PawSox Move Within 1 1/2 Games of by Beating First Place Syracuse

 PawSox news release…

(Pawtucket, RI) – Pawtucket starter Brandon Workman pitched 6.2 strong innings and DH Ryan Lavarnway returned from the DL and slugged a two-run home run as the PawSox defeated the Syracuse Chiefs, 2-1, Friday night in front of 6,588 fans at McCoy Stadium in the opener of a two-game series to pull within 1.5 games of the division lead. 

Workman (7-1), pitching for the first time since being optioned back from the Major Leagues earlier this week, scattered three hits including a solo home run while walking two and striking out six.  He won his sixth straight start with Pawtucket dating back to May 12th.  Dalier Hinojosa recorded the final four outs, including two fly outs to the fence in left, to finish the victory.

With the win, Pawtucket (78-63) moved 2.0 games ahead of Buffalo in the IL wildcard standings with three games remaining, pending the result of the Bisons game at Rochester.  The Chiefs (79-61) still have a magic number of two to clinch the North Division title.

Bryce Brentz led off the fourth inning against Syracuse starter Scott McGregor (1-2) with a single to right, setting the stage for Lavarnway.  On a 3-2 pitch, Lavarnway slugged his two-run blast (3) out to left center to provide Pawtucket with its only runs of the game.

McGregor was pulled after four innings having allowed seven hits and two runs, but then two Chiefs relievers held the PawSox hitless the rest of the way.  Sam Runion (2.0 innings) and Aaron Barrett (2.0 innings) combined for four strikeouts.

After John Ely recorded three outs behind Workman for Pawtucket, Hinojosa entered with two outs in the eighth and induced a groundout from Michael Taylor.  The righty then issued a one-out walk in the ninth, but got Brandon Laird and Destin Hood to fly out to Justin Henry right at the left field fence and pick up his third save.

Game two of the series is slated for a 6:05 pm first pitch on Saturday night.  Right-hander Matt Barnes (8-8, 3.80) will get the ball for manager Kevin Boles, while righty A.J. Cole (7-0, 3.43) is expected to start for the Chiefs.