PawSox Lose To Yankees At McCoy

Five Run 8th Inning Dooms PawSox in Yankees' Win

Bubba Bell's three-run blast to right field erased a 2-0 Yankees lead in the third inning but it was not enough to counter the offensive punch by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in an 8-6 loss Thursday night.

In the eighth inning Kason Gabbard (0-2) surrendered five runs, three of which were earned, in 0.1 innings of relief. Gabbard entered the game with a 3-2 lead but he surrendered three hits and three walks, allowing six of the seven batters he faced to reach base to turn a one-run lead into a four-run deficit.

The PawSox found themselves down 2-0 after the Yankees scored twice in the top half of the third inning on the back of four hits, but they responded with three runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead. Gil Velazquez led off the bottom of the third with a walk and second baseman Tug Hulett singled with two outs to bring the newly minted all-star Bell to the plate. Bell pleased the 8,515 in attendance by unloading on an Ivan Nova (6-2) offering and depositing it over the bullpen in right field. The homerun allowed by Nova was the only misstep in the starter's outing. Nova threw seven innings allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in his sixth win on the season.

PawSox starting pitcher Kris Johnson got knocked around before getting knocked out by a Rene Rivera one-hopper back through the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Johnson was struck by the ball on the inside of the right knee and the ball careened harmlessly toward third base for an infield single. After being struck by Rivera's hot-shot, Johnson threw a few 89 MPH warm-up tosses to test out the leg but he was removed from the game by head coach Torey Lovullo. He finished the game with 4.1 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out five Yankees.

In the ninth inning the PawSox cut the lead from 8-3 to 8-6 on Niumann Romero's second homerun of the season, but Yankees closer Jonathan Albaladejo came out of the bullpen to record the final out and secure his league-leading save No. 25 on the season.

In his triple-A debut after being called up from the single-A Greenville Drive, catcher Dan Butler went 0-for-3. In 55 games for the Drive, Butler was hitting .316 with five home runs including a .382 clip over his last ten games.

Also debuting for the PawSox was Rich Hill, a 6'4″ lefty who has major league experience over five seasons with the Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles. In his first appearance out of the bullpen for Pawtucket, Hill pitched 2.2 shutout innings, allowing one walk and one hit. He left the game with a 3-2 lead and was in line for a victory.

The four-game series will conclude Thursday at 6:05 p.m. as Michael Bowden (3-3, 4.02 ERA) will take the hill for the PawSox and face Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's David Phelps (0-0, 0.00 ERA).