The PawSox grabbed a victory at rainy McCoy Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, 8-7 in 11 innings. Trailing 7-2 going to the bottom of the ninth, Jonathan Van Every capped a 5 run rally with a grand slam off closer Armando Gabino.
In the eleventh, Chip Ambres walked with the bases loaded to seal the comeback and the win. Van Every, in his first action of the season, doubled in the first inning. Van Every had been at extended spring training in Fort Myers, rehabbing an ankle injury. Jeff Natale and Paul McAnulty also had 2 hits each. Natale belted his first home run of the year.
Julio Lugo had a tough 2009 debut. The Red Sox shortstop, also on a rehab assignment (knee) went 0-3 with 3 strijeouts. Clay Buchholz worked 5 innings, throwing 65 pitches, giving up 2 runs. Chris George got the win, working a scoreless eleventh inning.
One of the highlights of the day was the appearance by Daniel Bard. The fireballer pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out all 3 hitters he faced on a total of 9 pitches.
The PawSox have Thursday off. They begin a four game series in Lehigh Valley on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Kris Johnson (1-0) faces Justin Lehr (2-0).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.