PAWTUCKET, R.I. – A two-run homer by Dan Butler in the 6th inning proved to be the difference in a 7-6 PawSox victory, their 6th straight and polishing off a series sweep of Louisville in front of 6,848 at McCoy Stadium.
Pawtucket did not waste any time getting to Louisville starter Daniel Corcino Friday night by plating three first inning runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a single and Xander Bogaerts walked before the first out was recorded. Mark Hamilton then singled to shallow left, but because of an errant throw into the infield, Bradley Jr. scampered home for the first run of the game. With runners at 2nd and 3rd and two out, Drew Sutton singled to left plating two more giving the PawSox a 3-0 lead.
In the 2nd, Jeremy Hazelbaker walked before Justin Henry tripled him home. The relay throw to third would elude the third baseman allowing Henry to get up and run home to give Pawtucket a 5-0 advantage.
Allen Webster made the start for the PawSox coming off his first win in over two months and tossed two scoreless innings including striking out the side in the 2nd. But, in the 3rd, Louisville got a lead-off walk before Derrick Robinson doubled to right center to put the Bats on the scoreboard, 5-1.
In the 5th, Louisville cut the PawSox lead to three runs scoring an unearned run on an RBI ground out by Neftali Soto to make the score 5-2. Webster would be done after five frames allowing two runs, one earned on four hits with seven strikeouts.
PawSox added a pair to their lead in the 6th against Corcino as Drew Sutton walked and crossed the plate on Dan Butler's two-run homer (#13) to give Pawtucket a 7-2 lead.
The Pawtucket of Brock Huntzinger and Jose Contreras delivered a pair of scoreless innings before Pedro Beato allowed Louisville to get back in it in the 8th. With one out, Neftali Soto homered, Felix Perez doubled, Henry Rodriguez singled and Denis Phipps launched a three-run homer to make it a 7-6 game. Brayan Villarreal would come in out of the bullpen and get the last out of the inning.
Villarreal would retire the Bats in order in the 9th to earn his first save with Pawtucket in a 7-6 victory, the PawSox 6th straight win.
The PawSox will begin a crucial four-game series with the Buffalo Bisons Saturday night at 6:05pm. Pawtucket currently leads Buffalo in the Wild Card standings by 1.5 games with only 17 games remaining on the schedule. Knuckleballer Steven Wright (6-6, 3.65) will start for the PawSox against lefty Ricky Romero (3-6, 6.20) of the Bisons. The two teams have split the first 12 games they've played, with Pawtucket going 3-1 at McCoy Stadium.
For the first time in 28 years the PawSox captured the International League's Governors' Cup Championship last season. To commemorate that milestone, the PawSox and Cox Communications will present the first 3,000 fans entering McCoy Stadium Saturday with a replica championship ring. Fans are encouraged to get to the park early to receive their ring on Saturday.