PAWTUCKET â The Pawtucket Red Sox were able to dodge the raindrops Tuesday night. The same cannot be said of the Rochester Red Wings.
Buoyed by 5 2/3 innings of strong pitching by Liam Hendriks, the Red Wings grounded the PawSox, 3-1, before 3,325 rain-free fans at McCoy Stadium. The forecast called for a major weather disturbance to arrive at some point during the game, but the precipitation was able to hold off long enough that the teams were able to get this one in.
The PawSox, who saw their modest four-game winning streak come to an abrupt end, were held without a hit through five innings. The only baserunners over that span came on a pair of walks issued by Hendriks, who saw his no-hit bid go by the board when Nate Spears began the sixth inning with a sharp single up the middle.
Pawtucket finished the contest with four hits.
Rated one of the top pitching prospects in the Twinsâ farm system, Hendriks was making his first start in the minors since getting farmed out earlier in the week.
Hendriks, the Twins' 2011 minor league pitcher of the year, was 0-2 with a 9.00 earned-run average in four starts after earning a starting job in spring training.
If he has more outings like he did Tuesday, then expect Hendriks to be back in the majors sooner rather than later. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before issuing a walk to Josh Kroeger with one down in the fourth inning. Kroeger was promptly thrown out in his bid to steal second.
âWhen a guy gets sent out, you want them to go out there with the mentality of âHey, you made a mistake and I need to be back up there,ââ said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler about Hendriks. âHe threw the ball well. He was down in the zone, got ahead and showed a good mix.â
Added Alex Hassan, who pieced together a 12-pitch at-bat against Hendriks in the fifth that ended with the PawSox outfielder striking out: âHe didnât have overpowering stuff, but he didnât give in. He didnât make a lot of mistakes and didnât give us anything that we could drive.â
The Red Wings, who coming in had a league-worst 10 home runs as a team, jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Ross Ohlendorf in the third inning. One of the runs came on a solo home run off the bat of Pedro Florimon with the other the result of a first-and-third double steal in which Darin Mastroianni received credit for a theft of home.
The PawSox (20-13) got on the board in the seventh as Kroeger singled in Spears with two down. Ohlendorf ended up providing five innings of three-run ball with two strikeouts and three walks. He's now dropped his last three decisions after posting wins in his first three.
If there was a bright spot, it was Pawtucketâs bullpen with Tony Pena Jr., Justin Thomas and Choryne Spoone combining to toss five innings of scoreless ball. Spooneâs outing was a bit adventurous as he walked three Red Wings in the ninth.