Lin Drives In Two, Beeks Tosses Seven Strong Innings To Lead PawSox To Sweep of Tides
Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release
NORFOLK, Va. — Pawtucket Red Sox ace Jalen Beeks tossed his longest outing of the season, and the PawSox bashed a pair of homers en route to a 4-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the Norfolk Tides on Thursday night at Harbor Park.
Following a 20-minute rain delay as heavy rains passed quickly through the Tidewater, the PawSox (24-27) ran their season-long winning streak to five games, during which they’ve only allowed seven total runs. For the fourth time during the five-game streak (its longest since August of last season), Pawtucket received seven innings from its starter.
Beeks (7+ IP, 1 R), who began the day ranked third among all minor leaguers in strikeouts and fifth among International League starters in ERA, only allowed two hits in his first seven sterling frames to begin his night and became the first Pawtucket starter all season to work into the eighth. Beeks (W, 3-3) allowed ground-ball hits — including a tough-luck high-chopper double — to the first two batters he faced in the eighth and was charged with one run after his departure. Beeks fanned seven Tides batters, upping his season total to 80 in 56.1 innings, and didn’t issue a walk — five days after he tallied a season-high four walks. Beeks gave up a two-out single in the first inning and a leadoff single in the sixth before the pair of hits in the eighth. In total in his 10 starts over the first two months of the season, Beeks has notched a 2.56 ERA with those 80 strikeouts against just 14 walks.
Pawtucket reliever Williams Jerez (S, 4) gave up two runs in the ninth but buttoned up the one-run victory.
PawSox shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin returned to the starting lineup after missing Wednesday’s game and went 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI single and a walk from the leadoff spot. Over his last four games, Lin is now 8-for-15 with four extra-base hits (including two homers in as many starts this series). Third baseman Mike Olt added his team-leading seventh long ball of the season, and second baseman Mike Miller chipped in two singles.
Norfolk starter Asher Wojciechowski (L, 3-2) gave up just two runs — on the two solo homers — in six innings, working around four walks.
Pawtucket climbed out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Lin pulled a two-out solo shot to right.
Two innings later, Olt clobbered a no-doubt leadoff shot to left field to double the advantage to 2-0.
With one out in the top of the seventh against Norfolk reliever Matt Wotherspoon, Pawtucket catcher Óscar Hernández — who made his season debut after being activated before the game from the restricted list — doubled and Miller singled, setting the stage for Lin to drive in Hernández with an RBI single to left field. Two batters later, center fielder Rusney Castillo supplied an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 4-0.
With runners at second and third and nobody out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Norfolk scratched across a run on an RBI groundout to trim Pawtucket’s lead to 4-1.
Down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth, the Tides pulled within one when catcher Austin Wynns hammered a two-run homer to left to slice the margin to 4-3.
The PawSox continue their six-game road trip Friday night when they open a three-game series with the Durham Bulls at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander William Cuevas (2-2, 4.07) is scheduled to oppose Bulls righty Ryan Weber (0-2, 2.86). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.
The PawSox will return home to McCoy Stadium on Tuesday to kick off a six-game homestand that runs June 5-10 (Tuesday-Sunday). 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.