Brock Holt Hits Rehab Homer as PawSox Rally to Beat RailRiders

PawSox news release…

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Despite a sluggish start and a mid-game deficit, the Pawtucket Red Sox rode a pair of home runs and surged past the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 4-3, on Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium.

Trailing 3-0 entering the sixth inning, PawSox Brock Holt and Matt Dominguez each blasted two-run home runs to power Pawtucket (15-13) in the middle meeting of the three-game set, assuring a series win over the RailRiders (15-14). The PawSox have won six of their last seven games.

After serving as the designated hitter in Monday’s series opener, the rehabbing Holt (vertigo) played seven innings in left field and batted third. The 2015 American League All-Star had the best game of his rehab assignment, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a two-run home run.

“It looked like he moved well in left field, made the catch up against the wall, played another ball off the wall and got it in to hold the runner at third base, three quality at-bats, so it was a good day for him,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said.

Pawtucket starter Brian Johnson (W, 2-0) spun seven innings and didn’t allow a run after the second inning. The 26-year old left-hander hasn’t yielded more than three runs in any of his five starts with Pawtucket. Johnson scattered 10 hits, left a runner on in each of the first six innings and slithered out of trouble in the fifth and sixth, stranding three total in scoring position in those two frames.

“He left some pitches out over the zone,” Boles said. “They were collecting a lot of hits. He was able to navigate through some rough waters at times and limit the damage. Then the third through the seventh inning, he did a terrific job. He got himself in a good pace. It looked like he was comfortable on the mound and started to execute pitches.”

PawSox relievers Kyle Martin and Noe Ramirez (S, 2) buttoned up the victory.

“Martin was outstanding,” Boles said. “To take the lead there, clean efficient inning, he looked great. The fastball was quality. The cutter was an interesting pitch tonight.”

The victory marked Pawtucket’s first win of the season when trailing after six innings (previously 0-10).

Scranton starter Brady Lail ceded two runs on two hits and a pair of walks in six innings, and reliever Giovanny Gallegos (L, 0-1) surrendered the lead.

The RailRiders climbed out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single up the middle from cleanup man Ji-Man Choi.

The RailRiders expanded their lead in the second. Third baseman Cito Culver stung an RBI double into the left-center gap to reel in center fielder and Pawtucket native Mason Williams. Then Culver scored from third on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-0.

The PawSox didn’t record their first hit of the night until designated hitter Steve Selsky laced a two-out single to center in the bottom of the fourth.

Lail limited Pawtucket to just that one hit until the sixth. Three batters after shortstop Heiker Meneses worked a leadoff walk, Holt reworked an 0-2 count full and yanked a two-run home run to right field, trimming the deficit to 3-2.

Gallegos replaced Lail for the seventh. PawSox second baseman Jantzen Witte coaxed a one-out walk, and Dominguez hammered his second opposite-field home run in as many nights — a blast to right that vaulted Pawtucket ahead 4-3.

“Recently he’s been better at the plate because of his strike-zone management,” Boles said of Dominguez.

Pawtucket won despite matching a season-low with merely three hits.

The PawSox continue their seven-game homestand at McCoy Stadium on Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. Pawtucket left-hander Henry Owens (3-0, 1.35) is scheduled to oppose RailRiders lefty Caleb Smith (1-0, 3.70).