PawSox Struggles Continue with Another Loss at Syracuse

PawSox news release…

(Syracuse, NY) – Syracuse starter A.J. Cole pitched 5.2 strong innings and Matt Skole and Matt den Dekker hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning against Zeke Spruill to lead the Chiefs to a 3-1 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium for their second straight win in the series. 

Cole (2-5) allowed just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six batters.  He combined with relievers Blake Treinen (2.1 innings, one hit) and Rafael Martin (save, 1.0 inning, two hits) on a seven-hitter as Syracuse (45-67) pulled into a virtual tie with Pawtucket (44-66) for fifth place in the IL’s North Division standings.

Spruill (4-8) pitched well, earning a quality start but ultimately taking a loss for his third consecutive outing.  He allowed seven hits and three runs, all earned, while walking two and striking out four.  Skole (3) and den Dekker (3) each went deep to right in the second to put the Chiefs in front 2-0.

Neither team scored again until the sixth when the PawSox rallied with two outs against Cole, who had held Pawtucket to only one hit until that point.  Sandy Leon, Allen Craig and Garin Cecchini had consecutive singles with Cecchini’s driving in the PawSox’ run.

Syracuse pushed the lead back to two runs in the bottom of the sixth when den Dekker and Ricky Hague blasted consecutive triples with two outs in the frame, making the score 3-1.

Pawtucket rallied in the ninth against Martin when Cecchini led off with a double and advanced to third one out later on a base hit by Marco Hernandez.  But Martin induced a pop out from Mike Miller and a groundout from Jeff Bianchi to end the game with the tying runners on base.

Cecchini went 3-for-3 with a walk and an RBI to lead the PawSox seven-hit attack.  den Dekker went 2-for-4 with a home run and a triple and is now 5-for-8 in the first two games of the series.

The finale of the series and six-game road trip is scheduled for a 7:05pm first pitch on Wednesday night.  Right-hander Matt Barnes (1-0, 3.77) is expected to start for the PawSox while the Chiefs counter with righty Taylor Jordan (3-4, 2.57).  Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm. 

The PawSox will return to McCoy Stadium on Thursday, August 6th for the first of a four-game series that will also be against Syracuse.