BOSTON- Playing at Fenway Park wasn’t intimidating to the Pawtucket Red Sox. Five of their starters came into the game with at least one game of Major League experience. And it showed as the PawSox handled the Charlotte Knights, 5-2, in game two of the Futures at Fenway double header played today in Boston.
The most comfortable of the PawSox appeared to be starter David Pauley, who felt right at home on the Fenway mound, pitching seven strong innings to pick-up his 13th win of the season. Pauley made a spot start for Boston at Fenway on April 22nd in the place of Josh Beckett who was sidelined with the flu. Pauley did not receive the decision in the Sox’ 7-6 win over the Anaheim Angels.
“I think it took a little bit of the nervousness away” said Pauley of his return to the Fenway mound, “It felt good to go out in the beginning and not feel the jitters. It was another game to go out and pitch.”
Pauley gave up only two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out four, throwing 91 pitches, 57 for strikes.
“I wanted to come out and have a good start here and show I can pitch in an atmosphere like this” said Pauley.
“Coming into this situation you are a bit out of your routine” said PawSox Manger Ron Johnson, “It was really gratifying to watch (Pauley) because he’s at the point where he’s a professional.”
The other four players in the PawSox line-up also contributed to the win. Joe Thurston, who spent some time with Boston this season as well as stints in the bigs with the Dodgers and Phillies, went 2 for 4 with two RBI’s. One of those hits was a solo home run to right in the bottom of the third.
Jeff Bailey, who has made three appearances in Boston the last two seasons, contributed a two run double in the fourth. He finished the day 1 for 4.
Keith Ginter, who spent time with Houston, Milwaukee, and Oakland, chipped in with two hits.
And recently acquired infielder Josh Wilson also added a hit for Pawtucket. Wilson had Major League experience with Florida and Washington.
“Joe’s ball really surprised me” said Johnson, “That’s like David Ortiz country.”
Pawtucket also received run scoring hits from Dusty Brown (RBI single in the first) and Gil Velazquez (RBI double in the fourth).
Charlotte starter Charlie Haeger (9-11) took the loss. The PawSox had no trouble handling Haeger’s knuckleball, although he did pitch seven innings, giving five runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out six.
PawSox lefty Hunter Jones relieved Pauley and threw a scoreless eighth. Chris Smith came on in the ninth to notch his 14th save.
Pawtucket has taken the first two games of the four game series with the Knights. Game three is tomorrow afternoon (1:05 pm) at McCoy. RHP Lance Broadway (10-7 4.68 ERA) pitches for Charlotte. He’ll be opposed by RHP Bartolo Colon (2-1, 2.45 ERA) making another rehab start for the PawSox.
NOTES: I mentioned in an earlier post that because this was a home game, the PawSox’ game staff were in control of much of what took place at Fenway, from official scoring to Jim Martin on the P.A. One other aspect of McCoy that was brought to Fenway was the intro music played for each PawSox player when he comes to bat, as well as the musical bridges after Pawtucket scores a run. Made the fans feel right at home.
In game one of the Futures of Fenway twin bill the Lowell Spinners scored on a bases loaded single in the bottom of the 12th to nip the Hudson Valley Renegades 4-3. In the three years of the Future at Fenway event, the Red Sox organizational clubs are a perfect 6-0.
The paid attendance for the double header was 36,234, although those who turned in tickets numbered only 18,117.