AUGUST 11th PAWTUCKET (68-54) at GWINNETT (54-67) 6:35 pm
Pawtucket Red Sox LHP Chris Hernandez (4-7, 4.15) vs. Gwinnett Braves RHP Zach Stewart (5-3, 4.42)
Southern Hospitality – The IL wild card-leading Pawtucket Red Sox – winners of 4 straight overall, 11 of their last 13 road games (since July 13), and now tied with Columbus for the best road record in the league (35-27) – look to remain unbeaten on their 8-game southern roadtrip when they play the opener of a 4-game series against the Gwinnet Braves tonight at 6:35 pm at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA. Pawtucket is coming off a 4-game sweep in Charlotte to begin the trip and they bring with them tonight a 10-game Coolray Field winning streak against the Braves dating back to the 2011 season (going 4-0 in both 2013 & 2012 and winning the final two meetings in Georgia in 2011). The PawSox and Braves play tonight through Thursday (all at 6:35 pm) to complete the back end of this roadtrip.
Four of a Kind – Pawtucket is now a season-high 14-games over .500 following their 4-game sweep at BB&T Park in Charlotte the past four days. It marked Pawtucket’s second 4-game sweep of the season and both have come within the last three weeks (Sox swept a 4-game set vs. Buffalo from July 17-20). The sweep in Charlotte was not easy as the PawSox needed to come-from-behind to win three of the games including the last two in their last at-bat of the game (3-run rallies in the top of the 9th-inning in both). The PawSox scored 4 runs in the 8th-inning to win the opener, 8-6 on Thursday night; rolled to an 11-5 victory on Friday afternoon; and then used 9th-inning uprisings on both Saturday night (5-2 triumph) and Sunday afternoon (6-4 comeback win) to complete the sweep.
Swinging Down South – The PawSox hit .307 during their 4-game sweep at Charlotte (46-for-150) with 24 singles, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homers, and 30 runs scored (7.5 runs/game).
Georgia on My Mind – Gwinnett (or technically Lawrenceville) is the final city the PawSox have yet to visit this season. The Braves, who have won two in a row, come into this 4-game set with the worst record in the league as they are 54-67 and in a virtual tie with Charlotte for last-place in the IL South. The PawSox have the 2nd best overall record in the IL at 68-54 (-1 GB of Syracuse).
Getting to Know Gwinnett – Pawtucket has won 13 of the last 17 games vs. Gwinnett dating back to the 2012 season. The PawSox won the final five games vs. Gwinnett during the 2012 season (finishing 6-2) and the first five meetings of the 2013 season (also finishing 6-2) to compile a 10-game winning streak against Gwinnett. They are 2-2 vs. the Braves thus far this season.
Mookie Mania – PawSox lead-off hitter and CF/2B Mookie Betts was promoted to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland on June 3. He has had two different stints in Boston since then (June 28 – July 19 and August 1-7). But with him in the PawSox line-up the club is 27-11 compared to 41-43 when he has not played for the PawSox. Furthermore, Pawtucket has won 17 of their last 19 games when Mookie plays since June 23 (not including his time in Boston).