COLUMBUS, Ohio - Playing in a hitter's haven in Columbus, Ohio, for the first time all season, the Pawtucket Red Sox bashed three home runs and toppled the Columbus Clippers, 5-4, on Tuesday night to begin a three-game series at Huntington Park.
The PawSox (50-63) climbed out to a 5-0 lead through an inning-and-a-half, as Tzu-Wei Lin homered in each of the first two innings, and Chris Owings added a two-run shot in the top of the first. Starting pitcher Erasmo Ramírez (W, 4-7) continued a great run of individual success by spinning seven innings of two-run ball, and reliever Héctor Velázquez (S, 1) earned his first career save - in either MLB, MiLB or the Mexican League - by fanning two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
In addition to Lin (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB) and Owings (1-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Rusney Castillo (2-for-4) helped power the offense.
After a 40-minute rain delay preceded the game's first pitch, Lin kicked off the ballgame by smoking a solo homer to right field for his first big fly of the season. Two batters later, Owings (.967 OPS) went the opposite way with a two-run long ball.
In the second, Lin homered again - pulling a nearly-identical, two-run shot to right to stretch the margin to 5-0. Lin, who hadn't homered in his first 198 plate appearances between Triple-A and MLB this season, went deep twice in two innings.
Columbus hit a pair of solo blasts in the fourth to make it 5-2, then got a two-run homer in the eighth to slice the gap to 5-4.
But Velázquez locked down the victory with a convincing ninth.
Columbus starter Jordan Stephens (L, 3-6) allowed five runs in 4.2 innings.
The PawSox continue their three-game series in Columbus on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz (5-6, 4.45 ERA) is slated to oppose Columbus righty Michael Peoples (8-5, 4.58 ERA). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.
Following a six-game road trip through Ohio, the PawSox will return home August 13-18 (Tuesday-Sunday) for a six-game homestand against the Orioles and Tigers Triple-A affiliates.
On August 13 (Tuesday), the PawSox will again play as the popular Osos Polares de Pawtucket. Then on August 14 (Wednesday), fans can participate in the Ross-Simons Dazzling Diamond Sweepstakes for a second straight year with a chance to win diamonds. August 15 (Thursday) marks Silver Seniors Day Bingo. The weekend starts with a bang on August 16 (Friday), as the PawSox will give away Red Sox World Series championship replica rings to the first 3,000 fans entering McCoy Stadium. On August 17 (Saturday), fans can enjoy post-game fireworks set to country music. The homestand concludes August 18 (Sunday) with a Sunday FunDay in which fans can play pre-game catch on the field and then run the bases post-game.
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.