(Pawtucket, RI) - Lehigh Valley scored seven runs against Pawtucket starter Steven Wright including two home runs and in a game where all the runs were scored in the first five innings the IronPigs defeated the PawSox, 7-3, Friday night in front of 6,813 fans at McCoy Stadium to avoid being swept in the four-game series.
The game was tied 2-2 through three innings, but then Jim Murphy hit a solo home run in the fourth (11) and John Mayberry, Jr., playing on an MLB rehab assignment, slugged a three-run blast in a four-run fifth (1) that made the score 7-2. Wright (5-4) allowed eight hits and seven runs (five earned) in 4.1 innings of work.
With the loss, Pawtucket (74-60) fell to 2.0 games ahead of Buffalo in the IL wildcard standings with 10 games remaining, as the Bisons won at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 11-7. The squad remained 2.5 games behind first-place Syracuse in the North Division, pending the result of the Chiefs second game of a doubleheader against Rochester.
Lehigh Valley plated a pair of unearned runs in the second against Wright, but Pawtucket tied the score with a two-run third against IronPigs starter Greg Smith. Bryce Brentz's RBI triple was followed by an RBI single from Carlos Rivero that made the score 2-2. Rivero later capped the scoring with a solo home run in the fifth (5).
Reliever Hector Neris (4-2) entered the game with two outs in the fifth and worked 2.1 scoreless relief innings while recording five strikeouts. Closer Luis Garcia worked around two hits and two walks to pick up the final six outs and earn his 20th save of the season.
The PawSox next head on the road for six straight beginning with a four-game series at Buffalo and then continuing on to Lehigh Valley. Saturday's opener against the Bisons is scheduled for a 7:05 pm first pitch, with PawSox left-hander Edwin Escobar (0-1, 1.80) starting against Buffalo righty Kendall Graveman (1-2, 1.04). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.
Following the six-game road trip the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium to finish the regular season with a four-game homestand that begins on Friday, August 29th. The stand features two games against Syracuse and then two with Rochester. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.