PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania was the site of last week’s series between the Worcester Red Sox and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, with the WooSox looking to get back to their winning ways after a late July slump.
Tuesday’s opener couldn’t have gone much better for Worcester as they jumped out to an early lead and cruised to to a 7-2 victory. In the top of the first, the WooSox grabbed two runs on bases-loaded walks from Jhonny Pereda and Tate Matheny, and Josh Ockimey’s RBI single against a shifted infield made it 3-0 in the second. In the home half, WooSox starter Kutter Crawford ran into the only issue of his five-inning stint when he allowed a triple and balked in the run. He’d finish up allowing just the one hit and run, striking out nine in earning the victory.
Jett Bandy got that run back in the fourth with a solo homer to left. The Railriders would grab a run in the sixth off of reliever Zack Kelly, but in the eighth Worcester put the game out of reach with a three-spot, with Ryan Fitzgerald’s first AAA home run driving in two, and later in the inning Ockimey gathering his second RBI single of the night.
Things did not go so well on Wednesday as Worcester took a lead into the eighth inning but then saw reliever Brandon Brennan implode in a 7-3 loss. In the third Yairo Munoz extended his hitting streak to 26 games with an RBI single, and in the sixth Jhonny Pereda grounded into a fielder’s choice for a second run. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre made it 2-1 after seven, and in the eighth, the RailRiders sent nine batters to the plate, with six scoring. Ryan Fitzgerald added an RBI triple in the ninth for the final score.
The bullpen blowup wasted a great start by Connor Seabold, who went six innings allowing just one hit while striking out ten.
Nine innings wasn’t enough to determine a winner on Thursday, but no matter how many frames it takes the WooSox will be happy to take a win, which they did 5-3 in 11 innings. Down a run after one Joey Meneses got Worcester to even with his first AAA RBI of the season. In the sixth Ryan Fitzgerald walked with the bases loaded to make it 2-2 and eventually force the game into extras. In the 11th the WooSox got RBI singles from Jhonny Pereda, Chad De La Guerra, Fitzgerald for three runs, and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre could only score the placed runner for the 5-3 final.
Seth Blair earned the win with a two-inning stint, but all the Worcester arms were great in the contest. Starter Raynel Espinal went six innings, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out nine. Kevin McCarthy (one inning) and Kaleb Ort (two innings) both had scoreless stints, combining for five strikeouts.
Apparently enjoying winning games in extra innings, the WooSox decided to do it again on Friday and once again needed 11 innings to defeat the RailRiders 4-3. Worcester got both of their regulation runs in the fourth inning, off RBI singles from Tate Matheny and Yairo Munoz. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got runs in the seventh and bottom of the ninth to force extras. Both teams scored their placed runners in the tenth, the WooSox scoring on Jeremy Rivera’s RBI single. In the 11th, Joey Meneses scored the WooSox placed runner with a sacrifice fly, and Matt Hall earned the save striking out three RailRiders.
Saturday’s contest had all the makings of a game going extra innings, but Worcester scored two runs in the top of the ninth and managed to hold on in a 2-1 win. Chris Sale got the start for the WooSox, going 4.2 innings before reaching his 90-pitch count. He struck out nine batters and allowed two hits, leaving to a standing ovation from the PNC Field crowd. The game was scoreless until the ninth when Jeremy Rivera singled and Tate Matheny a two-run shot over the right-field wall. The RailRiders manufactured a run in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough.
Durbin Feltman earned his first career AAA win with two scoreless innings, and Zack Kelly earned his first AAA save pitching the ninth.
It was the usual getaway day matinee on Sunday, and the WooSox had a lead going into the bottom of the eighth but couldn’t hold and and lost 4-3. Down 2-0 after five frames Worcester knotted the score in the sixth when Yairo Munoz reached on a fielder’s choice and Delino DeShields hit the next pitch high over the left field fence and into the bullpens. DeShields also knocked in the WooSox third run on an eighth-inning ground-rule double that scored Chad De La Guerra. Closer Kaleb Ort is usually automatic, but for the first time this season suffered a blown save as he allowed two on the home half of the eighth.
With an eighth-inning single, Munoz extended his hitting streak to 30 games.
210Sports’ WooSox of the week
Pitcher: Connor Seabold is this week’s winner, striking out ten in six innings while allowing just one hit and no runs.
Batter: Ryan Fitzgerald gets the nod this week, going 7-16 with a double, triple, and a home run in five games. He also had four RBI and scored four runs.
Last week’s transactions
Tuesday, August 3: Worcester placed Daniel Gossett (oblique strain) on the IL.
Wednesday, August 4: Boston optioned Jonathan Arauz to Worcester. Worcester added Joey Meneses from Portland and activated him from the TIA.
Thursday, August 5: Worcester placed Michael Gettys on the development list.
Friday, August 6: Boston recalled Jonathan Araúz from Worcester/taxi squad. Worcester added Delino DeShields to the active roster and sent Grant Williams to Portland.
Sunday, August 8: Boston optioned Connor Wong to Worcester/taxi squad.
This week’s schedule
vs Syracuse (NY Mets)
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