PAWTUCKET – Fresh off a 6-2 swing through the International League’s South Division, the Pawtucket Red Sox defeated Gwinnett by a 5-3 count Tuesday night before 3,596 fans at McCoy Stadium.
Making his first appearance on the mound since getting roughed up by Minnesota last Wednesday at Fenway Park, Allen Webster tossed five innings of one-run ball en route to picking up his second victory with the PawSox.
The right-hander struggled a bit with his control on a cool night, walking four. He also added five strikeouts and allowed three hits to a Braves squad that dating back to last season has dropped 10 straight to the PawSox.
Already up 1-0 in the second, the PawSox plated two runs behind a run-scoring double Jonathan Diaz and a groundout by Brock Holt. A two-out single by Bryce Brentz made it 4-1 Pawucket in the fifth.
Brentz finished with two hits and two RBI. Leadoff hitter Justin Henry provided a spark with three hits and two runs while Diaz added two hits. Rehabbing Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward went 2-for-3 with two RBI for Gwinnett.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is moving in a direction that has manager Gary DiSarcina encouraged. By the end of the week, the hope is the outfielder will be cleared to take batting practice. Bradley has been on the disabled list since May 4 with right bicep tendinitis.
“His progression is going to be different and slower because it’s his throwing shoulder and he hits left-handed,” said DiSarcina. “When he does come back, he’ll play the field for one or two days and sit. He won’t be DH’ing at all just to give the shoulder a break.”
The inflammation in Bradley’s tender area has calmed down to the point where the player is starting to feel like his usual effervescent self. He’s been limited to hitting off a tee while stationed in an indoor cage.
“He’s bouncing around and you can tell that his personality is coming back. You can tell that he’s itching to get back out there,” said DiSarcina. “Who knows? He may have been hurt (while with the Red Sox) and he kept his mouth shut. Where he’s at right now is good and he’s progressing.”
In other injury news, outfielder Mitch Maier continues to be hindered by a left wrist sprain. Mark Hamilton joined the walking wounded as the International League Player of the Week was seen sporting a bandage on his hand. Hamilton was not in Tuesday night’s lineup.
Speaking about lefty reliever Matt Maloney, a pitcher that’s listed on the Pawtucket roster that’s posted on the team’s website, DiSarcina noted that he’s had conversations with him. The 29-year-old Maloney is currently in Fort Myers in attempt to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
“He wants to play and get out, but I think you’ve got to be careful when you let guys out of Florida early,” said DiSarcina.
The series with the Junior Braves continues Wednesday with Steven Wright getting the nod for Pawtucket. The knuckleballer will be followed to the hill by Rubby De La Rosa (Thursday) and Alfredo Aceves (Friday).