PawSox Split Doubleheader Against Indians at McCoy

PawSox news release…

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Henry Owens tossed six strong innings and the Pawtucket Red Sox used a pair of home runs to earn a split in Thursday afternoon’s doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians at McCoy Stadium.

The Indians (6-13) needed an extra inning in the opener, scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning en route to the 5-3 win over the PawSox (8-10).

Pawtucket bounced back in the second game, as Owens powered the PawSox to a 4-2 win to split the brief, rain-shortened two-game series. The PawSox, who host the Gwinnett Braves for four games Friday through Sunday, had not played since Saturday in Georgia after three rainouts and a scheduled off day.

“We needed to get out in the fresh air and start playing some games,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said.

PawSox outfielder Bryce Brentz mashed a home run in each game.

“When he’s making contact, he’s doing some damage,” Boles said. “We’re starting to see some impact.”

Game One

In his first appearance since collecting his first MLB victory last week in Toronto, PawSox starter Brian Johnson ceded three runs on eight hits and four walks in five-plus frames. Big league veteran Blaine Boyer (L, 0-1), who joined the team last week, allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in two stanzas.

Indianapolis starter Clay Holmes struck out seven over four innings and only allowed a pair of unearned runs. The powerful right-hander cruised through his first three innings, fanning four consecutive across the second and third innings, before hitting a roadblock in the fourth. Reliever Pat Light, who pitched with Pawtucket in 2015 and 2016, followed and allowed a run in 1.1 innings.

Indians righty Edgar Santana (W, 1-0) notched four strikeouts in 2.2 scoreless innings.

The Indians broke the scoring seal in the top of the third. After No. 9 hitter Eury Perez worked a four-pitch leadoff walk and stole second, he scored on an RBI single up the middle from shortstop Max Moroff.

Indianapolis grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth when third baseman Eric Wood launched a majestic solo home run to center field.

The PawSox tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the fourth. Center fielder Rusney Castillo reached on an error and, after a pair of wild pitches from Holmes, scored on an RBI groundout from Brentz. Two batters later, first baseman Jantzen Witte chopped a slow-roller to third and plated designated hitter Sam Travis, who had stolen third base.

The Indians snatched the lead back, 3-2, in the sixth. Wood coaxed a leadoff walk and scored all the way from first with nobody out on an RBI single to right-center from designated hitter Joey Terdoslavich.

In the home half of the inning, Brentz scorched a solo home run — his second of the season — on a line to left to level the game, 3-3.

Indianapolis, however, scored a pair of go-ahead runs in the eighth on a two-run base knock from Moroff.

Game Two

PawSox starter Henry Owens (W, 2-0) spun six innings of five-hit ball and yielded a pair of runs (one earned) with five punchouts.

“I thought he was able to right the ship with his changeup a little bit. It was okay,” Boles said. “Got that last hitter too. … He was able to get that last out to close that sixth.”

Brandon Workman (S, 1) collected his first professional save with a scoreless seventh.

Indians starter Tyler Eppler (L, 2-1) gave up four runs on six hits with four strikeouts in five innings. The 24-year old right-hander had only allowed two runs in 17 innings entering Thursday.

Indianapolis second baseman Chris Bostick stroked a leadoff home run in the second game to stake the Indians to an early 1-0 lead.

After a Pawtucket error to begin the second, Wood scored on an RBI groundout from left fielder Anderson Feliz, extending the Indians’ advantage to 2-0.

With one on and two out in the third, PawSox shortstop Deven Marrero tagged an opposite-field double to put two in scoring position for second baseman Ryan Court, who launched a three-run blast to center field to push Pawtucket ahead 3-2.

The PawSox grabbed insurance in the fourth when Brentz golfed a solo shot to the berm beyond the left-field wall, widening the margin to 4-2.

The six-game homestand continues Friday at 6:05 p.m., when the PawSox start a four-game series with the Gwinnett Braves at McCoy Stadium.