SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The PawSox rallied late against the Syracuse Chiefs, but left the tying run at second base in the 9th inning in a 5-4 loss in front of 10,842 fans at NBT Bank Stadium Friday night.
Syracuse got to PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo in the first inning as Eury Perez and Jeff Kobernus singled before Tyler Moore brought them both home with a two-run single giving the Chiefs a quick 2-0 lead.
The Chiefs threatened again in the second loading the bases with two outs, but Ranaudo struck out Danny Espinosa to end the inning.
Pawtucket faced former Red Sox first round pick from 2006 Caleb Clay Friday night and he came out to the mound strong. After retiring the first six batters he faced, Clay walked Jonathan Diaz and allowed a single to Tony Thomas to start the third inning. A groundout moved both runners to second and third, but a pair of strikeouts of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts ended the threat.
The PawSox finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth as Mark Hamilton doubled with one out, moved the third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Alex Hassan to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
In the fifth, Tony Thomas led off with a double and scored on a Ronald Bermudez RBI single to tie the game 2-2. After Bradley Jr. walked, Bermudez was caught stealing third for the 1st out of the inning. With Bradley Jr. at second, Bogaerts flied to right moving Bradley Jr. to third before Will Middlebrooks lashed a single to center to give the PawSox their first lead, 3-2.
Anthony Ranaudo retired eight straight batters heading into the 6th, but walked the lead-off man and a single put runners at first and second. Jhonatan Solano then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but catcher Dan Butler fired the ball down the right field line scoring two and giving the lead back to Syracuse, 4-3. Will Rhymes followed with an RBI single to left to increase the Chiefs lead to 5-3 and see the end of Ranaudo's night. Ryan Rowland-Smith retired the next three batters in order.
The game stayed 5-3 into the ninth when the PawSox mounted a comeback. Jonathan Diaz led off with a single, moved to third on a Tony Thomas single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bermudez. After a strikeout and while Bogaerts was at the plate, Thomas stole second base representing the tying run. But, Bogaerts lined out to left field ending the game with the PawSox 4th consecutive loss coming up just a run short.
Tony Thomas led the way offensively for the PawSox going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base.
The PawSox will continue their series against Syracuse Saturday night at 7:00pm at NBT Bank Stadium. Pawtucket will send righty Allen Webster (5-4, 4.13) to the mound against righty Ryan Tatusko (5-5, 3.61) of the Chiefs.
Pawtucket will return to McCoy Stadium Tuesday, August 13th for an eight-game homestand against Louisville and Buffalo.