Any resemblance between the Pawtucket Red Sox of the first 2 ½ months of the International League season and the PawSox since June 18 is pure coincidence. Or to put it another way, Tuesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Rochester Red Wings was a microcosm of how the team’s played since that date. En route to their 14th loss in 17 games, Pawtucket blew a 3-0 lead.
What made this loss particularly aggravating was the fact veteran right-hander Brandon Duckworth (who began the game with a 7-1 record) cruised through the first 6 2/3 innings and allowed zero runs on three hits replete with no walks and six strikeouts. Then, as has been all-too-typical of Pawtucket’s starters, Duckworth imploded in the seventh.
Seemingly in an eye blink, Clete Thomas and Rene Rivera launched back-to-back homers (Rivera’s blast cleared the elevated billboards in left field). Then, in what turned out to be one of the key plays of the inning, left-fielder Scott Posednik mis-played a long fly ball off the bat of Mike Hollinan into a double. J.R. Towles followed with an RBI double and after Tsyoushi Nishoka walked, manager Arnie Beyeler yanked Duckworth (who, in contrast to previous starts, only threw 67 of 105 pitches for strikes) in favor of Will Inman.
Bad move. (Speaking of moves, Pawtucket lost arguably its best hitter, Mauro Gomez, who was called up by Boston to replace Daisuke Matsuzaka who was placed on the 15-day disabled list).
Pedro Floriman smacked Inman’s first pitch to right-center for a two-run double and a 5-3 lead.
A look inside the numbers reveals why the PawSox are in a slide that has seen them go from first place in the North Division – with a five-game lead over Lehigh Valley – to second place and two games behind the Iron Pigs.
* Pawtucket pitchers are 3-17 with a 3.98 ERA. As a result, the team’s ERA has risen to 3.59 after having been 3.49 on June 17.
* The team’s batting average has dropped from .275 to .266 – its lowest mark since May 31 when it was at .267).
* Opponents have outscored Pawtucket 77-59.
Categories: Boston Red Sox