(Rochester, NY) - Pawtucket twice batted around in the seventh inning on Wednesday, first sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring six runs in the opener, then plating four runs with ten men hitting in the nightcap as the PawSox earned a doubleheader sweep of the Rochester Red Wings, 9-4 and 4-1, at Frontier Field. The opener was the completion of a rain-suspended game that began on Tuesday night.
Both Shane Victorino (hamstring strain) and Will Middlebrooks (fractured index finger) were in the lineup for the PawSox when Tuesday night's game resumed with Pawtucket leading 2-1 in the fourth inning. Victorino, however, was removed immediately for a pinch-hitter and finished 0-for-2 while Middlebrooks played the entire game as the DH and batted 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored. Neither played in the second game.
The PawSox trailed 4-3 entering the seventh in game one before blowing the game open with a six-spot, then trailed 1-0 in the nightcap before rallying for the come-from-behind victory in their final at-bat. Pawtucket (37-37) has taken two of the first three games in the series over the Red Wings (40-32).
Rochester closer Michael Tonkin (1-1) was charged with all four runs and his first blown save of the season as Pawtucket rallied to win game two with three hits, three walks and one huge error. Mookie Betts' infield RBI single against Tonkin tied the score with one out and left runners on the corners.
After an intentional walk to Mike McCoy, the Red Wings brought in lefty Aaron Thompson to pitch to Travis Shaw with the bases loaded. Shaw hit a ground ball to the first-baseman Brad Nelson, but Nelson threw errantly to the plate for an error that allowed two runs to score.
Two batters later Ryan Roberts lifted a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-1. Rochester was charged with four errors in the doubleheader which led to nine unearned runs scoring for Pawtucket.
After Rich Hill (3-2) pitched a scoreless inning in the sixth behind starter Chris Hernandez (5.0 innings pitched, three hits, one run), Tommy Layne stranded runners at second and third in the bottom of the seventh to collect his third save.
Carlos Rivero hit two different two-run home runs in game one, including a go-ahead shot to begin the scoring in the decisive seventh against reliever Deolis Guerra (0-2). The blast erased a 4-3 deficit and scored Middlebrooks, who began the rally with a single. Rivero had hit a two-run blast in the third before the rains came on Tuesday.
Later in the inning Betts drilled a bases-clearing, three-run double against A.J. Achter to complete the scoring in the contest. The PawSox collected 16 hits in the contest, including four from McCoy (4-for-4, walk, run scored) and three each from Rivero (3-for-5, walk, two home runs, four RBI) and Alex Hassan (3-for-5, walk, two doubles, RBI, run).
Chris Resop (4-0) immediately allowed three runs when the game resumed in the fourth inning to put Rochester in front 4-2, but the righty settled down and retired the final 11 men he faced in 4.0 innings of work.
The final game of the series is slated for a 1:05 pm first pitch on Thursday afternoon. Righty Clay Buccholz (0-1, 5.79) will get the ball for manager Kevin Boles as he continues his MLB rehab assignment, while lefty Logan Darnell (2-4, 2.75) is expected to start for the Red Wings. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 12:50 pm.
Following the road trip the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium for a season-long ten-game homestand, beginning with four games against Norfolk beginning on Tuesday, June 24th. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.