Pawtucket Sweeps Chiefs in Damp Doubleheader
Published on June 14, 2017
Story by Jake Lapin
Photos by Jacqueline Mundry
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Pawtucket Red Sox continued their dominance of the Syracuse Chiefs Tuesday night, sweeping a in a rain-delayed doubleheader at NBT Bank Stadium. The PawSox won 7-1 and 6-3, improving to 10-1 against Syracuse this season.
The Chiefs dropped to 19-41, 22 games back of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the International League North division. The PawSox have now won the past 10 games against Syracuse, after the Chiefs took the first game of the season series. Pawtucket has won 16 of its last 20 games to climb back over .500 and into third place in the North.
Game 1: Sox Surge Late
After a 43-minute rain delay, the Chiefs took the lead in the first on a Clint Robinson single, but it was Pawtucket the rest of the way. The PawSox capitalized on some sloppy play from Syracuse for three multi-run innings en route to the 7-1 victory.
Pawtucket took a 2-1 lead on a wild pitch by Greg Ross in the fifth inning. Ross took the loss after five innings of two-run ball. He dropped to 2-5 on the year, with a 6.38 ERA.
Then in the sixth, Chiefs shortstop Adrian Sanchez had two errors on one play, bobbling a potential double-play grounder and then tossing it into right field, which led to two unearned runs.
Rafael Martin entered in the seventh and gave up three runs on three hits and failing to record an out. It could have been worse, but Neal Cotts escaped a bases-loaded, no outs jam after inheriting Martin’s runners. Cotts has a sub-2 ERA in his past 21 outings since April 9.
Bryce Brentz went 2-for-3 for the PawSox, with an RBI single and two runs scored. Noe Ramirez was awarded the win after two-and-a-third scoreless innings in relief.
Game 2: Chiefs Bats Go Silent
It was more of the same in the second half of the doubleheader for Syracuse. A couple more errors and a towering home run by Brentz powered the PawSox to the 6-3 win.
Kyle McGowin struggled in his five-inning start, allowing five earned runs, six total, on eight hits and three walks, with just one strikeout.
But it was the bats that are truly to blame, as the Chiefs mustered up just seven hits combined in the 14-innings. Caleb Ramsey and Adrian Sanchez, with two hits each, made up more than half the Chiefs’ offense.
“They’ve got pretty good arms,” Chiefs manager Billy Gardner said after the game. “Olmos really knows how to pitch. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
Gardner managed his 3,000th, and 3,001st, game of his minor league managing career. which includes 22 seasons and eleven different teams.
“I’m not really into individual records,” Gardner said. “It means I’ve been around a long time I guess.”
The Chiefs have been making moves. There were six roster transactions on the day, some of which affected today’s lineups. Wilmer Difo started the second game at short and went hitless after getting optioned down from Washington. Spencer Kieboom caught the first game, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
“Difo’s going to be our everyday shortstop,” Gardner said. “Kieboom will split the catching duties behind the plate.”
Erick Fedde, the first round pick of the Nats in 2014, got promoted from Double-A Harrisburg, but was not available to pitch tonight, but Gardner hopes he will arrive in time for tomorrow’s game.
At their current record, the Chiefs have a winning percentage of .317. They are on pace to be the worst in team history since 1921, when the team posted a 33-116 record, good for a .221 win percentage.
The Chiefs close out the home stand with the final two games of the series against Pawtucket before heading to Lehigh for the weekend.
The PawSox head back home to face Rochester following this four-game set in Syracuse.