Month: June 2010

PawSox Offense Continues To Struggle

PAWTUCKET-The Pawtucket Red Sox offense once again had a hard time scoring runs, falling to the Columbus Clippers tonight 2-1 at McCoy.

The PawSox could only muster four hits and were held hitless from the third inning until Aaron Bates hit a two out single in the bottom of the ninth.

“One school of thought is to wait for (the offense) to get better, the other is to really hammer away at it.” said PawSox Manager Torey Lovullo, “We had a number of opportunities to blow this game open with timely hitting.  We just couldn’t get the hit at the right time.”

The Clippers runs came in the top of the second on a two run homer by 3B Jared Goedert off PawSox starter Ramon Ramirez.

Shoddy Columbus defense led to the PawSox’ only run in the bottom of the first.  Tug Hulett led off with a walk.  Jorge Jimenez grounded to short in what should have been a double play, but Clippers’ 2B Josh Rodriguez relay throw to first went wild, allowing Jimenez to reach.  Angel Sanchez then hit a liner to center which sailed over the head of Jose Constanza, scoring Jimenez.

The Columbus pitching effort was led by starter Josh Tomlin. Tomlin (6-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits.  He walked five and struck out four.

Ramirez (1-2) worked a total of 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits.  He walked two, struck out two and hit a batter.  He threw 72 pitches, 48 for strikes.

PawSox reliever Robert Coello had another impressive outing, shutting the Clippers down over 3 2/3 innings.  He gave up only one hit, striking out five. Fabio Castro pitched a scoreless ninth.

“Our starting pitching and bullpen has been outstanding over the last three weeks.” said Lovullo, “We’ve been able to win all of our baseball games because of our pitching.”

Goedert was joined by LF Matt LaPorta and 1B Wes Hidges in collecting two hits each for the Clippers.

Game three of the series will be tomorrow night at 6:05p.m.  Aaron Laffey (0-1, 4.91 ERA) pitches for the Clippers.  Adam Mills (1-5, 3.57 ERA) takes the mount for Pawtucket.


PawSox/Clippers Pre-Game Notes- 6/18/10

It looks like it will be a gorgeous night for baseball as we are here at McCoy for game two of the series between the PawSox and Columbus Clippers. The PawSox won the series opener last night in 11 innings 1-0. Here are tonight’s line-ups:

COLUMBUS CLIPPERS (40-28, 1st Place IL West)

Jose Constanza CF
Josh Rodriguez 2B
Nick Weglarz RF
Matt LaPorta LF
Jordan Brown DH
Wes Hodges 1B
Jared Goedert 3B
Lou Marson C
Brian Bixler SS

Josh Tomlin P (5-2, 2.95 ERA)

PAWTUCKET RED SOX (30-37, 4TH Place IL North)

Tug Hulett 2B
Jorge Jimenez 3B
Angel Sanchez SS
Ryan Shealy DH
Lars Anderson 1B
Aaron Bates LF
Josh Reddick CF
Dusty Brown C
Bubba Bell RF

Ramon Ramirez P (1-1, 5.67 ERA)

The PawSox enter the game shutting out their last two opponents.  The pitching staff has thrown 23 consecutive shutout innings dating back to the seventh inning of Pawtucket’s 6-5 loss to the Louisville Bats on Monday.

Ramirez is making his second start.  He was put into the rotation last week in place of Felix Doubront, who had been on the disabled list.  Ramirez pitched extremely well, going five innings and giving up only one run while striking out eight in getting the win last Saturday against Louisville.  Ramirez has worked out of the bullpen all season and will be limited in his pitch count tonight.

“We have to understand that (Ramirez) has not gone over 55 pitches in any outing this year.” said PawSox Manager Torey Lovullo,  “We don’t want to put him in harms way.  But if he’s showing us he’s going out there without labor and getting easy outs he’s going to continue out there.   It just depends on the flow of the game.”

The Clippers pitching staff has been just as effective over their last two games.  Columbus has given up only one earned run (last night) over their last 19 2/3 innings.

Tomlin is coming off a win his last time out last Saturday against the Norfolk Tides.  In that game he gave up two runs on three hits in five innings as the Clippers beat the Tides 6-2.  He comes in third in the IL in batting average against with a .211 mark.

