PawSox Walk Off With Win In 11 Innings, Sweep Series From Stripers

Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — A triple play and a pitcher clocked at 100 MPH were rarities relegated below the fold after the Pawtucket Red Sox stormed back in the bottom of the 11th with four runs to cap a 10-9 walk-off win over the Gwinnett Stripers, their second walk-off victory in the three-game weekend sweep at McCoy Stadium.

Four separate ties and four more lead changes highlighted the final five innings of the ballgame, as the PawSox (8-6) built a 5-3 lead in the seventh, watched it dissolve into a 5-5 tie in the ninth, re-tied the game 6-6 in the 10th and came back from a 9-6 deficit in the 11th to somehow sweep the Stripers (5-9). On a day filled with key plays from a variety of sources, center fielder Aneury Tavarez tied the game with an RBI double in the 11th, and second baseman Mike Miller — who was prepared to pitch if the game went to a 12th inning — won it with an RBI single ripped into right. Just two days earlier, Mike Olt had supplied a walk-off RBI double in the 11th in a 5-4 on Friday.

“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit,” Miller said of his game-winning swing. “Their guy has some good stuff, so you gotta make sure you stay inside your zone. Fastball middle-in, stayed inside it and put the ball into right field. That’s about it.”

Hours earlier, the PawSox turned a unique 3-1-6-2 triple play, Pawtucket’s first since May 19, 2014, when Garin Cecchini started a 5-4-3 triple play with the help of Ryan Roberts and Ryan Lavarnway. This time, Gwinnett’s Rio Ruiz ripped a ball of the first-base bag that then ricocheted off of first-base umpire Jeremy Riggs. PawSox first baseman Sam Travis picked up the loose ball and flipped to the covering William Cuevas. Shortstop Ivan De Jesus Jr. then saw Gwinnett’s baserunners off their bags and signaled for Cuevas to throw toward second. De Jesus slapped a tag on the trail baserunner between second and third and then threw to the catcher Mike Ohlman, who tagged out the lead baserunner between third and home.

“They were alert,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said of his players. “I thought Jeremy, the umpire, the ball hit him, he doesn’t want to get hit there obviously and affect the game, but he didn’t call dead ball. We had [a play] last year at their place where it was called a dead ball. He didn’t call dead ball, Travis finishing the play, Cuevas getting over, then to execute two rundowns. To be that accurate with your throws and how efficient the triple play was. It wasn’t like it was a snowball fight where the ball was going all over the place. It was clean, and it happened quick. For all the change of direction of the throws, all the different factors involved, there was a lot of awareness on that play by a lot of players.”

After six innings of two-run work from Cuevas, Pawtucket right-hander Ty Buttrey took over and struck out three in his 1.2 innings, including a strikeout to end the seventh in which he pumped a 100 MPH fastball (according to TrackMan) by Sean Kazmar. Fellow PawSox right-hander Kyle Martin (W, 2-1) finished the ballgame.

Rehabbing Braves starter Luiz Gohara allowed a run in four innings, and reliever Jason Hursh (L, 0-1) ceded five runs (three earned) between the 10th and 11th.

Though the PawSox were outhit 18-13, Pawtucket was powered by right fielder Rusney Castillo (3-for-5, 2B, RBI), shortstop Ivan De Jesus (3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, BB), Ohlman (2-for-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI), Tavarez (3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI) and Miller (2-for-5, RBI).

Gwinnett started the scoring in the top of the first inning when left fielder Dustin Peterson supplied a two-run single to center field.

The PawSox cut the margin in half in the bottom of the second inning when Ohlman smacked a solo home run — his first of the season — over the berm in left field to make it 2-1.

Pawtucket then snatched the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Tavarez sliced an RBI double down the left-field line and later sprinted home from third on a wild pitch to push the PawSox up 3-2.

Gwinnett, however, tied the game in the top of the seventh on a solo home run from right fielder Ezequiel Carrera.

The PawSox promptly responded in the bottom of the seventh when Castillo ripped an RBI double to right. Two batters later, Miller raced home from third on another Gwinnett wild pitch to stretch Pawtucket’s lead to 5-3.

Gwinnett managed a pair of game-tying runs in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, as third baseman Rio Ruiz’s RBI double and first baseman Carlos Franco’s RBI infield single leveled the score, 5-5.

The PawSox had a chance to walk off in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners at the corners and only one out, but Stripers reliever Evan Phillips induced a 6-4-3 double play.

Buoyed by the automatic baserunner that begins extra innings at second base, the Stripers scored in the top of the 10th on a sacrifice fly to left field from second baseman Danny Santana.

In the home half of the 10th, Castillo wasted no time by socking a hard-hit RBI single up the middle past Santana to plate Miller and tie the game, 6-6. Later, with runners at first and second and again just one out, Gwinnett generated another double-play ball to force an 11th inning.

Gwinnett pushed across three runs in the top of the 11th inning on a two-run double from Ruiz and an RBI single from Kazmar.

The PawSox countered with a one-out, two-run double from Ohlman to left-center before Tavarez tied the game, 9-9, with another RBI double sliced to left. That set the stage for Miller to stroke the game-winning single to right.

Following the series with Gwinnett, the PawSox open a four-game, three-day series with the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) with a doubleheader Monday, beginning at 4:35 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Chandler Shepherd (0-0, 8.31) is scheduled to start game one opposite Mud Hens lefty Blaine Hardy (1-0, 0.79). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 4:05 p.m.

The seven-game homestand runs through April 25 (Wednesday). Good seats are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.