Brentz, Selsky Power PawSox Past Bulls Saturday

Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Bolstered by home runs from Bryce Brentz and Steve Selsky and a strong start from Héctor Velázquez, the Pawtucket Red Sox toppled the Durham Bulls, 6-2, on Saturday night in front of a hefty crowd of 7,593 at McCoy Stadium.

The PawSox (19-24) broke a 2-2 tie with a four-run fifth inning to down the Bulls (29-17) for the second time in as many nights to begin the four-game series. Pawtucket, which won despite tallying only four hits, has won three consecutive games.

In his first start since making his MLB debut with the Red Sox in Oakland, Velázquez (W, 3-1) tossed seven innings of two-run ball, scattering six hits around his seven strikeouts. Right-handed relievers Jamie Callahan and Chandler Shepherd added 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

A night after supplying the walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning, Brentz went 2-for-4 with a two-run blast in the second inning. In his last four games, the Tennessee native is now 7-for-14 with six RBI and six walks.

Rehabbing Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (right knee sprain) played the entire game, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the fifth and made three plays defensively, notably a nifty pick lunging to his left on the cut of the grass in the third.

Bulls starter Jacob Faria fanned seven in four innings of two-run ball but left after a fourth inning in which he was struck in the left leg by a Brentz comebacker. Reliever Yoel Espinal (L, 2-1) ceded four runs on three walks, a hit batter and a home-run ball in the fifth.

Durham started the scoring in the top of the first with an RBI single from cleanup man Patrick Leonard, scoring top prospect Willy Adames from second.

The PawSox responded in the second when Brentz scorched his sixth home run of the season — tied for the most on the team — to the berm in left field, pushing Pawtucket ahead 2-1.

Bulls first baseman Casey Gillaspie tied the game, 2-2, in the fourth with an RBI single to center field.

Pawtucket, however, climbed back ahead with the four-run uprising in the fifth. After second baseman Mike Miller worked a one-out walk and scored from third on a wild pitch, the PawSox placed two more aboard thanks to Espinal’s command issues. Selsky then skied a towering three-run home run to left to extend the gap to 6-2.   

From there, over the final four frames, PawSox pitchers only yielded one hit, a single to Adames to begin the top of the sixth.

The PawSox continue their four-game series against Durham on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at McCoy Stadium. PawSox left-hander Henry Owens (3-3, 3.19) is scheduled to start opposite Bulls righty Brent Honeywell (3-4, 3.69). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 1:05 p.m.

The seven-game homestand runs through Monday. 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.