PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Red Sox will have to wait just a little bit longer to call themselves Northern Division champions.
The PawSox kept up their end of the bargain after holding on for a 4-3 win against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Friday night at McCoy Stadium. Thanks to Lehigh Valley staging a 2-1 walk-off win over Buffalo, the magic number for the PawSox to officially clinch the division stands at a lone game.
In the land of playoff possibilities, here’s the most up-to-date one: the PawSox can claim the North crown should the club win one of their final three games. The same holds true if the IronPigs drop one of their final three contests.
The evening got off to an inauspicious for the PawSox and starter Matt Fox as Scranton leadoff batter Kevin Russo sent the sixth pitch of the game out the ballpark for a solo home run. Russo’s round tripper would prove to be the lone run Fox would allow in five innings to go along with three walks and four strikeouts.
Fox earned his 10th win, becoming the first Pawtucket pitcher to crack double digits in victories.
The PawSox struck for two runs in the last of the first as Lars Anderson notched his 30th double, this particular one driving in leadoff hitter Che-Hsuan Lin to tie the game at 1-all. Daniel Nava knocked in the go-ahead run on a 4-1 groundout.
Lavarnway made it a 3-1 game in the third after the slugging catcher belted a shot in the right-center gap. Drew Sutton scored from first on the play as he went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first game off the disabled list.
Hector Luna upped Pawtucket’s lead to 4-1 after smashing a solo home run in the sixth, his 14th.
Scott Atchison entered the fray in the eighth after Tommy Hottovy allowed a one-out infield single. The right-handed Atchison permitted three hits to the four Scranton hitters he faced, two of which were back-to-back RBI singles that cut Pawtucket’s lead to 4-3.
The PawSox and Atchison caught a break when the centerfielder Lin cut down Jordan Parraz to end the eighth. The play was crucial was Parraz represented the tying run.
Atchison allowed a one-out walk in the ninth but got Russo to bounce out into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Scranton/WB 100 000 020 – 3-9-0
Pawtucket 201 001 00x – 4-7-1
Adam Warren, Andrew Brackman (7), Logan Kensing (8) and Austin Romine. Matt Fox, Hideki Okajima (6), Tommy Hottovy (7), Scott Atchison (8) and Ryan Lavarnway. 2B: Mike Lamb; Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson. HR: Kevin Russo, Hector Luna.
WP: Fox (10-4). LP: Warren (6-8). Time: 2:57. Attendance: 7,164.