Ryan L. Fox
There is nothing quite like taking a ballgame on a warm, summer day. At McCoy, 5,284 watched their hometown Pawtucket Red Sox take on the Indianapolis Indians for the series finale. The Indians took the series opener on Friday night on the final score of 4-3 while the PawSox took the Saturday night rubber match on the final score of 3-0.
Taking the mound for the PawSox on Sunday was RHP Ryan Weber (1-2, 7.36), looking to help his team get the win and the series victory. The Pirates countered with RHP Jordan Lyles, who was on an injury rehab assignment for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For the early part of the game, both team’s pitchers were able to hold off the opposition. There was a scary moment in the bottom 2nd as Lyles took a line drive off his back during PawSox C Juan Centeno’s at-bat. However after trainers came in to take a look, they deemed the righty to be able to continue the game.
The PawSox, however, were the first team to put a run across the scoreboard.
With 1 out in the bottom 3rd, CF Gorkys Hernandez faced against Lyles. On a 2-0 count, Hernandez took the next pitch he saw deep into right field for a solo home run to give his team a 1-0 lead. The PawSox nearly got another home run in the inning as DH Steve Pearce took a Lyles pitch deep to left field. However the wind was able to knock it down just before it could leave the park, allowing Indians LF Kevin Kramer to catch the ball for the final out of the inning.
The Indians had to wait 3 more innings after that to get their first run of the game.
In the top 6th, with one out in the inning SS Cole Tucker came to the plate to face against Weber. On a 2-1 count, Tucker took the next pitch he saw over the right field wall for a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1.
The tie didn’t last that long.
In the bottom 6th, after getting the leadoff in the inning man out, Lyles was lifted from the game as Indians manager Brian Esposito went to the bullpen to finish. First man out was LHP Blake Weiman as he faced against PawSox LF Bryce Brentz. On a 1-1 count, Brentz took the next pitch over the left center field wall for a solo home run, his 13th of the season, to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team.
But the lead was temporary.
Prior to the start of the top 7th, Weber was lifted as PawSox manager Billy McMillon went with RHP Brian Ellington out of the bullpen. Ellington ended up walking 1B Will Craig and hitting RF Logan Hill to put men on base with no outs. A sac bunt by DH Darnell Sweeny moved the runners into scoring position as 2B Nick Franklin came to the plate. Franklin then ripped a single into center field to drive in Craig and Hill to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
But in the bottom 8th, with 2 men on base and only 1 out in the inning, Brentz ended up singling off of RHP Luis Escobar into left field to drive in a run to tie the game up at 3-3.
Things looked good for the PawSox until the top 9th inning.
RHP Jenrry Mejia came in to pitch the inning as he got Hill to pop out to 1st to begin the inning. But then after that, Mejia hit Sweeny and walked Franklin to put men on base before facing C Christian Kelly. On a 0-2 count, Kelly hit a single into right field that allowed Sweeny to score from 2nd to give the Indians the late 4-3 lead. Fortunately for the PawSox, Mejia was able to get the next 2 Indians batters he faced to ground out to end the inning.
The PawSox tried to rally back in the bottom 9th. C Juan Centeno led the inning off with a double into right field. Two batters later, 2B Josh Tobias drew a walk to put men on base with 1 out in the inning. Both were able to move up into scoring position on a wild pitch during Hernandez’s at-bat as then afterwards, 3B Jantzen Witte drew a walk to load the bases with 2 outs in the inning.
DH Cole Sturgeon, who came into the game for Pearce in the 8th inning, then came to the plate. Sturgeon was able to work the count full as everybody in the stands were on their feet. But instead of playing the hero, Sturgeon ended up grounding out to the second baseman to end the inning and give the Pirates the 4-3 victory and the series victory.
For the game, Weber went 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run (1 earned) on 2 hits, while issuing 1 walk and striking out 2 batters on 70 pitches (42 for strikes) and was given the no-decision. The loss was given to RHP Jenrry Mejia. Mejia ended up going just 1 inning, allowing 1 run (1 earned) on 1 hit and walked another batter. For the Indians, the winning pitcher was RHP Luis Escobar who went 2 innings while allowing 1 run (1 earned) on 3 hits while walking 3 PawSox batters and striking out 4 more.
The next game on tap for the PawSox is a Monday evening match-up against the Buffalo Bisons at home, pending weather. Taking the mound for the PawSox is LHP Darwinzon Hernandez (0-0, 1.80), looking for his first win at the Triple-A level. He will be opposed by Bisons LHP Thomas Pannone (0-0, 2.70).
After the game, PawSox Manager Billy McMillon spoke with the media for his postgame Q &A. In it, Billy talks about his team's overall game performance, Weber's outing, and more.
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