PAWTUCKET – An eight-game homestand got off to a bland start as the Pawtucket Red Sox fell to Indianapolis, 4-3, Thursday at a fog-laden McCoy Stadium.
The contest’s pace matched the pea soup fog that engulfed the ballpark by the middle innings. Eventually the fog lifted to the point where the outfielders could be identified, but its disappearance did little to ignite a rally out of the PawSox, who were coming off a 5-3 road trip.
The two teams combined for 15 hits, all of them singles. The only inning that contained any sort of drama was the fifth as the Indians (21-27) scored three times to take a 4-1 lead while the PawSox (24-22) responded with two runs of their own to crawl to within one.
PawSox starter Brandon Duckworth lasted just four-plus innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He departed after allowing a two-run single to John Bowker in the fifth. His counterpart, Indianapolis’ Rudy Owens, gave his team six innings of three-run ball that included two strikeouts and a walk.
Both of Pawtucket’s runs in the fifth came on groundball outs with Jose Iglesias and Hector Luna receiving the credit. Other than offense was hard to come by for the PawSox, who Daniel Nava collect two of the team’s five hits. Tim Wood pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save for the Indians.
EXTRA BASES: Friday’s contest comes with additional treat besides the travel mug that will be distributed to the first 3,000 adult fans. Boston reliever Bobby Jenks is expected to get the starting nod and in what figures to be the first of two rehab outings. The plan is for the burly righthander, currently on the disabled list with a right biceps strain, to pitch the first inning before returning to action Sunday night. … PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler mentioned that lefty Felix Doubront is making progress after landing on the D.L. earlier this month with a left groin strain. “He’s throwing his sides and getting his work in. You can probably expect to see him back pretty soon,” Beyeler divulged. … Thursday’s departure of outfielder Josh Reddick to Boston leaves the PawSox one under the 24-man roster limit. Other moves Thursday include the reentries of Hideki Okajima and Nava after both players were taken off Boston’s 40-man roster last week. Sent packing were outfielder Wilfre Pichardo (to Single A Salem) and pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (to Double A Portland). … Officials were in the home clubhouse conducting randomized drug tests prior to the game.