PawSox Beat Bulls on Bryce Brentz Walk-Off Single in the 12th

PawSox news release…

PAWTUCKET, RI — Bryce Brentz ripped a one-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Durham Bulls in front of 6,501 at McCoy Stadium on Friday night.  Brentz’s hit – which put him on base for the fifth time in the seesaw game – was his second game-winner of 2017 and capped a four-hit inning.

Heiker Meneses, who came on for Pablo Sandoval in the tenth, led off the 12th with a single to right against Bulls’ reliever Adam Kolarek (1-2).  After Steve Selsky then singled to left, Jantzen Witte rolled a perfect bunt hit down the third-base line to load the bases with no outs.  With one down, Brentz scalded a one-hopper into center.

For much of the night, it looked like a dominant Kyle Kendrick and two rallies against Durham (29-16) starter Blake Snell would be the night’s narrative.  Kendrick – who at one time retired 13 consecutive Durham hitters – was burned in the early innings by a wave of bad fortune. 

Mallex Smith led off the game with a chopper off of home plate and touched the first-base bag just ahead of Blake Swihart’s throw.  Smith then stole second, moved to third on Kendrick’s errant pick-off throw and scored on a Willy Adames single. 

Durham doubled its lead thanks to more fortuitous breaks.  Shane Peterson led off the inning with a fly ball to center field; Steve Selsky, playing deep in an outfield drenched by rain the last two days, slipped on the way in and Peterson was aboard with a single.  Casey Gillaspie then hit a spinning one-hopper to third.  Pablo Sandoval bobbled and made an errant throw to first that put Bulls at second and third with no outs.  With one out, Mike Marjama hit a chopper to that scored Peterson and put Durham in front, 2-0.

The PawSox (18-24) got to Snell in the second inning.  The lefthander, who had struck out the first four Pawtucket hitters and retired the first five, ignited a two-out rally with an Allen Craig single.  After Bryce Brentz drew a walk – his fourth in the last three games – Matt Dominguez launched a three-run homer to left that put the PawSox ahead, 3-2.

The Sox would get a fourth run in a fourth-inning rally ignited by Craig.  Craig – who has six hits in his last 12 at-bats – ripped a double to left, moved to third on a Dominguez line-out and scored on Mike Miller’s sacrifice fly. 

Kendrick’s string of 13 straight was broken in the top of the seventh when Shane Peterson singled.  Casey Gillaspie then launched a home run to right center field that knotted the game at four.

Jeff Ames and Neil Wagner – who relieved Snell after 6.1 innings and nine strikeouts – kept the game tied into the 11th. For Pawtucket, Austin Maddox followed a scoreless inning from Blaine Boyer with three outstanding relief innings.Noe Ramirez (1-1), who earned the win, sent Durham down in order in the top of the 12th.

The PawSox and Bulls resume their four-game series tomorrow at 6:15 with righthander Hector Velazquez (2-1, 1.55) on the mound against Bulls’ righty Jake Faria (5-1, 3.40). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the PawSox Pre-Game Show at 5:45 p.m. The ballgame will be followed by patriotic-themed fireworks.