The PawSox were able to channel their inner Jedi against the Louisville Bats
Ryan Fox (@Spider_Fox87)
It seems that going into Already the PawSox own the season series against the Bats, taking their first match up 3-1 in Louisville back on May 9 to May 12. Already the PawSox finished up a season series against one opponent, the Indianapolis Indians, and ended up dropping that season series 3-5.
Taking the mound for the PawSox in Game 1 against the Bats was RHP Matt Barnes (1-4, 5.01), looking for something to put him back on the winning path. In his last 6 starts, Barnes went 0-4 with a 6.03, giving up 37 hits, walking 11, and striking out 29. So with the team needing a victory, they turned to a pitcher who needed to find his winning ways. Playing in front of a crowd of a season-high 10,793 fans, both the PawSox and Barnes were able to deliver.
PawSox got things rolling in the early goings of the game off the bat of SS Carlos Rivera. He accounted for 4 of the 5 PawSox runs with an RBI single in the 2nd inning and then a bases-clearing triple in the 3rd inning to make it 5-0.
The Bats were able to get onto the scoreboard in the top of the 5th with a 2-out RBI double by 3B Argenis Diaz to cut into the lead 5-1. Then in the top of the 7th, Diaz again got his team into the scoring column with a 2-out RBI single to make it 5-2.
However the PawSox were able to tack on two extra runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to push their lead to 7-2, where it remained that way for the rest of the game. Barnes was able to pick up the win, his second of the season while relief pitcher Tommy Layne picked up his first save of the season for the PawSox.
(*=Prospect rankings according to MLB.com)
#2 Mookie Betts
Prospect Ranking: #5
Stat Line: 0-for-3, BB
Game Summary: The bat seemed to be heavy for Mookie this evening as every time he connected on a hit, it found an outfielder’s glove. However he in turn robbed Bats C Tucker Barnhart of an extra-base hit for the final out of the 7th inning to end the Bats’ rally that inning.
#3 Garin Cecchini
Prospect Ranking: #4
Played: Third Base
Stat Line: 0-for-2, BB, SB, HBP, R
Game Summary: Cecchini had a steady night as he found different ways to get on base. He displayed some speed along the baseline with a stolen base back in the 3rd inning. Cecchini also display some impressive glove work, snagging a fly ball in foul territory in the top of the 2nd for the first out of the inning. Scary moment in 7th as Cecchini took a fastball to his knee, knocking him down for a few minutes. However he was able to get back up and continue playing in the game.
#39 Travis Shaw
Prospect Ranking: #19
Played: First Base
Stat Line: 2-for-3, BB, 3R
Game Summary: Shaw had a very consistent game behind the plate. He ended up hitting .667 with two singles and scored 3 times over the course of the game.
#15 Christian Vazquez
Prospect Ranking: #10
Stat Line: 2-for-4, 2R
Game Summary: Vazquez had a balanced game. Aside from hitting .500 at the plate, he displayed his keen instincts and strong throwing arm. Perfect example was during the top of the 6th inning. In that inning Vazquez made an impressive pick off play to first base to catch Bats SS Kristopher Negron off guard for the second out of the inning.
#34 Matt Barnes
Prospect Ranking: #5
Played: Starting Pitcher
Stat Line: 6.2 IP, 7H, 2R (2ER), 0BB, 3K, 93 pitches (64 for strikes)
Game Summary: After going 0-4 in his last six starts, Barnes was able to rebound in a big way against the Bats. He had total command of his pitches, varying from fastballs mid-90s to breaking balls in the high 70s, low 80s. Barnes also forced the Bat batters to ground out or pop out on what appeared to be a consistent basis throughout the game. However in the 7th inning, Barnes ran into some difficulties after giving up back-to-back singles with no outs. He managed to follow that up with back-to-back strikeouts but gave up an RBI single that ended his night.
Bonus Audio Clip
Audio with 2B/CF Mookie Betts after the 7-2 PawSox win over the Louisville Bats
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