In a game with six home runs, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs hammered four of them, including two for Darin Ruf, besting the Pawtucket Red Sox, 11-4, to salvage the finale of the three-game series in front of 5,319 fans on Thursday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.
The top two hitters in the Pawtucket lineup, Rusney Castillo and Ryan LaMarre, each went deep, going a combined 5-for-8 at the dish.
Unfortunately for the PawSox (23-24), the IronPigs offense was relentless. They came firing right out of the gate against Pawtucket starter Henry Owens (3-2).
The first batter of the game, Carlos Alonso, walked and J. P. Crawford followed with a single to right. The third batter, Nick Williams, drove home Alonso with a double and Ruf delivered a sacrifice fly to the wall in right field to score Williams.
After a walk and a Cedric Hunter RBI single, Lehigh Valley (25-21) had used only one out and struck for three runs. But Owens used a strikeout and a pop out to leave the bases loaded in the first.
Owens again faced a bases loaded jam in the second inning, but this time with no outs, after two walks and a single. But again he would work out of further trouble.
Ruf struck out swinging and Cam Perkins popped into an inning-ending double play. Mike Miller backed on to the outfield grass to make the grab and gunned down Carlos Alonso, who tried to tag from third and score.
The PawSox scratched out a run in both the second and third innings against Jake Thompson (3-4) to pull within a run.
Pawtucket loaded the bases with two singles and a walk to begin the second inning but could only push one run across on Deven Marrero’s RBI fielder’s choice.
Castillo and LaMarre led off the third inning with singles. Castillo advanced to third base on Sam Travis’ deep fly out and scored on Chris Marrero’s sacrifice fly to right.
However, Ruf would strike for a two-run home run (3) over the right center field fence in the next inning to regain a three-run lead for Lehigh Valley.
After Owens walked the next batter, his outing was over.
Owens allowed five runs on six hits, five walks and three hit-batters—14 baserunners in total. He has walked five in three of his four outings since his stint with Boston.
Ruf’s fourth-inning blast began a stretch in which the IronPigs went deep in four of five innings.
Angelys Nina hammered his second blast of the season, a solo-shot to left center, in the fifth. Hunter ripped a two-run, two-out home run in the sixth that gave Lehigh Valley a 9-3 lead. Both round-trippers came against PawSox reliever Robby Scott, who allowed four runs in 2.2 innings.
Ruf then unloaded against Wesley Wright for his second dinger of the game to left center in the eighth inning. Ruf recorded five RBI in the game.
Castillo’s solo home run came with one out in the bottom of the fifth and made its way deep on to the berm just to the left of center field. It was his first round-tripper of the season.
LaMarre’s blast led off the eighth inning and sailed into the PawSox bullpen.
Pawtucket allowed 10 or more runs in a game for the first time since July 26, 2015.
The PawSox will stay home to open up a three-game series with the Indianapolis Indians at tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m. Pawtucket righthander William Cuevas (4-1, 3.09) is scheduled to make the start against Indians righty and Pirates top prospect Tyler Glasnow (2-4, 3.33). Radio coverage begins on WHJJ (920 AM) and throughout the PawSox radio network at 6:35 p.m.
Good seats for the holiday weekend series against Indianapolis are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.
Support WBOB Sports