With the addition of Ryan Shealy to the team yesterday, Lovullo has decided to drop the slumping Lars Anderson to the fifth spot in the order.  Anderson is 0 for 25 in his last seven games.  Lovullo says Anderson has had trouble against some tough left-handed pitchers as of late and putting him between big righties in Shealy and Aaron Bates may give him better looks at the plate.

As much as Anderson has been slumping, Reddick has been on fire.  Since returning to the PawSox after a brief stint in Boston, Reddick is hitting .611 with a double and homer.  He has reached base in 15 of his 22 plate appearances over that time.

I will be posting frequent updates all game long on Twitter.  And you can come back here for a complete wrap after the game.

PawSox Edge Clippers in 11 1-0

Dusty Brown’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the PawSox to a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Clippers last night at McCoy.

Brown delivered his heroics on a 3-2 pitch with two outs off Columbus reliever Justin Germano (2-2).

The story of last night’s game was the strong pitching by both clubs.  The PawSox staff gave up only five hits in 11 innings, extending its scoreless streak to 23 innings.

Randor Bierd started and worked five innings, giving up three hits and striking out three.  T.J. Large, Fernando Cabrera, and Robert Manuel threw two innings each with Manuel (4-1) getting the win.

The Columbus pitching staff was equal to the task.  Starter Yohan Pino gave up six hits and struck out six over six innings.

Josh Reddick went 3 for 4 with a double to lead the PawSox at the plate.

Game two of the four game series is tonight at 7:05 p.m.  John Timlin (5-2, 2.95 ERA) pitches for Columbus.  Ramon Ramirez (1-1, 5.67 ERA) will start for the PawSox.

NOTES:  The PawSox welcomed a new member last night.  The Red Sox signed minor league 1B/DH Ryan Shealy, who was recently released by the Tampa Bay Rays.  The 30- year-old Shealy spent all of this season with the Durham Bulls where he played in 48 games hitting .238 with 10 HR, and 38 RBI.  Shealy has also had stints in the Colorado and Kansas City organizations, hitting .271 with 19 HR and 94 RBI in 164 major league games.

Shealy played last night, batting clean-up as the DH.  He went 2 for 4 with a strikeout in his Pawtucket debut.


Bowden Shuts Down Bats

For most of 2010 PawSox starter Michael Bowden had not lived up to the hype that he is one of the Red Sox rising pitching stars.   He showed his potential last night, scattering only three hits over 7 2/3 innings as the PawSox shut out the Louisville Bats last night 2-0.

Bowden (2-3) threw 96 pithces in his outing, striking out four and not walking a batter.  Robert Manuel shut down the Bats the rest of the way to earn his eighth save of 2010.

The PawSox scored both of their runs in the bottom of the third off Louisville starter Travis Wood (4-5).  Gustavo Molina walked and Jorge Jimenez and Bubba Bell singled to load the bases with no one out.  Niuman Romero grounded back to Wood for what should have been a double play.  Molina was cut down at the plate, but Bats’ C Wilkin Castillo’s relay throw to first hit Romero, allowing Jimenez to score the first run.  Tug Hulett followed with a sacrifice fly to center, plating Bell.

Despite the bump in the third Wood pitched well, striking out ten and walking only one in seven innings on the mound.

The PawSox are off today and will open a four game series beginning tomorrow night (7:05 p.m.) against the Columbus Clippers.  Yohan Pino (5-2, 2.95 ERA) will start for the Clippers.  Randor Bierd (2-4, 6.68 ERA) gets the ball for Pawtucket.

NOTES:  It was announced after last night’s Red Sox game that, in all likelihood, PawSox lefty Felix Doubront will make a start for Boston this Friday.  Doubront will take the spot of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was placed on the disabled list last week with a forearm strain.  Doubront is expected to come off the minor league DL this week after suffering a leg contusion on the PawSox’ last road trip.


Burke, Bats Handle PawSox

PAWTUCKET- Louisville CF Chris Burke went 3 for 5 and drove in four runs, pacing the Bats to a 6-5 win over the PawSox tonight at McCoy.

Burke had an RBI single in the third, a two run homer in the fifth, and a RBI triple in the sixth.

Despite the loss the PawSox bats awoke, banging out a season-high 15 hits.  Niuman Romero had four hits, including two doubles. Josh Reddick tallied three singles while Jorge Jimenez, Angel Sanchez, and Bubba Bell added two hits each.

