Not even Pawtucket's own CES Boxer Rich Gingras on the mound could help the PawSox knockout the Gwinnett Braves in Game 2 of their series.
Ryan Fox (@Spider_Fox87)
After getting that much needed victory on Memorial Day Monday, the young men of the Pawtucket Red Sox donned the uniform yet again to take on the Gwinnett Braves for Game 2 of the series. Yesterday the PawSox were able to take Game 1 with a 3-2 nail bitter. So coming into tonight’s game, the Braves were looking for some payback while the PawSox were looking to go up 2-0.
Taking the mound for the PawSox was none other than RHP Matt Barnes (1-2, 4.35) as he was opposed by Braves’ RHP Gus Schlosser (2-1, 6.87). In last appearance, Barnes was roughed up in a road contest against the Syracuse Chiefs back on May 22. In that game, Barnes only lasted 3 innings. He gave up a season-high 8 hits and a season-high 6 runs (all earned), walked 3 batters, struck out 4 batters on 74 pitches (42 for strikes) and was tagged with the loss in a 6-1 defeat to the Chiefs.
Unlike some pitchers who were busy making up excuses, Barnes just looked for another chance to pitch and get the win for the team. CES Boxers and Pawtucket’s own, Rich Gingras, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, the national anthem was sung beautifully, the children screamed out “Play Ball,” and we were underway at McCoy for Game 2 of the PawSox-Braves series.
Like the previous night, the first two innings seemed to fly by quickly. However the Braves were able to scrounge up two hits while the PawSox’s bats were too heavy to swing. Then as the skies darkened, the storm began to brew.
Braves 3B Edward Salcedo started things off in the top of the 3rd inning by reaching base after being hit by a Matt Barnes pitch. Then LF Jose Constanza came up to the plate afterwards. Then what appeared to be a routine groundout by Barnes to teammate 1B Travis Shaw turned into a costly error on Barnes’ behalf. So with Salcedo and Constanza at the corners, CF Todd Cunningham came to the plate. He ended up hitting into a fielder’s choice with Constanza getting out at second, but scored Salcedo to make it 1-0.
Then 2B Tommy La Stella came to the plate before proceeding to hit a 2-run shot to left field to make it 3-0. Barnes was able to get the next two Braves to groundout and then strike out but the damage was done. But that was only part one. Part two came in the 5th inning.
In the top of the 5th, the Braves opened things off with Constanza getting on base via a walk. A single by Cunningham put runners on the corners as then SS Phil Gosselin came to the plate two batters later. He then hit a sharp ground ball up the middle. PawSox 2B Ryan Roberts tried to field it but it smacked off his right shin and into the outfield as Constanza scored to make it 4-0 Braves. Then former PawSox and current Braves 1B Mark Hamilton came to the plate. He then smacked a triple to right field, clearing out all the bases as the Braves went up 6-0 with only one out in the inning.
Hamilton ended up being the last batter Barnes would face as PawSox skipper Kevin Boles decided to go to the bullpen. He decided to go with LHP John Ely for the remainder of the inning. The next batter was C Christian Bethancourt, who ended up grounding out to Ely. However in the process, Hamilton ended up scoring from third to boost the score to 7-0.
The PawSox’ batters struggled throughout the game, getting just one hit in 6 innings. But whereas the Boston Red Sox would complain, cry, and give up, the PawSox continued to fight on. Their efforts and hard work paid off.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, things started off bleak as the first two PawSox batters went down quickly. Then PawSox 1B Travis Shaw got on with a single to right field. Then C Christian Vazquez got on base with a single of his own to put guys on first and second with two outs. A walk to LF Alex Hassan loaded the bases for the home team as CF Shannon Wilkerson came to the plate. He then proceeded to rip a ball into center field that ended up scoring Shaw and Vazquez to cut into Gwinnett’s lead 7-2. After that SS Mike McCoy ripped another ball into right field that scored Hassan to make it 7-3. However the Braves made a pitching change, bringing in RHP Wirfin Obispo to replace Schlosser, and got the final out of the inning.
But then in the top of the 9th, the Braves were wipe away the PawSox’s 7th inning magic. First Constanza lead things off with a leadoff walk. Then he advanced to second on a ground out to first base by PawSox LHP Tommy Layne. Then Layne ended up walking La Stella after that, but proceeded to thrown an errand wild pitch to allow Constanza to advance to third. Then Gosselin grounded into a fielder’s choice that caused La Stella to get out at second. However Constanza was able to score the insurance run to make it 8-3. No PawSox player chirped nor charged at the Braves’ left fielders in anger, just went back to the dugout to gear up for a possible 9th inning rally. However that rally never happened as the PawSox batters went down 1-2-3 to end the game.
So with the final out, the Gwinnett Braves took Game 2 of the series with an 8-3 victory over the PawSox. The winning pitcher was the Braves’ Schlosser. He went 6.2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned), and walking 3 batters while striking out 5 on 101 pitches (67 for strikes). The losing pitcher for the PawSox was Barnes as he lasted just 4.1 innings, giving up 6 hits, 7 runs (only 6 were earned), walked 2 batters, struck out 6 batters, and had 1 error.
The two teams continue with Game 3 of the series tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Taking the mound for the PawSox will be LHP Chris Hernandez (1-5, 4.26) as he will be opposed by Braves’ RHP Yunesky Maya (1-0, 3.68). Also making his debut in his journey to the majors is Stephen Drew as he will be playing shortstop in his PawSox debut.
In between innings, yours truly was able to get a mini-interview with CES Boxer Rich Gingras. Take a listen.
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