The Pawtucket Red Sox failed to win two in a row for the first time in two and a half weeks as they fell to the Rochester Red Wings, 6-4 at Frontier Field in Rochester on Thursday night. The series in Rochester is tied at one game apiece with the rubber game slated for Friday night. The PawSox and Red Wings have played for the past four nights in a row and the clubs have split those four games.
Thursday the PawSox took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 5th-inning when DH Jason Repko drilled a solo HR (#4) with 2 outs to break a scoreless tie. The lead was short-lived, however, as Rochester scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th. Starter and loser Tony Pena, Jr. (0-7) took a shutout into the 5th but allowed a walk and two singles to begin the 5th and left with the game tied at 1-1 and two runners on base.
Reliever Daniel Bard entered and his struggles continued. After looking sharp in his last outing on Monday vs. Rochester (a 1-2-3 inning), Bard was the opposite this time as he faced four batters and did not get an out as a 1-1 tie turned into a 6-1 deficit. Bard hit the first batter he faced, allowed a 2-run double to Matt Carson, hit the next batter and then threw two wild pitches to allow two more runs to score. Bard gave up an RBI single to Danny Valencia to make it 6-1 before being lifted. Pena was charged with 3 runs in the inning while Bard gave up 3 of his own - throwing 20 pitches (8 for strikes).
Alex Wilson finished up the 5th-inning and did a nice job in relief allowing just 1 hit over 2.1 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts. Will Latimer worked the final 1.2 hitless innings.
Pawtucket scored a run in the 8th-inning on an RBI single by CF Che-Hsuan Lin who went 3-for-5 on the night and pulled to within 6-4 on a 2-run double by LF Alex Hassan with 2 outs in the 9th. Hassan and 3B Andy LaRoche were both 2-for-3 with 2 walks while SS Jose Iglesias went 2-for-5 as the PawSox out-hit the Red Wings, 12-8 but left the bases loaded in the 2nd, 8th, and 9th innings. Lin struckout on three pitches with the bases loaded to end the game.
PawSox RHP Billy Buckner (1-2) faces Rochester RHP P.J. Walters (3-1) in the series finale on Friday night at 7:05 pm. The PawSox return to McCoy Stadium on Saturday for a 2-game weekend series vs. Syracuse with games Saturday at 6:05 pm and Sunday at 1:05 pm at McCoy leading to the All-Star break (July 9-11).