The Worcester Red Sox headed west to Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania for a season closing series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and starting things off on the right note for the team Wednesday night with two late runs to win the opener 2-1.
Raynel Espinal was the starter for the WooSox and pitched very well, allowing just four hits and a single run over six innings while striking out four. Unfortunately, the bats weren’t quite as good, managing just two hits through seven innings. In the eighth Worcester tied it 1-1 on a Danny Santana double and Triston Casas sacrifice fly.
Back-to-back ninth frame singles from Ronaldo Hernandez and Jonathan Arauz put two on, and after a wild pitch advanced the runners Johan Mieses drove in the winning run with a fielder’s choice to third. Stephen Gonsalves didn’t have the best of ninth innings, but it was good enough to earn him the first save of his minor league career.
As good as the arms and as quiet as the bats were on Wednesday, it was the exact opposite on Thursday as both clubs combined for 19 runs and 28 hits. Even allowing three ninth-inning runs the WooSox still managed to come out on top 10-9. Connor Wong opened the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the second. In the third Worcester increased their lead to 3-0 on a Danny Santana fielder’s choice that scored a run on an error and a Franchy Cordero RBI double.
In the fourth, it was 3-2 when it looked like the WooSox broke open the game with a four-spot in the frame. A Jeter Downs’ double scored two, and Tate Matheny followed with a single to score Downs. Worcester grabbed the fourth run on a throwing error during a double steal. Lehigh Valley scored one in the home half, making it 7-3 after four. A sixth frame RBI double from Triston Casas and a seventh-inning sac fly from Downs looked like it was just icing on the cake, but the Iron Pigs slowly crawled back into it with three in the bottom of the inning close the gap to 9-6.
Matheny’s RBI single to center appeared like it would just be a stat padder, but it turned into the winning run as Austin Brice struggled in the ninth but managed to hold on to put the game in the win column. John Schreiber was credited as the winning pitcher, evening his record to 3-3 on the season.
Friday’s game followed the script of Thursday’s contest, with the WooSox heading to the late innings with a multi-run lead and then having to hold on for dear life as the Iron Pigs came roaring back. The end result was still a W, with Worcester taking the game 4-3.
The WooSox got all their runs in the fourth inning, starting with an RBI by Tate Matheny. Later in the frame, a Franchy Cordero double scored three to make it 4-1 Worcester. It was 4-2 heading to the ninth and Colten Brewer almost bungled his first save opportunity of the season allowing a run off a double and a single, but he got out of the jam to put another game in the win column for the WooSox.
Saturday was the Daniel Gossett show, as the former second-round pick nearly went the distance and came up just a tad short of a no-hitter in a 7-0 blanking of Lehigh Valley. Gossett went eight and a third, allowing just an eighth-inning single while striking out seven. He threw 103 pitches, 71 for strikes.
It was a scoreless contest through five innings, and in the sixth Worcester would get all the runs it needed when Ronaldo Hernandez scored two on an RBI double, and Jonathan Arauz added another on an RBI single. In the seventh Franchy Cordero doubled in another run to make it 4-0, and in the ninth Cordero launched a three-run shot to center for the 7-0 final.
Sunday’s regular-season finale was just the way a team would want to end a season as the bats pounded out 16 hits and the arms allowed just a single run in a 10-1 thrashing of the IronPigs. Worcester got out of the gate quickly, with a Franchy Cordero RBI single and a Jonathan Arauz sacrifice fly that wasn’t scored correctly leading to a 2-0 lead after a half-inning.
In the sixth, a Jarren Duran RBI single made it 3-1, and in the eighth a Chad De La Guerra RBI double and a correctly scored Josh Ockimey sac fly made it 5-1. Then in the ninth the WooSox exploded for five runs, with De La Guerra launching a hot shot up the first base line to score two runs. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Taylor Motter then ripped a double to center to score three more runs.
Connor Seabold got the win going five frames, scattering four hits and allowing just a single run. Kyle Hart followed, striking out the side in the sixth. Zack Kelly, Stephen Gonsalves, and John Schreiber each followed with a scoreless inning of relief.
210Sports’ WooSox of the week
Pitcher: Daniel Gossett is the easy winner this week, going 8.1 innings and allowing just a single hit while striking out seven.
Batter: Franchy Cordero gets the nod this week, going 7-19 with three doubles and a homer in five games. He also knocked in nine runs and stole a base.
Last week’s transactions
*Friday, September 29: Boston placed Danny Santana and Phillips Valdez on rehab assignments in Worcester. Worcester activated Chris Herrmann from the IL.
*Sunday, October 3: Boston optioned Eduard Bazardo to Worcester.
This week’s schedule
See you April 5, 2022!
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