Olt’s Double In 11th Inning Lifts PawSox Over Stripers

Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Pawtucket Red Sox first baseman and outfielder Sam Travis continued a torrid stretch by tying the game in the eighth inning, and Mike Olt played the hero by winning it with a walk-off RBI double in the 11th, as the PawSox came from behind to down the Gwinnett Braves, 5-4, on Friday night at McCoy Stadium.

Gwinnett (5-7) held a three-run advantage for the bulk of the game, but Pawtucket (6-6) tied the game with a trio of runs in the bottom of the eighth. After the teams initially traded zeroes in Pawtucket’s second game played under Minor League Baseball’s new extra-innings rules, Olt drilled a double to deep center field to plate designated hitter Ramon Flores, who had been automatically placed at second base to begin the inning. Travis (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) notched his sixth consecutive multi-hit game, including a two-run single in the eighth inning to level the score at four.

Red Sox starter Steven Wright worked 2.2 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a pair of walks to go along with three strikeouts in his first rehab appearance. The 2016 American League All-Star, who is working his way back from a cartilage restoration procedure performed on his left knee in early May, was lifted in the third inning due to back stiffness after a mound conference. He handled his only fielding opportunity in the top of the second inning, covering the first-base bag for a 3-1 putout to end the frame.

In place of Wright, Pawtucket reliever Josh Smith shined in 3.1 innings, piling up six strikeouts against just one walk. Fellow southpaw Robby Scott followed in the seventh and struck out the side for a second consecutive one-inning outing, upping his season strikeout total to 12 in 5.2 innings. Righty Kyle Martin then punched out a pair in two hitless innings before Ryan Brasier (W, 1-1) struck out three in extra innings. All told, the quintet of PawSox pitchers struck out 18. The Pawtucket pitching staff entered the weekend tied for second in the International League with 122 strikeouts and first in strikeouts per game (11.1).

Gwinnett starter Andres Santiago supplied five effective innings of one-run work in which he ceded three hits but didn’t issue a free pass. Reliever Evan Phillips (L, 1-2) served up the game-winner in the 11th.

After stranding runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, Gwinnett pushed across three runs in the third. The first four batters in the inning reached on a walk and three singles, highlighted by an RBI knock from right fielder Dustin Peterson and a two-run hit from first baseman Carlos Franco.

Pawtucket trimmed the deficit in the bottom of the fifth when catcher Dan Butler connected on his first home run of the year — a solo shot to left — to make it 3-1.

But Gwinnett grabbed that run back promptly in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from No. 9 hitter and second baseman Christian Colon.

Pawtucket loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Gwinnett reliever David Peterson induced a 5-4-3 double play to escape the jam.

The PawSox loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth inning. Flores then poked a two-strike RBI single to left field to reel in third baseman Chad De La Guerra, who had led off the stanza with a wall-ball double to right. That brought up Travis, who popped up in foul territory down the first-base line, where Franco overran the would-be out and gave new life to Travis and the PawSox. On the next pitch, an 0-2 offering, Travis served a two-run single to center to tie the game, 4-4.

The PawSox continue their three-game series with the Gwinnett Stripers (Atlanta Braves) on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Jalen Beeks (0-1, 1.13) is scheduled to oppose Stripers lefty Kolby Allard (1-0, 3.72). The game will be televised on myRITV, and radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with PawSox Insider at 4:45 p.m.

The seven-game homestand runs through April 25 (Wednesday). 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.