MOOSIC, Pa. - The Pawtucket Red Sox scored the final four runs of the afternoon and once again rallied late, but the Yankees' Triple-A club, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, hung on for a 10-8 victory Thursday at PNC Field.
In a series filled with 51 runs of offense, the RailRiders (23-19) took the rubber game by clubbing four home runs and building an early lead over the PawSox (16-27).
Jantzen Witte (.308 AVG, .828 OPS) connected on his second Triple-A home run of the season when he drilled a two-run shot into the left-field bullpen in the ninth inning to trim the deficit. In his first start since returning from the injured list, Chad De La Guerra (2-for-5, R, RBI) was productive out of the No. 3 spot in the order. Bryce Brentz (2-for-4, 2 R, BB) continued a hot month of May, while Óscar Hernández walked twice and singled twice in his first start since his option from Boston. Marco Hernández, one of three Hernandi who started for the PawSox, went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Josh Ockimey (1.012 OPS), who began the day with one of the best walk rates in all of professional baseball, walked three more times.
In his return to Pawtucket after three-plus weeks with the Red Sox, starter Josh Smith (L, 1-2) ceded seven runs on four hits and three walks in four innings. Dan Runzler tossed 1.1 scoreless frames, and Jenrry Mejia struck out the side in order in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Quick-working RailRiders starter Brody Koerner (W, 1-0) sped through five innings of four-run ball, and J.P. Feyereisen (S, 2) stranded the tying run aboard in the top of the ninth.
Following the three-game series in Pennsylvania, the PawSox now head to Rochester to crack open a five-game set with the Twins-affiliated Red Wings - beginning with a doubleheader Friday that starts at 5:05 p.m. Pawtucket right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz (1-3, 3.81) is scheduled to oppose Red Wings southpaw Lewis Thorpe (3-2, 6.70) in the first game. Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 5:00 p.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.