MOOSIC, Pa. - Despite Bryce Brentz's best efforts and his team's five unanswered runs, the Pawtucket Red Sox fell to the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 8-6, on Wednesday night at PNC Field.
The PawSox (16-26), who will square off with the RailRiders (22-19) in the rubber game Thursday morning at 10:35, trailed 8-1 after six innings. Bryce Brentz, who came off the bench in the top of the sixth inning and ripped an RBI double to get the PawSox on the board, then crushed a grand slam in the top of the eighth inning to pull the PawSox closer.
Brock Holt played shortstop for seven innings, made seven plays defensively and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a line-drive single to right field on an 87 MPH changeup in the first inning.
Dustin Pedroia played seven innings at second base, handled three groundouts and went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Brentz (2-for-2, R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI) provided the bulk of the offense, while Mike Miller (2-for-5) upped his average to .307 and OPS to .809. Josh Ockimey (1-for-2, R, 2 BB) and Sam Travis (0-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB) each walked twice.
Pawtucket starter Matthew Kent logged 5.1 innings of six-run ball on seven hits and two walks in his third Triple-A start of the season. Trevor Kelley fired another hitless inning and kept his career ERA below 2.50.
RailRiders starter Raynel Espinal stranded six in four shutout innings, then relievers Stephen Tarpley (W, 3-0) and Joseph Harvey (S, 2) solidified the victory.
The RailRiders led 2-0 after three innings and added three-run homers in both of the fifth and sixth innings.
The PawSox conclude their three-game series with the RailRiders on Thursday at 10:35 a.m. Pawtucket right-hander Josh Smith (1-1, 3.78) is scheduled to oppose RailRiders righty Brody Koerner (0-0, 5.14). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 10:05 a.m.
Following an eight-game, seven-day road trip, the PawSox return home May 28-June 4 (Tuesday-Sunday) for a nine-game homestand. On Friday May 31, the first 5,000 fans coming to McCoy Stadium for the 6:05 p.m. game against the Tim Tebow-led Syracuse Mets will receive a collector's edition PawSox Baseball Card Set honoring the World Champion Red Sox. On Saturday June 1 following a 6:15 p.m. game against the Mets, fans will be treated to Hits of the 2000s Post-Game Fireworks. Sunday June 2 will mark the next Sunday Funday at McCoy Stadium, where fans can play catch in the outfield grass before the game and run the bases afterward.
Good tickets are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.