Allentown, PA) – Pawtucket batted around and scored four runs in the seventh inning to snap a 4-4 tie while its pitching staff allowed 15 hits but stranded 14 men on base as the PawSox defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 8-5, Thursday night at Coca-Cola Park to earn a split in the two-game series.
In a game that featured 42 baserunners (28 hits and 14 walks) and 30 strikeouts and lasted 3 hours and 52 minutes, Pawtucket used a pair of four-run innings – the second and the seventh – to do all of its scoring. Blake Swihart and Justin Henry each recorded RBI hits during the decisive seventh inning.
With the win, Pawtucket (77-63) remained 1.5 games ahead of Buffalo in the IL wildcard standings with four games remaining, as the Bisons won at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 11-3. The squad also moved to within 2.5 games of first-place Syracuse in the North Division, as the Chiefs fell at home to Rochester, 6-3. The Red Wings remained 2.0 games behind Pawtucket.
Phillippe Aumont (3-3) entered to start the seventh and faced six batters, retiring only one and allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. Aumont’s wild pitch brought home Bryce Brentz with the go-ahead run, then Swihart’s infield RBI single made the score 6-4.
Henry grounded his two-run single against Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to score Deven Marrero and Swihart and cap the four-run rally. The PawSox also plated four in the second against Lehigh Valley starter Jeff Manship, highlighted by Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s two-run single.