The next five innings turned into the slugfest with Lehigh Valley holding on over the final three frames to beat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 8-6, in an afternoon matinee.
“The guys did a good job and battled,” said Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina. “We made some mistakes in the field, didn’t play a clean game and two big hits crushed us.”
Despite only one second inning hit, Pawtucket gained a 2-0 lead after collecting a couple of walks and a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Jeremy Hazelbaker.
In the third inning Lehigh Valley jumped on opportunity to gain a lead of their own following a Justin Henry error at third base kept the inning alive for Leandro Castro who jacked a three-run homer to left field over the Pawtucket bullpen, for a 3-2 lead.
“Chris [Martin] made a couple of mistakes and they hammered him,” said DiSarcina of his starting pitcher who allowed 7 runs (3 earned) over 5 innings. “We had more than just a physical error [today].”
The very next inning Tommy Joseph, Philadelphia’s top catching prospect, launched a three-run bomb of his own to left field, clearing the bullpen and putting the IronPigs up 6-2 in the fourth inning.
“I think those would have been home runs if the wind was blowing in,” said Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina in reference to the heavy winds blowing out during the game. “Two innings in a row, three run home runs, it’s tough to come back from that.
Pawtucket responded by adding two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings, but the IronPigs followed up with a run of their own in the fifth and sixth innings to keep the PawSox at arms-length with an 8-6 lead.
In the seventh inning Pawtucket drew back-to-back, two-out walks, but Henry popped one up behind the third base bag that nullified the threat.
IronPigs relievers Jake Diekman (win) and Mike Stutes (save) handled the final two innings with relative ease, combining for three strikeouts while allowing no base runners.
NOTES: In his fourth rehab start David Ortiz went 0-for-4, batting third in the lineup. DiSarcina said of Ortiz, “He just needs to get out there and have at-bats. We have two more days here [on a homestand], if he gets eight at-bats we will reassess where he is after those at-bats.”…Jose Iglesias went 1-for-5 with 2 strikeouts. He is 3-for-19 since being sent down to Pawtucket. “He’s hit the ball hard over the last two games and has nothing to show for it,” said DiSarcina. “He doesn’t have a ton of good results right now, but he has put together some at-bats. He just looks like he’s in-and-out of his approach. He’s kind of all over the place right now.”…A bright spot in the PawSox lineup was Mitch Maier who went 3-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored. “He gets down in the count and is not afraid to hit with two strikes,” DiSarcina said of Maier. “We love having him here. He’s a baseball player and he throws up good at-bats every time he goes out there.” Maier is batting .455 since being activated three games ago.
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