PAWTUCKET- The 8,021 fans at McCoy tonight saw a strong pitching performance once again from the home team. But they also witnessed a sub par offensive outing as the PawSox fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2-1.
All the runs in the game came via the long ball. The Yankees Juan Miranda blasted a two-run homer in the top of the fourth while PawSox newcomer Brian Anderson added a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth.
The PawSox had their best chance to crack the Yankees in the bottom of the seventh. With one out Aaron Bates singled and Bubba Bell walked off SWB reliever Mike Dunn. Angel Chavel reached to load the bases off reliever Edwar Ramirez after Yankees 3B could not find the handle on the ball after making a diving stop to his left. But Gil Velazquez struck out and Ivan Ochoa lined to left to end the threat.
The PawSox had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, but pinch hitter Jeff Natale groiunded out to short to end the game.
PawSox starter Enrique Gonzalez (7-10) pitched well enough to win but suffered the loss, working 6 1/3 innings giving up two runs on four hits. He walked five and struck out three.
“Gonzo did a great job.” said PawSox Manager Ron Johnson, “(The Yankees) can swing the bat. When you get a performance where you hold them to two runs and you’re at your ballpark, you’ve got to find ways to score some runs.”
Yankees starter Zach Kroenke (6-1) was extremely effective, working 5 innings, giving-up one run on two hits. He walked one and struck our three.
The teams combined for only nine hits. Aaron Bates had two hits for the PawSox. Shelley Duncan collected two for the Yankees.
Jeff Bailey went 0 for 3 in the first of his rehab starts for the PawSox.
The teams wrap-up the series with a matinee here tomorrow (12:05pm). Ivan Nova (1-2, 4.93 ERA) will throw for the Yankees. He’ll be opposed by Charlie Zink (5-11, 5.49 ERA) for the PawSox.
NOTES: Johnson said the rotation will feature some changes the remainder of the week. Zink will pitch tomorrow’s matinee, followed by Michael Bowden, Billy Traber and Kris Johnson. Junichi Tazawa will make his next start Saturday when Pawtucket hosts Norfolk at the Futures of Fenway game in Boston.