Allentown, PA – Blake Swihart’s 13th-inning single led the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 5-4 win on Saturday night in Allentown and kept the PawSox perfect after the first three games of the 2015 season. Zeke Spruill earned his first Pawtucket victory with three innings of outstanding work – all of which came at the tail end of a game that for most of the evening looked like it would produce a quick win.
Henry Owens pitched well enough to become the third consecutive PawSox starting pitcher to earn a win; he and fellow 22-year-old Severino Gonzalez were both outstanding. Gonzalez’s outing was marred by an IronPigs’ error that opened the door a Devin Marrero double that long figured to be the game’s big blow. Marrero’s two-base hit made it 3-1 PawSox.
The Sox added a run in the eighth and went to the final frame leading 4-1.
By that time, newcomer Robby Scott had come on in relief of Owens. Scott came into the game after Owens’ fourth and final walk with one out in the top of the seventh. Scott worked around an infield hit to retire the side; Owens’ final line reflected 6.1 innings of work in which he allowed only the one run on one hit with four walks and four strikeouts.
Scott walked Cord Phelps to lead off the ninth and spark the game-tying rally. Jordan Danks then singled to right and was followed by Tommy Joseph, who also ripped a single to left to load the bases with the tying runs. Scott was removed for Heath Hembree, who induced a comebacker off the bat of Chris Nelson. But Hembree’s throw home was wide and pulled Blake Swihart off the plate and drew the ‘Pigs within two. Hembree then got pinch-hitter Chris McGuinness to pop out for the inning’s first out and struck out Mastroianni to push Pawtucket one out from victory. But Tyler Henson hit a two-strike fastball down the right-field line to tie the game.
Marerro had also keyed the game’s first run with a double that led off the sixth; he scored when Jackie Bradley, Jr. doubled to right.
The lead was short-lived, however. After Owens’ third walk with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Darin Mastroianni stole second. With two outs, he scored on Maikel Franco’s double – which was the IronPigs’ first hit of the night.
Pawtucket answered right back in the seventh – with a dose of help from the ‘Pigs. Bryce Brentz led off the frame with a single to centerfield before Garin Cecchini hit a one-hop grounder to first. Russ Canzler fielded the ball cleanly but threw low to second, where the ball popped off the glove of shortstop Chase d’Arnaud. Canzler was charged with an error and the PawSox had runners at first and second. With two outs, Gonzalez was lifted for Seth Rosin, who yielded what looked like the winning double to Marrero.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 1:35 P.M. PawSox lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez makes his first start of 2015 and will be opposed by lefty Adam Morgan. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ), the PawSox Radio Network and streaming begins at 1:20.
After the seven-game roadtrip the PawSox come home for the 2015 season opener on Thursday, April 16 at McCoy Stadium. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office; call (401) 724-7300 or visit pawsox.com.