Pawtucket Uses Grand Slam to Help Defeat RailRiders

Moosic, Pa. – The Pawtucket bullpen stalled a potential late really, and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a grand slam to help give the Red Sox the 7-2 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at PNC Field on Saturday night.

The RailRiders struck first with a run in the second inning. Luke Murton led off by reaching on a fielding error by shortstop Jonathan Hee. A ground out later moved Murton to second, and he came around to score when Gil Velazquez singled to center field.

The Red Sox quickly grabbed the lead in the top of the third. J.C. Linares led off with a single, and scored when Dan Butler followed with a double. One out later, Hazelbaker walked, and Justin Henry followed with a single to load the bases. Drew Sutton then hit a groundball to first, but Murton’s throw to second was wide of the bag and got away, allowing Butler and Hazelbaker to score on the error. The three-spot gave the PawSox a 3-1 advantage.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre trimmed the deficit to one run in the bottom of the third. One out after Dan Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice, Addison Maruszak singled to right field, plating Johnson.

The bullpens then took over, and neither team could muster a rally until the bottom of the eighth. The RailRiders loaded the bases with two outs, but could not push across a run to tie the game. That proved costly when the game flipped to the ninth. With one out, Brandon Snyder, Linares, and Butler each walked to load the bases. After a pop out by Hee, Hazelbaker hit a grand slam into the left field bullpen, giving the game its final score of 7-2 in favor of Pawtucket.

Pedro Beato (1-0) struck out five batters in two and two-thirds innings to get the win. Jim Miller (0-2) pitched the ninth inning for the RailRiders and received the loss.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Graham Stoneburner replaced Phil Hughes, who was activated by the big league club prior to Saturday’s game. Stoneburner went four innings, allowed three runs; two earned, and struck out three.

The RailRiders will look to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon against Pawtucket. It’s the first Family FUNday presented by NEPA Honda. Kids can get autographs before the game, and run the bases like the RailRiders after! First pitch against the Red Sox is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

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