WooSox Rewind: Pitching failures lead to 2-4 week for the Worcester Red Sox

Last week marked the return of the Worcester Red Sox to Polar Park, and for the first time in the team’s history there were no limitations on fans attending. Unfortunately, the 6,422 that came to watch Tuesday night went home disappointed as Worcester dropped the contest 6-4 to the Rochester Red Wings.

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but in the fourth Marcus Wilson got that one back on a solo shot to right-center. In the sixth Rochester put up four runs when WooSox starter Kyle Hart allowed the first three batters to reach and then gave up a grand slam. The home half of the frame saw Worcester sneak back into the contest on Josh Ockimey’s home run to center field and a sacrifice fly from Yairo Munoz that could have easily been a bases-clearing triple were it not for a great diving catch by Red Wings center fielder Cody Wilson. Chris Herrmann’s solo shot in the seventh cut the Rochester lead to one, but they added an insurance marker in the eighth for the 6-4 final.

To say Wednesday’s 18-5 loss to the Red Wings was ugly probably doesn’t convey how bad the WooSox pitching was in the contest. Starter Ryan Weber and reliever Bobby Poyner combined to allow 17 hits and 16 runs in just 4.1 innings. Worcester’s highlights were a Josh Ockimey sixth-inning homer and Michael Gettys going 3-4 with two runs scored.

Thursday was a truly historic moment in WooSox history as this writer made his first appearance at Polar Park. OK, that’s likely not going down in the record book, but the WooSox 3-1 victory over the Red Wings goes in the win column thanks to a great night from starting pitcher Raynel Espinal. The righty improved his record to 4-1 with a gem of a game, allowing just two hits and striking out six in seven innings. Brandon Brennan earned the save.

For the bats, Jonathan Arauz put Worcester on the board in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly to center, which once again could have been an extra-base hit were it not for a great catch by Cody Wilson. In the sixth Marcus Wilson hit the first pitch of the frame over the center-field wall to make it 2-0. Franchy Cordero then followed that with a triple and scored on a Yairo Munoz RBI single through the drawn-in infield.

The WooSox got some great pitching and hitting Friday as they pounded out 16 hits in a 12-1 win over the Red Wings. Things didn’t look great to start the contest as Daniel Gossett allowed a Red Wings homer on the game’s first pitch. But that was it for the Rochester offense, who would have just two more hits the rest of the way. Gossett went seven innings, allowing just that one run while striking out nine.

Marcus Wilson got that opening run back in the bottom of the first with a two-run dinger to right, and in the second Johan Mieses hit a moon shot over the left-field wall that hit a passing train to make it 3-1. In the fifth Franchy Cordero homered for another run, and in the sixth both Wilson and Jack Lopez had RBI singles. The eighth inning saw the WooSox put up six runs, starting with a Lopez RBI double. Michael Chavis added an RBI single, and Cordero capped the scoring with a three-run homer over the batter’s eye in straightaway center.

If fans thought that Wednesday’s pitching performances were bad, there are no family-friendly words to describe the outings that Kevin McCarthy and Matt Hall had for Worcester in Saturday’s 18-1 loss to Rochester. McCarthy allowed nine hits and eight runs, including three consecutive home runs, in his one-inning starting stint. He faced eight batters before recording an out. Hall fared only slightly better, allowing seven runs–only four were earned–and six hits in an inning and a third. A Yairo Munoz homer in the sixth accounted for the WooSox only run.

Worcester was looking for the series split Sunday in their matinee against the Red Wings but despite a five-run second inning the WooSox problems on the mound continued as their pitching gave up five home runs in a 12-5 loss to Rochester. Starter Kyle Hart allowed home runs in both the first and second innings, but the WooSox came roaring back with a five-spot in the home half of the second. A Conner Wong double scored a run, and two batters later a Chris Herrmann RBI-single made it 3-2. Marcus Wilson then tied the game on a flair just over the second baseman, and then Franchy Cordero cleared the bases with a two-run double. But that would be it for the Worcester offense while the Red Wings bats just kept pounding.

There were multiple ejections in both the top and home half of the seventh innings after batters were hit by pitches, but like many baseball “fights” it was, as Telegram reporter Joe McDonald called it on Twitter, “more of a bench-clearing discussion”.

210Sports’ WooSox of the week
Pitcher: Raynel Espinal is this week’s choice for his seven-inning win where he allowed just two hits and no runs while striking out six. None of the three baserunners he allowed reached second base.
Batter: Marcus Wilson gets the nod the week, going 8-23 with a double and three home runs. He also had six RBI and scored five runs.

Last week’s transactions
Wednesday, June 2: Boston promoted Johan Mieses from Portland to Worcester
Thursday, June 3: Boston selected the contract of Brandon Workman from Worcester. Boston optioned Colten Brewer to Worcester, then designated him for assignment. Worcester released Cesar Puello.
Saturday, June 5: Worcester reinstated Jeter Downs from the TIA.

This week’s schedule
at Syracuse (NY Mets)
Monday: off
Tuesday: 6:30pm
Wednesday: 12pm
Thursday: 6:30pm
Friday: 6:30pm
Saturday: 6:30pm
Sunday: 1pm

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