Luis Jimenez broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning, the third long ball of the night for Pawtucket, and the PawSox beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game series Monday night at PNC Field.
With Bryce Brentz at first and one out in the eighth, Jimenez drilled the first pitch he saw from new reliever Branden Pinder deep over the left field fence for his second homer of the season. Earlier in the contest Jackie Bradley, Jr. (solo) and Humberto Quintero (two-run) had left the yard for Pawtucket.
Brentz led off the eighth against Matt Tracy (0-3) with a single to right, his second hit of the game. After Garin Cecchini struck out attempting to sacrifice, Scranton brought in Pinder to pitch and he was greeted by Jimenez’s bomb to left.
Dalier Hinojosa (2-0) had allowed a game-tying RBI double to the RailRiders’ Mason Williams in the seventh, but later stranded Williams at second with a strikeout and a groundout. Hinojosa then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and earned his second win of the season. Closer Heath Hembree retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his seventh save.
PawSox starter Jess Todd allowed single runs in the first and second innings on two-out RBI hits from Kyle Roller (triple) and Williams (single). Todd then settled down and lasted 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks.
Bradley, Jr. lined his third homer of the season in the third inning against Scranton starter Kyle Davies to cut the deficit to 2-1. Davies allowed one run and four hits in 5.0 innings of work. Chris Martin relieved Davies in the sixth and allowed Quintero’s fourth long ball of the year that put Pawtucket ahead 3-2.
Brentz went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored to pace the PawSox’ eight-hit attack. Williams was 3-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored for the RailRiders.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 6:35pm first pitch on Tuesday night. Right-hander Keith Couch (2-5, 5.33) is expected to start for the PawSox while the RailRiders counter with righty lefty Jose De Paula (NR). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.
The PawSox return home on Monday, June 8th to welcome Charlotte at the beginning of a seven-game homestand. Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.
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