(Pawtucket, RI) - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reliever Chris Leroux tossed five scoreless innings and combined with two relievers on a three-hitter as the RailRiders blanked the Pawtucket Red Sox, 2-0, Monday night in front of 6,134 fans at McCoy Stadium to complete a four-game series sweep.
Allen Craig, playing in the first game of an MLB injury rehab assignment, played six innings as the DH and went 0-for-2 with a walk. The 30-year-old, on the disabled list since August 2nd, is attempting to return to Boston from a sprained left foot.
After starter Manny Banuelos walked six batters in three-plus innings, Leroux (5-3) entered with the bases loaded and none out in the fourth and escaped the jam unscathed. He would go on to pitch through the eighth with just two hits allowed and earn his second win of the season against the PawSox.
With the loss, Pawtucket (71-59) remained 4.0 games behind first-place Syracuse in the North Division with 14 games remaining, as the Chiefs fell at Rochester by a score of 6-2. The squad is now 2.0 games ahead of Rochester and Buffalo in the IL wildcard standings, as the Red Wings salvaged a win in their four-game series with Syracuse while the Bisons enjoyed a night off.
Scranton scratched out two runs (one earned) against Pawtucket starter Edwin Escobar (0-1) on an RBI single by Taylor Dugas in the third and a sacrifice fly by Rob Refsnyder in the fifth. Escobar lasted six full innings and allowed four hits and four walks and earned his fourth quality start in four outings with the PawSox.
Pawtucket stranded 11 men on base including all seven of the baserunners issued by Banuelos and the squad went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In the four-game series the PawSox batted only 2-for-31 with RISP and left a total of 39 men on base.
Nick Rumbelow tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning for Scranton to finish his first Triple-A save. Alex Hassan went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk and had two of Pawtucket's three hits on the night. Ryan Lavarnway went 1-for-1 with three walks.
The PawSox eight-game homestand continues Tuesday as the squad welcomes Lehigh Valley to McCoy for a four-game series with game one at beginning at 7:05 pm . The PawSox are slated to start right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (13-4, 2.58) while the IronPigs will counter with veteran righty Jason Marquis (1-0, 3.07).
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.