JUNE 21st PAWTUCKET (45-28) at SYRACUSE (35-37) 7:00 pm
Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Billy Buckner (1-1, 10.54) vs. Syracuse Chiefs LHP John Lannan (5-6, 4.91)
Sweep Apnea – The Pawtucket Red Sox – who have lost three straight games for the first time in a month (since a 4-game losing streak from May 17-20) – look to avert a 4-game sweep at the hands of the Syracuse Chiefs when they play the series and roadtrip finale tonight at 7:00 pm at Alliance Bank Stadium. The PawSox have been faced with this similar situation twice before this season and both times come up with victories in a series finale to avoid a 4-game sweep. The first came on April 30 inColumbus when the Sox won, 6-4 after losing the first three games to the Clippers. The very next series the Sox again lost the first three games this time inToledo but they came up with a 5-2 win in the series finale on May 4. Pawtucket needs a win tonight to avoid suffering their first 4-game sweep in just over two years…since they were swept in a 4-game series inIndianapolis from June 8-11 of 2010. The PawSox have swept three different 4-game sets this season and ironically one came in their other visit toSyracuse earlier this season as they swept the Chiefs in four straight games back on April 16-19.
Series Loss – No matter the outcome tonight, the PawSox have already suffered just their third series loss all season (in 21 tries) as they have been beaten by the Chiefs, 11-7, 4-3, and 6-5 in 11-innings the past three nights to begin this series. Prior to this, the PawSox had dropped just two series all season and those came from April 27-30 inColumbus (losing 3 of 4) and May 1-4 inToledo (also dropping 3 of 4). The Sox are now 10-3-8 in their 21 series played to date…10 winners, 3 losers, and 8 splits.
Turn the Beat Around – These three defeats – which come on the heels of a 5-game winning streak – mark the first time the Sox have suffered a 3-game losing skid since May 17-20 when they dropped four in a row. The PawSox have had two season-high 4-game losing streaks – from April 25-29 and May 17-20.
This Trip – The PawSox are 4-3 on this 8-game roadtrip as they swept a 4-game series in Buffalo to begin the trip this past Thursday – Sunday but have lost the first three games here in Syracuse. Despite losing the three games in Syracuse, Pawtucket is still 13-5 in New York this season. They are in the final stage of their third trip to New York already this season. The Sox will return to upstate NY in two weeks for a 3-game series in Rochester from July 4-6. Pawtucket went 7-2 on their first trip to upstate New York from April 11-19 (2-1 in Rochester, 1-1 in Buffalo, and 4-0 in Syracuse). They made a quirky visit to New York on the weekend of May 5 and 6th when they swept a 2-game series vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – playing the first game inBatavia,NY and then the next day inRochester,NY. They are 4-3 thus far inBuffalo (4-0) andSyracuse (0-3) last week and this.
What Have You Done for Me Lately –Pawtucket has lost three in a row but they have still won 5 of their last 8 games, 11 of their last 17, and 6 of their last 9 road games. Until Monday & Tuesday inSyracuse, they had not lost back-to-back away games since a 4-game road losing streak from May 17-20. They have also won 15 of their last 22 home games dating back to May 9. Pawtucket is 29-15 overall since May 4.
Still the Best – The Sox have maintained the best record in the International League at 45-28 (1½-games better thanIndianapolis) for the better part of the past month.
North Bound –Pawtucket, by far and away, has the best record within their division of any team in the International League. The PawSox are 22-11 vs. their IL North rivals including a stellar 15-6 mark at IL North cities. The PawSox are playing 26 of 34 games vs. IL North rivals from June 14 – July 19…the only exception in this stretch occurs during their upcoming homestand tomorrow through June 29 (four games each vs.Louisville andCharlotte).