After retiring the first seven batters he faced, PawSox starter Kris Johnson gave up a run in the top of the third, giving up two singles and two walks.

The PawSox responded in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on four consecutive hits off Louisville starter Matt Maloney.  With one out Bell reached on a triple to right. Romero knocked in Bell with a single to left.  After Gil Velazquez reached on a single, Angel Sanchez belted a double to left, plating Romero.

The PawSox scored two more runs off Maloney in the fourth.  Reddick led off with a single.  Following a ground out by Dusty Brown and a single by Jimenez, Reddick scored on a single by Bell.  Bell advanced to third on a single by Romero and scored on a wild throw by Bats’ C Chris Denove trying to cut down Romero attempting to steal second.

Burke’s homer in the fifth made the score 4-3.  Then Louisville took the lead by scoring three runs with two outs in the top of the sixth off PawSox reliever Chad Paronto.  Burke drove in a run with a triple and Yonder Alonso tallied two more with a double.

The PawSox cut the lead to one in the ninth on an RBI single by Sanchez.

Johnson did not get the decision, working a total of 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.  He walked two and struck out three. He threw 89 pitches, 60 for strikes.  Paronto (2-5) took the loss.

Despite the shaky outing Maloney (6-3) got the win.  He gave up four runs (three earned) on 11 hits.  He walked two and struck out one.

The two clubs wrap-up their four game series tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Lefty Travis Wood (4-4, 3.77 ERA) will throw for the Bats.  Michael Bowden (1-2, 5.06 ERA) takes he mound for Pawtucket.


PawSox/Bats Pre-Game Notes- 6/14/10

We are at McCoy tonight for the first time this home stand as the PawSox take on the Louisville Bats in game three of their four game series.  The teams split the first two games with the PawSox winning game one 1-0 in a rain shortened affair on Saturday and the Bats winning yesterday 3-1.

Here are tonight’s line-ups:

LOUISVILLE BATS (29-35, 4th Place IL West)

Chris Burke CF
Zack Cozart SS
Yonder Alonso 1B
Wladimir Balentien RF
Juan Francisco DH
Todd Frazier 3B
Drew Sutton LF
Chris Valaika 2B
Chris Denvoe C

Matt Maloney P (5-3, 3.10 ERA)

PAWTUCKET RED SOX (28-36, 4TH Place IL North)

Nuiman Romero 2B
Gil Velazquez DH
Angel Sanchez SS
Lars Anderson 1B
Aaron Bates LF
Josh Reddick CF
Dusty Brown C
Jorge Jimenez 3B
Bubba Bell RF

Kris Johnson P (3-5, 4.75 ERA)

Johnson is coming off losses in his last two starts.  He gave up four runs in three innings June 4th at Louisville and five runs in five innings last Wednesday in Indianapolis.

On the flip side Maloney is coming off an impressive performance.  In getting the win last Wednesday against the Syracuse Chiefs, Maloney did not give up an earned run in 7 1/3 innings of work.

The PawSox offense looks to rebound tonight.  Pawtucket has scored three runs or less in their last five games, going 1-4 in that stretch.  The PawSox have been held to three runs or less in 34 of their 64 games this season, with a dismal 6-28 record to show for it.

On the injury front, PawSox Manager Torey Lovullo says lefty Felix Doubront has been throwing in the bullpen and should come off the disabled list to make his next start on Friday.

Lovullo also says that Ryan Kalish will need more time to recover from a recurring hip flexor injury.  He has not played since last Friday in Indianapolis.

Before the game Lovullo was recounting his experience attending last night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Boston.  Lovullo, a Southern California native and Lakers fan, bought a ticket outside the Garden then joined friends courtside for the game.

I’ll be providing updates throughout the game on Twitter.  If you’re at home, NESN has the telecast tonight beginning at 7:00pm.

Missed Chances Cost PawSox

The Pawtucket Red Sox left the bases loaded in the seventh and ninth innings, losing to the Louisville Bats this afternoon at McCoy, 3-1.

The PawSox left 13 runners on base.  They collected only 4 hits, but were aided by 10 walks given up by six Louisville pitchers.  Their only run coming on a Gustavo Molina homer in the fifth.

Adam Mills (1-5) started for the PawSox and gave up all three Louisville runs on nine hits over six innings.  Robert Coello made his Pawtucket debut and pitched three scoreless innings of relief.

