PAWTUCKET- The Pawtucket Red Sox rode a four-run fourth inning in earning its franchise-best ninth win in a row, 4-3 over the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees tonight at McCoy .
The PawSox were held hitless over the first three innings by Yankees starter D.J. Mitchell (2-1). That came to a crashing halt in the bottom of the fourth. Daniel Nava led off with a deep homer over the right centerfield fence. One out later Ryan Lavarnway walked and scored on Mauro Gomez’ sixth homer of the season, a ball that cleared the low fence down the left field line. Will Middlebrooks then reached on a triple to right and scored one batter later on a wind-aided double to left by Josh Kroeger.
Brandon Duckworth got the start for the PawSox in place of Alex Wilson, who was moved to the bullpen. Duckworth pitched well, giving up two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked one and struck out three. The two runs came on a two run homer in the second by Yankees 1B Brandon Laird. Duckworth threw 69 pitches, 40 for strikes.
“He threw well today.” said PawSox Manager Arnie Beyeler, “The fact that he gave us what he did on short rest was a good thing.”
Clayton Moretnsen (2-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. He did not give up a hit, but did hit two batters. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Wilson made his first professional releif appearance in the seventh. He was shaky, giving up a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly for the Yankees third run. He threw 19 pitches, 12 for strikes. The move of Wilson to the pen may be a signal that he’ll play a role in the Boston bullpen in near future.
“He did a nice job” said Beyeler, ”We talked earlier about his routine. He seemed to get up and wait and do what he was supposed to do.”
“He did a nice job getting the ball down further in the outing he went. He got hit a little but. But as he went on his fastball got down in the zone a lot better”
The rehabbing Rich Hill gave up one hit and a walk in the eighth but did not surrender a run. Mark Melancon gave up one hit and struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his first Pawtucket save.
LF Steve Pearce had three hits for the Yankees. Laird and Pena had two each.
The finale of the two game series and the homestand is tomorrow afternoon at 12:05p.m. Adam Warren (2-1, 5.17 ERA) throws for the Yankees. Doug Mathis (0-1, 6.35 ERA) goes for the PawSox.