Syracuse, N.Y. – Garin Cecchini hit a grand slam home run to highlight a 15-hit game for the Pawtucket offense and starter Keith Couch tossed seven strong innings as the PawSox beat MLB-rehabbing Doug Fister and the Syracuse Chiefs, 7-2, to earn a split in the two-game series on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium.
Cecchini homered for the second straight game (3) as he blasted a 3-1 pitch from A.J. Cole out to right field in the fifth inning. Deven Marrero went deep (4) against Fister for the PawSox (28-29), who hit five long balls in the two-game set and have 13 home runs in their last nine games.
Pawtucket snapped a four-game losing streak and finished 2-4 on its six-game road trip. Couch (3-6) allowed just four hits and one run in 7.0 innings, walking three and striking out four. After Syracuse’s Jason Martinson hit a solo home run in the fourth, Couch retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
Fister, beginning a rehab assignment for the Washington Nationals and coming back from a flexor tendon strain in his right elbow, allowed seven hits and two runs (one earned) in his 3.2 innings of work. Marrero’s blast to right in the second inning made the score 2-1 Pawtucket.
After Martinson’s blast to centerfield (7) cut the Chiefs deficit in half, the PawSox put together a four-run rally against Cole in the fifth. Allen Craig led off with a single, then Travis Shaw and Marrero each walked to load the bases with one out. Cecchini followed with the team’s first grand slam of the season that made the score 6-1.
Shaw capped the scoring for Pawtucket with a two-out RBI single in the sixth. John Cornely allowed a run on two hits in the eighth, while Noe Ramirez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts to end the victory.
Marrero went 3-for-4 with a walk and a homer to pace the PawSox offense, while Jackie Bradley, Jr., Quintin Berry, Craig, Cecchini and Quintero all had two of the team’s 15 hits.
The PawSox are back at McCoy Stadium on Monday night, beginning a seven-game homestand with three games against the Charlotte Knights. Game one of the series is scheduled for a 7:05pm first pitch, with left-hander Brian Johnson (6-3, 2.60) expected to start against righty Terance Marin (NR) who was just signed out of the Mexican League.
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.