PawSox SP Anthony Ranaudo pitched a gem on a warm Memorial Day down at McCoy
Ryan L. Fox (@Scoop_Fox87)
It was beautiful Memorial Day as we honored and remembered those who served in our armed forces now and in the past. And what a better way to celebrate such a holiday than with America’s past time of baseball. After a long road trip of misfortune and misery, the Pawtucket Red Sox came back to McCoy Stadium to face against the Gwinnett Braves in a 4-game home series.
Last year, the PawSox won the season series against the Braves 6-2. They ended up sweeping the Braves in their stadium (4-0) but ended up with a split decision at McCoy (2-2). Overall, in the PawSox sport a 23-18 lifetime record against the Gwinnett Braves. But no matter what the historic numbers say, you still gotta play the game.
Taking the mound for the PawSox was Anthony Ranaudo (4-3, 3.27) against the Braves’ LHP Daniel Rodriguez (4-4, 3.12). Last time Ranaudo took to the mound, it was in a 3-0 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders back on May 20. In that game, Ranaudo went 5.2 innings while giving up 1 run (it was earned) on 4 hits, walked 4 batters, striking out 7, on 106 pitches (66 for strikes) while getting tagged with the loss. He looked to get the PawSox back on track as they entered tonight’s contest on a 7-game losing streak stretching back to May 18.
In the warm sun of the May skies, the first pitch was thrown, the national anthem was sung, and things were under way at McCoy for Game 1 of the series.
For the first innings of the game, it seemed like both pitchers were on their A-game. Batters on both sides were stifled, managing just a single hit. Even when things started to look hairy, both Ranuado and Rodriguez got a crucial pop fly out to get out of the jam.
The PawSox nearly had a chance to break things open in the bottom of the 4th inning. After a ground out by 3B Garin Cecchini, RF Alex Hassan got on base with a big double into left centerfield. However he ended getting stranded there as DH Brandon Snyder struck out and 1B Travis Shaw popped out to center to end the threat.
But then in the 5th inning, the balls went flying. First PawSox C Christian Vazquez got on base with a leadoff single. After two fly outs, SS Mike McCoy smacked a double into center field that scored Vazquez to make it 1-0. Then 2B Ryan Roberts came to the plate and delivered a booming 2-run home run deep to center to increase the lead to 3-0 in favor of the home team.
Things appeared a little sticky in the top of the 7th inning. Things started off positive for the visitors as Braves DH Tommy La Stella got on base with a leadoff double. After back-to-back outs, Ranaudo ended up walking SS Ozzie Martinez. However his last pitch went a little wild and La Stella advanced to third to put runners on the corners. That wild pitch ended up being Ranuado’s last pitch of the game as PawSox skipper Kevin Boles decided to go to the bullpen. PawSox LHP Rich Hill got the call and got the final out of the inning to end the Braves’ scoring threat.
But in the 9th inning, things got a little too close to comfort as the Braves made on last rally. First Braves RF Brandon Boggs got on base after getting hit by a Rich Hill pitch. Boggs then proceeded to score on an RBI double by teammate 3B Edward Salcedo to make it 3-1. Then after Salcedo stole third base, he ended up scoring on an RBI single by LF Jose Constanza to make it 3-2. However Hill regained himself and was able to get the final out of the game to give the team a 3-2 W, ending their 7-game losing streak.
Anthony Ranuado ended up getting the victory for the PawSox, his 5th of the season. He went 6.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 0 runs, walking and striking out 4 batters each on 106 pitches (64 for strikes and 1 for a wild pitch). The big bat for the PawSox was SS Mike McCoy, who finished the game a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Braves’ pitcher Daniel Rodriguez was tagged with the loss. He went 7 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs (all earned), walked nobody and struck out 7 on 97 pitches (72 for strikes).
The two teams will continue to go at it tomorrow in Game 2 of this 4 game series. Taking the mound for the PawSox is RHP Matt Barnes (1-2, 4.35) as he’ll be pitching against Braves RHP Gus Schlosser (2-1, 6.87). The game will start at 7:05 p.m.
Sound clip of PawSox winning pitcher Anthony Ranaudo talking to the media
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