Game 81- Braves vs. PawSox, June 25, 2008

It’s game three of a four game set tonight (7:05 pm) at McCoy as the PawSox once again host the Richmond Braves. RHP Jerome Gamble (0-1, 4.50) will start for Richmond, while RHP Clay Buchholz (2-1, 2.00) throws for the PawSox.

I have returned to the McCoy Stadium press box for tonight’s game. So…here is an in-depth preview…

Richmond Braves (38-41)

LINE-UP

Josh Anderson CF
Carl Loadenthal LF
Jason Perry RF
Barbaro Canizares 1B
Diory Hernandez SS
Mark Jurich DH
Enrique Cruz 3B
Clint Simmons C
Derrick Arnold 2B

Gamble makes his third start for the Braves. He suffered the lost his last time out at Syracuse, giving up two runs on four hits over six innings of work. He has spent a majority of the season at Double A Mississippi where he complied a 1-5 record with a 4.83 ERA.

As a team the Braves are tenth in hitting (.256) and tenth in ERA (4.21)

Barbaro Canizares leads the Braves in hitting (based on at least 200 AB) at .309. Scott Thorman leads the team in homers (12) and RBIs (41)

Pawtucket Red Sox (49-31)

LINE-UP

Jeff Bailey 1B
Joe Thurston 2b
Jed Lowrie SS
Chris Carter DH
Keith Ginter 3B
George Kottaras C
Bryan Pitz LF
Sean Danielson RF
Jonathan Van Every CF

The PawSox enter the game the hottest team in the International League…having won five straight and 9 out of 10. They are 5-1 on their current 8-game home stand. They continue to have the best overall record in the league and the best at home (29-14).

Buchholz will make his seventh start of the season tonight. He has been spectacular in winning his last two starts, pitching 11 scoreless innings yielding a total of 7 hits. Last week against Columbus Buchholz gave up only one hit, striking out 6 and walking no one. Over his last four starts he has given up only two earned runs in 19 innings pitched.

PawSox Manager Ron Johnson said it was a welcomed site the last two nights that the team had received strong pitching performances from starters Charlie Zink and Davern Hansack, who pitched 8 1/3 and 8 innings respectively.

“It’s a good problem to have” said Johnson, “It gives our bullpen some days off.”

Johnson also gave the media an update from the medical front. Kyle Snyder, sidelined since June 3rd with a right groin strain, threw a 35 pitch side session with pitching coach Rich Sauveur. All reports are that the session went extremely well.

Equally well was the first batting practice session by OF Bobby Kielty. Out since June 9th with a left oblique strain, Johnson said Kietly looked good and feels great. Both Snyder and Kielty will be re-evaluated by the PawSox training and Red Sox rehab staff before determining the next move on the road to their return.

Offensively the PawSox are atop the league in hitting (.270). They lead the league in runs scored and are second in both homers (104) and RBI’s (299)

Ginter enters tonight’s game with a five-game hitting streak. He is hitting .333 over that stretch with five doubles and 1 RBI.

George Kottaras has hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games, batting an even .300 with 3 homers and 9 RBI’s.

On a side note, Johnson will be managing on the field but also rooting for his alma mater, Fresno State, to take home the title tonight in game three of the College World Series Finals.

Check back for updates every two innings or so and a complete wrap at games’ end.

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