(Pawtucket, RI) – Despite solid pitching performances from Eduardo Rodriguez and Kyle Martin, the Pawtucket Red Sox were only able to muster two hits, dropping their third game by two runs or less to the Rochester Red Wings in the last 48 hours, 3-2, in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at McCoy Stadium.
Rodriguez (0-2) made the third start of his rehabilitation assignment, allowing three runs, all earned, and six hits on 93 pitches in 5.2 innings.
Rodriguez induced an inning-ending double play in the first and set the Red Wings (15-16) down 1-2-3 in the second. But Buck Britton lined a leadoff double to right field in the third inning and came around to score the first run of the game on Byron Buxton’s groundball to second base.
Kennys Vargas led off the fourth inning with a home run (2) that just traveled over the short bullpen wall in right field, putting Rochester ahead, 2-0.
But Pawtucket (14-16) answered with a long ball in the bottom of the fourth. With one out in the frame, Chris Marrero singled and Justin Maxwell followed with a home run (3) to center field, the only two hits of the game for the PawSox.
The 2-2 tie was broken in short order when Buxton hit an opposite-field home run (4). It was the second straight inning that the Red Wings hit a round-tripper into their own bullpen. Buxton, who hit a leadoff home run against Joe Kelly on Friday night, took both of Pawtucket’s rehabbing starters deep in the series.
Buxton’s home run would be the final hit of the quick two-hour, 15-minute affair.
The PawSox set down the final 14 Red Wings batters in order, as Rodriguez retired the final four batters he faced and Martin set down the final 10 batters of the game in relief.
Rochester starter Logan Darnell (3-3) tossed seven innings, retiring the final 11 Pawtucket batters he faced. Alex Wimmers allowed just one walk in a two-inning save.
In the loss, Marco Hernandez failed to reach base for the first time this season, snapping his on-base streak at 18 straight games. The stretch is tied for the second longest of its kind this season in the International League.
Seven of Pawtucket’s last eight losses have been by two runs or less.
The PawSox head back on the road for a four-game series at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, beginning tomorrow evening at 6:35 pm. Pawtucket lefthander Brian Johnson (1-2, 3.00) is scheduled to take the hill against RailRiders righthander Chad Green (1-3, 1.45). Radio coverage begins on WHJJ 920 AM and throughout the PawSox radio network at 6:05 pm.
Good seats are still available at the McCoy Stadium box office, by calling (401) 724-7300 or by visiting pawsox.com.