PawSox Drop Two; Sea Dogs Embarrassed; Salem Rally Falls Short

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IAugust 20, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 13:  Relief pitcher Paul Byrd #36 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in game three of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Fenway Park on October 13, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Pawtucket Red Sox hit a new low today. In dropping both ends of a day-night doubleheader at McCoy Stadium, they have lost nine consecutive games (their previous season-high had been eight games). It is the franchise’s longest losing streak since late-1993.

The offense managed just one run and a total of eight base hits in the twin-bill—the lone run scored on a solo home run by Pawtucket LF Jeff Bailey in Game Two.

This afternoon, they lost to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN), 6-0. Knuckleballer Charlie Zink started the ballgame for the Sox and lost his third straight decision. He fell to 5-14, 5.89, on the season—a year after he was the International League’s “Pitcher of the Year” (14-6, 2.84).

It was another abysmal effort by Zink, who allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and five walks over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed a pair of runs in the first, third, and fourth innings.

Reliever Billy Traber gave the offense a chance to scratch back in the game, pitching scoreless ball over the last 3 2/3 innings pitched. But the offense was not up to the task. They were shut out for the sixteenth time this season—it was nineteenth game in which they were held to three hits or fewer in a ballgame.

Red Wings 3B Danny Valencia delivered a two-run double with two outs in the first frame. They added two more runs in the third inning courtesy of a throwing error by PawSox 2B Travis Denker. The final runs of the game scored in the fourth inning on an RBI-single by DH Trevor Plouffe and a passed ball by C Dusty Brown.

Tonight, the Sox dropped a 5-1 decision to the Wings—their 35th loss in their last 45 games.

Recent signee Paul Byrd got the start. Before the game, the righthander said: “I’ve got to make something happen quickly. Do something in the next two weeks or go home”.

Well, his first game was sort of a mixed bag. While he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk in four innings pitched, he showed signs that he may have something left in the tank.

After loading the bases with no outs in the second inning, he surrendered a two-run double to Plouffe, but he set down the next three batters in order—two by strikeout—to strand two runners in scoring position. He allowed another run in the third inning on a double by C Jose Morales and an RBI-single by LF Justin Huber.

I guess we’ll know in the next two weeks if tonight’s struggles are attributable to rust or whether he simply doesn’t have "it" any more.

Bailey had two of the team’s five hits in Game Two. He drove in the team’s only run of the game with an opposite field home run in the sixth inning.

The four-game series continues tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. PawSox starter Randor Bierd will be opposed by R.A. Dickey.

The game will be broadcast on WHJJ-Providence (920 AM). Scroll down, find the link for the PawSox, and click .


On the Maine seacoast, the Portland Sea Dogs suffered the worst defeat in franchise history, falling 18-1 to the Reading Phillies.

Once again, southpaw Kason Gabbard was horrible. He allowed nine runs on eight hits and seven walks in just three innings. It was the second consecutive game in which he issued seven base-on-balls.

In five starts for Portland since being re-acquired by the Red Sox, Gabbard is 0-4, with a 20.77 ERA.

The bullpen wasn’t much better. Four pitchers allowed nine runs in six innings and none of them escaped the game unscathed. Tommy Hottovy (1 2/3 IP) and Dustin Richardson (1 IP) each allowed three runs in adding fuel to the fire.

Yohan Flande earned the win, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings. Eight of the nine Reading starters had multi-hit games. First baseman Kevin Mahar led the way with three hits, including a home run (No. 11) and four RBI.

Portland had just five hits. Catcher Luis Exposito prevented a whitewash with his first Double-A home run in the fifth inning.

The teams play the final game of their series tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. LHP Felix Doubront will face the Phillies' top pitching prospect, RHP Kyle Drabek (7‐2, 3.67).

The game will be broadcast on WBAE (1490 AM). Scroll down, find the link for the Sea Dogs, and click .


The Salem Red Sox stormed back from a 6-1 deficit with four runs in the eighth inning, but their rally fell short when Lynchburg Hillcats (PIT) closer R.J. Rodriguez struck out C Tim Federowicz to end the game with the tying run at third base and secure a 6-5 win over the Sox.

Kinston shut out Myrtle Beach, 3-0, thus the Sox fall one game behind the Indians in the Southern Division wild card race.

Salem scored an unearned run off starter Bryan Morris in the first inning—it would be the only run they would score against the righthander in six innings as he only allowed three hits and two walks in his outing.

Salem starter Dave McKae retired the first five batters he faced, but with two outs in the second inning the Hillcats had four consecutive base hits to take a 2-1 lead. He allowed those two runs on six hits in four innings.

Lynchburg made it 3-1 with an unearned run off Jose Capellan in the fifth inning. They added three more runs off Capellan in the sixth inning. Third baseman Josh Harrison drove home two runs with a double to center field. Harrison scored the eventual game-winning run on a throwing error by 2B Aaron Reza.

The Red Sox offense remained quiet until the eighth inning. Right fielder Brad Correll drove in the first run with a double to left field. First baseman Anthony Rizzo then ripped a two-run single into left field that closed the gap to 6-4.

Third baseman Jon Hee’s sac fly made it 6-5. But the Red Sox left the tying run at third base.

The Sox still had a shot in the last of the ninth against Rodriguez. Leadoff hitter Zach Borowiak drew a walk, was sacrificed to second base, and moved to third base on a wild pitch. But that is as far as he would get.

Pinch-hitter Mike Jones lined a ball right at second baseman Chase d’Arnaud, who knocked it down and fired to first for the out. Catcher Tim Federowicz then struck out to end the game.

Salem and Lynchburg will play the rubber game tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. Eammon Portice will face Nate Adcock.

The game will be broadcast on WFIR (960 AM). Scroll down, find the link for the Salem Red Sox, then click .