Game three of the series is tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.  Matt Maloney (5-3, 3.10 ERA) starts for the Bats. He’ll face LHP Kris Johnson (3-5, 4.75 ERA) for the PawSox.


PawSox Edge Aroldis, Bats in Rained Shortened Affair

On paper one would figure that a match-up between Red’s pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman and the PawSox’ Ramon Ramirez would heavily favor the visiting Louisville Bats.  But that was not the case as the two pitchers shut down their opponents through the rain drops with the PawSox coming away with a 1-0 victory in a game called in the sixth inning.

Ramirez and Chapman combined to strike out 17 batters in the game, eight for Ramirez and nine for Chapman.  Ramirez (1-1), who got the win, struck out the first six Louisville batters he faced.

The lone run in the game came on a bases loaded walk to Jorge Jimenez in the bottom of the fourth.

Ramirez, making his first start of the season in place of Felix Doubront who is sidelined with a shin contusion, gave up only one hit in his five innings of work.  He did not walk a batter.

Angel Sanchez and Josh Reddick accounted for all the PawSox hits, cashing in with two each.

The win snapped a Pawtucket four game losing streak.  Game two of the four game series is this afternoon at 1:05p.m. at McCoy.  Ben Jukich (2-3, 3.94 ERA) throws for the Bats.  Adam Mills (1-4, 3.48 ERA) goes for the PawSox.

NOTES: Plenty of off field news affecting the PawSox yesterday.  OF Josh Reddick rejoined the team after Daniel Nava was called up to Boston.  Lefty releiver Dustin Richardson was also promoted by the Red Sox to replace Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was placed on the DL just before yesterday’s game.

Indians Easily Sweep Away PawSox

The Pawtucket Red Sox are probably looking forward to a change of scenery.  Especially after being dominated by the Indianapolis Indians last night 10-3.  The PawSox were swept in their four game series in Indy and lost seven of eight to the Indians this season.

Last night’s game was over early, with the Indians scoring six runs in the bottom of the first off PawSox starter Randor Bierd.  Bierd gave up six hits in the inning, including a solo homer to former PawSox outfielder Brandon Moss.  Bierd also threw two wild pitches in the inning.

The Indians scored one run in the second and added two more in the third before Bierd (2-4) was removed from the game,  giving up a total of nine runs on eight hits.

The PawSox got on the board in the top of the first on an error by Indiand’ 3B Pedro Alvarez.  They added a single run in the seventh on a bases loaded walk to Gil Velasquez and another in the ninth on a Bubba Bell home run, his second of the season.

According to the PawSox game account by Steve Hyder, the PawSox found themselves in trouble when defensive substitutions, combined with the ejection of C Dusty Brown, left Pawtucket without their designated hitter.  Relievers T.J. Large and Chad Paronto were both forced to hit, and each struck out.

Even though the PawSox return home to McCoy tonight (6:05 p.m.) their immediate road will not be easy.  They open up a four game series against Reds flame throwing pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman (5-3, 4.45 ERA) and the Louisville Bats.  Ramon Ramirez (0-1, 6.67 ERA) will make a spot start in place of the injured Felix Doubront for the PawSox.

NOTES: Daniel Nava was a late scratch last night, spurring speculation that he might be called up by the Red Sox, with Josh Reddick returning to Pawtucket.


Indians Top PawSox Again

The Indianapolis Indians rode the strong arm of starter Daniel McCutchen in coming away with a 4-2 win last night at Victory Field.

McCutchen (4-3) gave up only one run on three hits over seven innings to pick-up the win.  He walked two and struck out seven.

McCutchen got all the runs he needed on a Brandon Moss RBI double in the first and a Kevin Mellilo homer in the fifth.

Indy added two insurance runs in the eighth on a Luke Carlin bloop single and a fielder’s choice by Doug Bernier.

The lackluster PawSox offense could not support the solid outing from starter Michael Bowden.  Bowden (1-3) worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits.  He walked two and struck out five.

Pawtucket scored their runs on a Ryan Kalish bases loaded ground out in the fourth and a Jorge Jimenez sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The PawSox have lost three straight and six of seven to Indy this year.  The teams wrap-up the series tonight at 7:15 p.m.  Randor Bierd (2-3, 4.75 ERA) gets the start for the PawSox.  He faces Hayden Penn (0-2, 6.52 ERA) for the Indians.