Pawtucket, R.I. – Sean Coyle’s three-run home run in the sixth triggered the Pawtucket Red Sox’ 7-3 win over the Gwinnett Braves on Saturday night in front of 8,491 at McCoy Stadium. On a night that the PawSox made several spectacular defensive plays, Coyle’s blast proved the difference in a series-leveling victory.
After singles from Matt Spring – who had three hits and drove in two – and Jonathan Roof, Coyle crushed his fifth round-tripper off of Ryan Weber. Weber had come on to relieve Manny Banuelos, the Gwinnett ace, after three innings.
Pawtucket (37-39) would not have been in position to pull ahead on Coyle’s homer were it not for a series of terrific plays in the outfield. With the PawSox leading 2-1 and a Gwinnett runner in scoring position in the third, Jose Peraza hit a line drive to right field; Shane Victorino raced in make a foot-first sliding grab to save a run. The very next hitter, Eric Young, Jr. ripped a ball deep to left; Quintin Berry sprinted back and made an overhead grab on the track to keep Pawtucket ahead.
In the fourth, more great defense prevented the Braves from tying the game. With two outs, Gwinnett roped three consecutive singles. The third, off the bat of Sean Kazmar, sent Cedric Hunter around third base. Berry threw to second base behind Todd Cunningham, who had rounded the bag. Coyle applied the tag to retire Cunningham before Hunter had crossed home plate.
Rusney Castillo – who had two hits, scored two runs and walked – made his own contribution defensively. Castillo made a sliding grab that saved a run in the fifth, and gunned down Christian Bethancourt at home plate for the first out in the sixth. The Braves would eventually tie the game in that frame on another Kazmar hit.
Berry had two hits; he scored the Sox’ first run in the opening inning and drove in their next in the second. Mike Miller had walked with one out before Berry’s second hit made it 2-1.
Jess Todd earned the win for Pawtucket in his first relief appearance since May 8th. Pat Light pitched a perfect ninth.
The PawSox close down the homestand Sunday afternoon when they host the Gwinnett Braves at McCoy Stadium at 1:05. Righthander Joe Kelly will make his Pawtucket debut, while the Braves have yet to name a starter. Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 12:50 P.M.
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.