(Columbus, OH) - Pawtucket starter Steven Wright tossed eight brilliant shutout innings and combined with Tommy Layne on a three-hitter as the PawSox defeated the Columbus Clippers, 3-1, Wednesday night at Huntington Park to earn a win in the four-game series.
Will Middlebrooks, continuing a Major League injury rehab assignment, played the first seven innings third base and went 1-for-3 with single. Middlebrooks is now 6-for-22 with two walks and three RBI in seven games since resuming his rehab stint last week. Additionally, Garin Cecchini left the game in the seventh inning with an injury after a home plate collision with Columbus catcher Chris Wallace.
Wright (4-1) allowed only five baserunners in eight innings, two hits and three walks while picking up eight strikeouts. The knuckleballer threw a season-high 111 pitches. Layne allowed a run in the ninth but recorded a groundout from Giovanny Urshela with the tying run at the plate to end the game and earn his eighth save in as many opportunities.
Pawtucket (49-46) won its first road series since May 5-12 at Louisville by taking the final three games of the set. The PawSox are now 4-1-5 in their last ten series played (dating back to early June.) Dan Butler, starting at catcher after Christian Vazquez's promotion to Boston earlier in the day, homered and threw out a potential basestealer in the contest.
Butler's home run (3) came against Clippers starter Toru Murata (0-1) to open the scoring in the third. Murata pitched a strong game, allowing only two runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of work while collecting seven strikeouts.
The PawSox tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth while reliever J.C. Ramirez was on the mound. Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch to plate Jonathan Herrera from third base and make the score 2-0, then Alex Hassan's RBI double to left with two outs provided the final run.
Herrera (2-for-4, run) and Corey Brown (2-for-4, double) each collected a pair of Pawtucket's nine hits. No Clippers player had more than one base hit.
Pawtucket's ten-game road trip concludes with a trip to Toledo for four games against the Mud Hens. Thursday's opener is scheduled for a 7:05 pm first pitch, with right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (9-4, 2.66) starting for the PawSox. Toledo will counter with lefty Kyle Lobstein (6-8, 3.74). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.
Following the ten-game road trip and the subsequent Triple-A All-Star break, the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium for a four game series against Buffalo that begins on Thursday, July 17th. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.