After sweeping the Rochester Red Wings and taking 11 of 12 on their two-week road trip the Worcester Red Sox returned to Polar Park Tuesday to take on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and using some late-inning magic came back to win their seventh in a row by downing the IronPigs 5-4.
The WooSox jumped out to a two run lead in the third when Jeremy Rivera doubled and was driven in by a Tate Matheny RBI single. Two batters later Connor Wong would single in Matheny. Starter Daniel Gossett then surrendered three runs over the next couple innings, but Joey Meneses got him off the hook in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI groundout to make it 3-3.
Reliever Colten Brewer then gave up a run in the top of the sixth to put Worcester down again. In the seventh Chad De La Guerra tied it when he lead off the frame with a solo shot over the Worcester wall, and later in the frame the WooSox would take the lead for good when Meneses scored on a wild pitch. Darwinzon Hernandez, on a rehab assignment from Boston, pitched a solid eighth inning and Austin Brice earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
There weren’t many hits in Wednesday’s contest, with both teams combining for just ten, but six of them were for extra bases and the WooSox made the best of Franchy Cordero’s ten total bases as they came out on top 4-3. Down two entering the home half of the second Cordero cut the deficit in half with a solo homer to right.
In the sixth Cordero homered again, this time to left and with Joey Meneses aboard, to give Worcester a 3-1 lead. A Jack Lopez RBI single in the seventh added a little insurance, and that turned out to be a big run when Eduard Bazardo gave up a run in the ninth. Despite the shaky start Raynel Espinal improved his record to 10-4 with the win.
In what has been the story all season the rain was the victor on Thursday, with the late day weather forcing a postponement of the contest to Saturday. Unfortunately for WooSox fans the Worcester bats also took Friday night off where Taylor Motter had the only hit for the squad in a 6-0 loss. Kutter Crawford pitched pretty well for Worcester, allowing two runs in five innings while striking out nine.
Saturday was “Bark in the Park” day at Polar Park, but it was the WooSox that looked like dogs in game one of their doubleheader as Worcester fell behind big before making a small comeback to make the 8-6 losing score look respectable. Starting pitcher Kyle Hart gave up six runs in his four-inning stint, with Franchy Cordero’s third-inning home run making it 6-1 when Hart departed. Colten Brewer gave up two more runs in the fifth before the WooSox began to put some offense together.
In the home half of the frame, Joey Meneses hit one to center that cleared the outfield wall by mere inches, and three batters later Josh Ockimey hit one to almost the exact same spot. Meneses added a two-run double in the sixth, but that was all the offense the WooSox could muster.
Game two was a see-saw affair with Worcester using their last at-bat to their advantage when Jeremy Rivera notched a bases-loaded single to score Cordero and give the WooSox a 5-4 victory. After a pregame ceremony to note the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks Worcester got on the board in the bottom of the first on an Ockimey RBI bloop to left field that hometown scoring called a hit. Starting pitcher Matthew Kent would give up the tying run in the next half inning, and leave after four frames trailing 2-1.
In the fifth Rivera evened the score with a homer to right-center, and later in the inning Cordero laced an RBI single to right to give Worcester the lead. In the sixth, a Tate Matheny double made it a two-run lead, but Austin Brice couldn’t close out the game, allowing a single and two-run homer of the first two batters of the seventh. Rivera then took care of things in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off win.
Sunday was the usual matinee game, and while there weren’t many hits the WooSox got the better of what there was in a 3-1 victory to give them the series win. Daniel Gossett was the starter for Worcester, going six solid innings allowing just one hit and one earned run while striking out five. Jeremy Rivera gave the WooSox a lead in the third inning with a homer to right-center. It was 1-1 heading to the home half of the eighth when Rivera doubled to put the lead run in scoring position. Two pitches later Tate Matheny hit one to center field that almost left the stadium, landing just a few feet short of Gate A, almost 500-feet from home plate.
Martin Perez got the win in relief with a scoreless eighth frame, and Yacksel Rios earned the save. Matt Barnes, on an injury rehab assignment from Boston, pitched the seventh inning throwing 12 pitches, seven for strikes.
210Sports’ WooSox of the week
Pitcher: Kutter Crawford gets the nod this week despite getting a loss. He pitched five solid innings, allowing two hits and two earned runs while striking out nine. He also got no support offensively from the WooSox, who got just a single hit in the game he pitched.
Batter: Jeremy Rivera is this week’s winner, going 7-14 with two doubles and two homers in four games. He knocked in three runs and scored six times.
Last week’s transactions
*Monday, September 6: Boston selected Michael Feliz from Worcester and returned Kutter Crawford, Jack Lopez, and John Schreiber to Worcester
*Tuesday, September 7: Boston optioned Franchy Cordero to Worcester and placed Darwinzon Hernandez on a rehab assignment in Worcester. Worcester placed Jose De Leon on a rehab assignment in the FCL and sent Ricardo Cubillan to Portland.
*Friday, September 10: Boston selected Kaleb Ort from Worcester, optioned Jonathan Arauz to Worcester, and outrighted Taylor Motter to Worcester.
*Saturday, September 11: Boston recalled Connor Seabold from Worcester, returned Brad Peacock to Worcester, and selected Jack Lopez from Worcester. Worcester sent Grant Williams to Portland.
*Sunday, September 12: Boston selected Brad Peacock from Worcester and optioned Connor Seabold to Worcester.
This week’s schedule
At Syracuse (NY Mets)
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