COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Pawtucket Red Sox homered twice against two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, then battled back late to defeat the Columbus Clippers, 4-3, on Thursday afternoon at Huntington Park.
The PawSox (51-64), who yielded a two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, scored the go-ahead run in the eighth to win the rubber game of the three-game series - each meeting of which was played in one-run fashion.
In the top of the first inning, Chris Owings (2-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) drilled a solo homer off Kluber - beginning a rehab assignment as he comes back from a broken forearm - over the left-center berm. An inning later, Josh Ockimey slugged a titanic solo home run that cleared a two-story structure above the 22-foot-high wall and pushed Pawtucket ahead 2-0. Ockimey has now homered five times in his last nine games and has bashed 22 long balls in his first full season in Triple-A.
Pawtucket starter Josh Smith dealt six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts, continuing a terrific series of starting pitching that began with Erasmo Ramírez and Teddy Stankiewicz. Ryan Brasier (W, 1-0) got the final out in the seventh, and Colten Brewer worked a scoreless eighth in his PawSox debut. Star reliever Trevor Kelley (S, 9) then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth - thanks in part to a gorgeous sliding play by second baseman Chad De La Guerra that capped the victory.
Columbus had trimmed the initial 2-0 deficit to just one run in the bottom of the third before Pawtucket restored its lead to 3-1 in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk from Owings. Columbus got a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game 3-3.
From there, though, the PawSox went to work. In the top of the eighth, Owings led off with a double and moved to third on an infield single from Bobby Dalbec. Owings then scored on a wild pitch to give Pawtucket the lead.
Columbus reliever Hector Hernandez (L, 0-2) allowed a run in 1.2 innings.
Following the series, the PawSox now continue their road trip Friday when they start a three-game set in Toledo against the Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket left-hander Kyle Hart (8-4, 3.53 ERA) is slated to oppose Toledo righty Tim Adleman (5-4, 3.55). 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. The first 5,000 fans to that game will also receive a collector's edition 2019 PawSox Baseball Card Set.
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.