PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Pawtucket’s first year manager Gary DiSarcina said on Sunday that he’s team’s 9-1 stretch to start the season could easily be 1-9 in a few weeks.
They’re now only eight losses away from that prediction.
Entering Monday night scoring five runs in each of their first 10 games of the season, the PawSox only mustered three runs to the LeHigh Valley IronPigs’ eight in the first game of the clubs’ four game series at McCoy.
The IronPigs got off to an early lead in the second inning when first baseman Josh Fields blasted a first-pitch, 93 mph fastball from PawSox starter Allen Webster to the berm out in left-center field.
Webster settled down after Fields’ solo home run, though.
With the help of his changeup, his self-proclaimed best pitch, and fastball, which sat around 93-95 and topped out at 97 on McCoy’s radar gun, he dispatched 12 of the 16 subsequent batters he faced, including six of the seven strikeouts. The 23-year-old didn’t walk a single batter over his five innings of work in which he tossed 55 of his 84 pitches for strikes.
In his last official start of the year on April 5, Webster walked three batters over five innings in a no decision effort against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
“He pitched well,” DiSarcina said. “He fell in love with his changeup a bit, but for the most part he did okay. He kept us in the game… He’s got to learn to be a little bit efficient with his pitches to get to the sixth, seventh inning to help save the bullpen.”
The IronPigs negated Webster’s efforts, and Oscar Villarreal’s two scoreless innings of relief there after, by scoring five runs off Chris Carpenter in the eight and two runs off Anthony Carter in the ninth.
“You can’t fall behind 3-1, 3-2 against good hitters, they’re going to take good passes on you,” DiSarcina said on the bullpen’s struggle. “The whole bullpen has done a good job. Shoot, you’re 9-1 (9-2), so they were due to get hit around a bit.
Mark Hamilton drove in two in the third inning, and the third run was enabled to get around on a fielding error by IronPigs’ center fielder Tyson Gillies.
David Ortiz was scratched from the lineup with what DiSarcina called “mild left heel pain.”