PAWTUCKET – The feet of Jose Iglesias proved to be the difference in Pawtucket’s 6-5 win over Rochester Thursday. The shortstop prospect, known more for his defense than causing havoc on the basepaths, swiped two bases in the bottom of the eighth with the score knotted at 5-5. A wild pitch by Rochester’s Anthony Slama proved fortuitous as Iglesias scampered home, sliding feet-first.
Iglesias’ march around the infield dirt made a winner out of Hideki Okajima (3-0). The Pawtucket reliever was charged with his fourth blown save after allowing the tying run in the top of the eighth. The Red Wings mounted one final rally in the ninth as the potential tying run stood at third with two down. Michael Bowden, however, got ex-PawSox slugger Jeff Bailey to strike out on three pitches, the last offering clocked at 93 miles per hour. Bowden picked up his seventh save.
Pawtucket starter Matt Fox had a hard time protecting a 3-0 lead. The righthander, who earlier in the day learned he was the lone Pawtucket player selected to the International League’s All-Star team, pitched three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fourth, a frame that saw Fox commit a throwing error and allow a run on a wild pitch. Fox, who has bounced between the bullpen and the rotation this season, was touched for four runs — three earned, all of which came in the fourth — in five innings with four strikeouts and three walks.
“He’s been a valuable guy who’s bounced around,” said PawSox manager Arnie Byeler about his all-star. “He’s taken the ball and given us what he’s got.”
Ryan Lavarnway and Hector Luna continued their hot-hitting ways, each blasting home runs as part of multi-hit games. Luna, who finished 2-for-4, has now homered in three straight games. Lavarnway’s average now stands at .333 after collecting three hits in five trips. Tommy Hottovy pitched two scoreless innings, lowering his PawSox ERA to 0.87.
His 14 homers suggest otherwise, but Josh Reddick wasn’t exactly setting batting records while toiling with the PawSox. The outfielder was prone to lengthy slumps, hence why his batting average stood at .230 when Boston called him up on June 18.
Fast forward two weeks later and Reddick is on a tear. He’s 11-for-23 since getting called up and is hitting .444 in 14 games with the Red Sox. Granted the sample size is not huge by any stretch, but Reddick’s recent showing – one that probably played some sort of role in Boston designating Mike Cameron for assignment Thursday – begs the following: why couldn’t Reddick hit like this while with the PawSox?
Beyeler theorized about said matter. “I think some guys get a little lackadaisical, maybe for a better term. They lose focus down here because it’s kind of old hat. That doesn’t make it right. It’s always nice when guys are tearing it up and you can move them up, but in the same token it doesn’t mean that they’re going to keep tearing it up [in the bigs]. Older guys who have been up there before and have some sort of idea, hopefully they rise to the occasion and force them to make a little tougher decision to send them back down.”
EXTRA BASES: Yamaico Navarro took Cameron’s spot on Boston's active roster. “He’s worked hard since coming off the D.L. and is finally healthy,” said Beyeler about Navarro. “Hopefully he can get a chance to play up there and show everybody what he can do.” … The day’s other move involved the recall of infielder Tony Thomas from Double-A Portland and Nate Spears landing on the disabled list (retroactive to Wednesday) with a shoulder sprain. This marks the second time Spears has been sidelined, an injured left index finger resulting in him missing time in May. … Thursday was the first game televised on Cox Sports Channel 3 this season. … Jim Martin, who handles the P.A. duties for the Stanley Cup champion Bruins at the “new” Garden, brought his booming talents to McCoy Stadium Thursday. … The four-game set with the Red Wings wraps up Friday night (start time 6:15) with Felix Doubront on the mound for the locals. Following the game will be fireworks.