WooSox Rewind: Worcester bids farewell to Polar Park for 2021 with another series win

The Worcester Red Sox headed home last week to Polar Park for their last homestand of the season in what is being called the “Triple-A Final Stretch”, a two-week post-season that all 30 Triple-A clubs will play with the winner getting some sort of undetermined prize. Essentially Minor League Baseball has tacked on an extra two weeks to make up for the games lost at the beginning of the season due to COVID and is pretending it’s some sort of playoffs.

The Rochester Red Wings were the opponent for the five-game series, and Wednesday night after a rain delay of 105 minutes the two squads did manage to get the game in with the WooSox coming out on top 4-3. Starter Raynel Espinal had a bumpy second inning for Worcester allowing two runs, but that would be the only two he’d give up in his five-inning stint. Worcester would take the lead in the third when Jonathan Arauz doubled, and then Triston Casas and Franchy Cordero went back-to-back to make it 3-2.

Jarren Duran singled in an insurance run in the fourth inning, and that turned out to be important at the Red Wings grabbed a run in the sixth to make it 4-3, but that would be all the scoring in the contest. Kaleb Ort earned his 19th save of the season by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.

Worcester came flying out of the games in Thursday’s game, only to get tripped up a bit before roaring back to come out on top 8-4. Taylor Motter got his team a quick lead in the bottom of the first with a two-run single but has become the norm as of late for WooSox starters Kutter Crawford had a bumpy inning that ended up with Worcester trailing 3-2 after two frames. Jeter Downs got the game back to even with an RBI single in the third, and in the fourth Worcester took the lead for good when a Triston Casas triple scored two. Casas would later score on Ronaldo Hernandez’s single.

In the fifth theWooSox would get two more runs, the first on a Jonathan Arauz RBI single and the second on a Casas groundout. The Red Wings grabbed a run in the eighth for the 8-4 final. In a non-save situation, John Schreiber struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.

The WooSox bats were silent on Friday, managing only three hits in a 3-0 loss. The lack of offense spoiled an incredible Triple-A debut for Josh Winckowski. The righty from Toledo, OH took a no-hitter into the sixth inning where he ran out of gas, allowing two runs on three hits in the frame. Winckowski retired the first nine batters he faced before hitting a batter in the top of the fourth. He then retired the next seven in a row.

It was a rare noontime start on Saturday, and while it took some time for the WooSox bats to wake up they finally did in a 3-1 win. Worcester was down 1-0 after four when Rochester turned an infield single and two passed balls by Jhonny Pereda into a run. The WooSox would get all the runs they needed in the seventh when Franchy Cordero tied the score with a shot over the Worcester Wall, and later in the inning Taylor Motter and Jonathan Arauz would score on Jack Lopez’s Texas Leaguer to center. Stephen Gonsalves earned the win in relief, with Austin Brice grabbing his second save of the campaign.

Sunday was the final home game of the season for the WooSox, but unfortunately for the fans in attendance the pregame celebration didn’t last throughout the game as Worcester dropped the contest 5-4. Starter Connor Seabold gave up a homer to the first batter of the game, but his teammates dug him out of that hole with a three-spot in the home half. Jarren Duran returned the favor of a leadoff homer by getting one himself, and later in the frame Ronaldo Hernandez laced a two-run single to left.

That lead didn’t last long as Seabold gave up two runs in the third before giving way to Daniel Gossett, who allowed two in the seventh to put the WooSox down 5-3. In the ninth Taylor Motter singled in a run to cut the deficit to one, but that was all the scoring for Worcester.

210Sports’ WooSox of the week
Pitcher: Stephen Gonsalves is this week’s winner, striking out six batters in three innings over two appearences, and earning a win.
Batter: Ronaldo Hernandez gets the nod this week, going 6-14 with two doubles.

Last week’s transactions
*Monday, September 20: Worcester added Triston Casas, Ronaldo Hernandez, and Josh Winckowski from Portland, sent Jose Adames, Seth Blair, Joey Meneses, and Jeremy Rivera to Portland, placed Chris Herrmann on the IL, and released Alex Claudio.
*Tuesday, September 21: Boston recalled Ryan Brasier from Worcester and returned Jack Lopez to Worcester.
*Thursday, September 23: Boston optioned Jarren Duran and Jonathan Arauz to Worcester.
*Friday, September 24: Boston placed Yairo Munoz on a rehab assignment in Worcester.
*Sunday, September 26: Boston recalled Eduard Bazardo from Worcester and outrighted Geoff Hartlieb and Yacksel Rios to Worcester.

This week’s schedule
at Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia)
Monday: off
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: 7pm
Thursday: 7pm
Friday: 7pm
Saturday: 6:30pm
Sunday: 1:30pm

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