Mud Hens Edge PawSox In Series Rubber Game, 3-2

Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

(Toledo, OH) – Despite a two-run ninth and another solid effort from starter Keith Couch, the Pawtucket Red Sox fell, 3-2, in the rubber match of their three-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field.

Couch (1-3) followed up his first career scoreless Triple-A start in his last outing with an additional seven-inning performance. He allowed three runs on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking none.

Couch finished strong, retiring the final seven hitters he faced.

Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief for the PawSox (51-47), throwing 10 of his 20 pitches for strikes. After inducing a groundout to shortstop, Kelly allowed a single and walk with one out. But he struck out each of the next two hitters with breaking balls.

Kelly, whose fastball ranged from 96 to 98 miles per hour, has fanned eight of the 16 batters he has faced in his three scoreless relief appearances for Pawtucket. He has surrendered three hits and one walk in those four innings.

The Mud Hens (44-54) scored the first run of the game in the third inning, when Alex Presley drove home Jordany Valdespin with a double that split the outfielders in left center field.

Toledo then rallied for a pair of runs in the fifth inning to extend its lead to 3-0.

John Hicks doubled and Valdespin singled to place runners on the corners with no outs. Presley then lifted a sacrifice fly to left field.

Later in the inning, Dixon Machado reached first base on a fielder’s choice after Valdespin was thrown out trying to advance to third base on a groundball to shortstop. Machado then stole second and advanced to third as catcher Christian Vazquez’ throw to second base eluded Marco Hernandez and sailed into center field.

Casey McGehee drove home Machado with a soft liner into right field.

The PawSox’ rally in the ninth against Mud Hens closer Bobby Parnell fell just short.

Hernandez singled and Chris Marrero doubled to begin the frame. Vazquez and Brennan Boesch both collected sacrifice flies before Jantzen Witte grounded out to end the ballgame.

Toledo starter Buck Farmer (2-4) tossed 6.2 shutout innings with nine strikeouts to earn the win.

Ryan LaMarre was hit by a pitch in the first inning to extend his on-base streak to 27 games, the second-longest such streak in the International League this season. However, he was removed from the game in the eighth inning.

Pawtucket continues on the road to open a four-game series against the Columbus Clippers tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. PawSox lefthander Henry Owens (6-5, 4.07) is scheduled to take the mound to follow up his no-hit bid Mud Hens lefty Shawn Morimando (1-1, 4.15). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox radio network begins at 6:35 p.m.

The PawSox return home for a seven-game homestand against the top two teams in the league, the Rochester Red Wings and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, beginning on Monday. Good seats for each game are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office; call (401) 724-7300 or visit pawsox.com to get your tickets today.