Joe Kelly shined in his PawSox debut after being optioned from Boston on Thursday, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out four through seven innings as part of an extra innings win for Pawtucket. Only one of the two runs against him was earned. Meanwhile Coyle’s game-winning free pass was the third of the 11th inning issued by losing pitcher Carlos Fisher (1-3).
Sean Coyle drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th inning after Pawtucket starter Joe Kelly allowed only two runs in seven strong innings as the PawSox defeated the Gwinnett Braves, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium in front of 6,958 fans in the rubber-match of the three-game series.
After Noe Ramirez (4-0) pitched a perfect top of the 11th, Fisher allowed a leadoff single to Allen Craig, who was immediately pinch-run for by Mike Miller. Travis Shaw then sacrificed Miller to second and the Braves elected to intentionally walk Garin Cecchini to put two runners on base.
Jemile Weeks then worked a base on balls to load the bases, but new catcher Luis Martinez struck out for the second out of the inning. That set the stage for Coyle, who took four straight pitches out of the strike zone allowing Miller to score the game-winning run.
Gwinnett started the scoring against Kelly in the fourth with a pair of tallies. After Kelly had retired the first ten batters he faced, Eric Young, Jr. and Christian Bethancourt lined RBI singles as part of the two-run rally.
Braves starter Greg Smith shut out the PawSox on three hits for the first five innings, but Pawtucket rallied for the tying runs against the bullpen in the sixth. With the bases loaded and only one out, Garin Cecchini looped a two-run single against reliever Peter Moylan to score Quintin Berry (single) and Rusney Castillo (walk).
Dayan Diaz pitched three scoreless innings of relief behind Kelly which included four strikeouts. Cecchini (2-for-4, double, walk) and Weeks (2-for-3, double, two walks) each collected two of the PawSox’ nine hits for the afternoon.
Pawtucket next heads to Rochester for a four-game series that will be played over the next three days. The set begins with a doubleheader on Monday, the opener of which will complete a rain-suspended game from June 5th that Rochester leads 1-0 after two innings. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05pm.
Keith Couch (3-7, 4.96) will resume the contest for Pawtucket against Rochester left-hander Taylor Rogers (6-4, 3.18). Game two features left-hander Brian Johnson (8-4, 2.57) for the PawSox while the Red Wings have not announced a starting pitcher. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 4:50 pm.
The PawSox return home on Thursday, July 2nd to welcome Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a quick two-game series that will feature patriotic-themed fireworks shows after each contest. 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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