Ty Buttrey (2.05 ERA) struck out three in the eighth, working around a walk and a hit. Buttrey, who hasn't allowed an earned run over his last 10 outings, has now punched out 50 in 30.2 innings - a K/9 IP ratio of 15.2 that leads qualifying International League relievers.
Lehigh Valley starter Drew Anderson (W, 3-2) logged a season-high 7.2 innings of one-run ball and struck out four without issuing a walk.
Lehigh Valley stroked three singles in the third inning, the last of which scored second baseman Alexi Amarista to push the IronPigs ahead 1-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, IronPigs shortstop and leadoff man Dean Anna rolled an RBI single through the right side to double the lead to 2-0. The next batter, center fielder Collin Cowgill, yanked a two-run double down the left-field line to make it 4-0. Moments later, third baseman Mitch Walding tugged a two-run rocket over the right-field wall.
Two innings later, Cowgill smacked a two-run homer to left field to extend the gap to 8-0.
In the top of the eighth inning, Tavarez blooped a one-out double into left field and came around to score when leadoff man Tzu-Wei Lin scorched an RBI two-bagger into the right-field corner.
The PawSox conclude their seven-game road trip Sunday at 1:35 p.m. against the IronPigs. Pawtucket right-hander Chandler Shepherd (4-4, 3.68) is scheduled to oppose IronPigs righty Tom Eshelman (1-6, 7.74). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 1:05 p.m.