The Pawtucket Red Sox (9-10) rode the strong pitching of starter Kyle Kendrick and an 11-hit attack to rout the Gwinnett Braves (12-8) 10-1 Friday night in the opening game of their four-game series at McCoy Stadium.
The loss was the second in the row for Gwinnett on the current road trip and marked the first time the G-Braves had lost back-to-back game since falling to Durham on April 7 and April 8, their second and third games of the season.
After a scoreless first inning, things went downhill quickly for the G-Braves and starting pitcher Aaron Blair in the second. Steve Selsky walked to lead off the bottom of the frame. The walk was followed by a single by Sam Travis and another walk by Ryan Court loaded the bases. Jantzen Witte then hit a bases clearing triple to center for a 3-0 Pawtucket lead. Deven Marrero followed with a double to right, scoring Witte for a 4-0 lead.
The Red Sox piled on more in the bottom of the third as Blake Swihart (2) hit a three-run homer to right off Blair for a 7-0 lead.
Against Gwinnett reliever Wes Parsons, making his first career Triple-A appearance, the Red Sox ran the score to 9-0 with two more runs in the fourth. One run crossed as Selsky hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded, scoring Marrero from third. The other run came on an RBI single by Swihart.
The final run for the PawSox came in the bottom of the fifth as Court and Witte greeted G-Braves reliever Akeel Morris, also making his Triple-A debut, with back-to-back singles. With two outs, Brock Holt singled to center, scoring Court from second for a 10-0 lead.
The only run for Gwinnett came in the top of the eighth as Rio Ruiz led off the inning with a double to left off reliever Robbie Ross Jr., moved to third on a ground out to second by Kyle Kubitza, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Blake Lalli.
Blair (L, 1-2) suffered his second loss of the season. He went 2.1 innings with five hits, seven earned runs and three strikeouts. Parsons worked 1.2 innings with two hits, two earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts. Morris, pitched 3.0 innings with three hits, one earned run and two strikeouts. Kevin Chapman went 1.0 scoreless inning with one hit.
Kendrick (W, 1-3) was masterful in his first win of the season. He worked 7.0 scoreless innings with one hit, two walks and five strikeouts. Ross Jr. pitched 1.0 inning with one hit, one earned run, one walk and one strikeout. Kyle Martin closed the game with a scoreless top of the ninth with one strikeout.
At the plate for the G-Braves, Ryan Howard was 1-for-4. Ruiz went 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored, and Lalli was 0-for-1 with an RBI on the sacrifice fly.
The Red Sox were paced by Swihart, who went 2-for-4 with a run, a three-run homer and four RBIs. Witte was 2-for-4 with a run, a triple, and three RBIs, while Travis was 2-for-4 with two runs.
The G-Braves and Red Sox have a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday night at McCoy Stadium beginning at 4:05 p.m. Gwinnett will send LHP Andrew Albers (1-0, 2.38) to the mound in game one, with their starter for the second game still yet to be announced. The Red Sox will have Shawn Haviland (2-1, 3.38) on the mound in the opener and Marcus Walden (0-2, 3.97) in game two. Both games will be seven-inning contests. Tony Schiavone has the play-by-play call on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River" beginning at 3:35 p.m.