INDIANAPOLIS – In his first rehab start with the Indianapolis Indians on May 14, starting pitcher Charlie Morton was spectacular in a win. On Tuesday night, Morton had another strong start, but this time took the loss.
The Pawtucket Red Sox could only record four hits on the night, with just two coming against Morton, but they played enough small ball to earn a 3-1 win at Victory Field.
The Indians managed to get six hits and a walk in the first two innings of the game, but could only come up with one run against Pawtucket starter Brian Johnson.
In the first, Gustavo Nunez put the Tribe ahead 1-0 on a RBI single after Alen Hanson led off the inning with a triple into the gap in right center. Steve Lombardozzi and Deibinson Romero would also record singles in the frame, but Johnson would stop Indianapolis from adding to their lead.
Then in the second, Elias Diaz walked and Gorkys Hernandez singled, but Diaz would get thrown out at home when he tried to score on Hanson’s second base hit of the night.
For a while, it looked as if one run would be enough for Morton, as he held the Red Sox to just one hit through four innings.
Indianapolis’ early missed opportunities would come back to bite the Indians, though, as Pawtucket broke through against Morton to tie the game in the fifth.
Deven Marrero hit a one-out triple off of Morton, setting up the PawSox with a great chance to score their first run. After Garin Cecchini walked, Humberto Quintero made it a 1-1 game with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
Pawtucket would add two more runs in the seventh, knocking Morton out of the game in the process.
Marrero led off with a walk and after Morton struck out Cecchini for the first out of the inning, Deolis Guerra came on out of the Indianapolis bullpen to replace the Indians’ starter.
Quintero would welcome Guerra to the game with a single and after Jeff Bianchi drew a walk, Marrero scored on a sacrifice fly from Quintin Berry that was caught in foul ground by Lombardozzi in left. A wild pitch by Guerra plated another run for the PawSox in the inning, giving them a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Morton finished the night with two runs allowed on two hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings of work. After striking out eight batters in his first rehab start with the Tribe, Morton fanned nine in Tuesday’s start.
Johnson went six innings for Pawtucket, settling down after a rocky first two innings to allow just one run on eight hits.
Pawtucket’s bullpen did their job in the final three innings of the game, keeping the Indians off of the scoreboard to give their starter the win.
The duo of Daller Hinojosa and Zeke Spruill combined to allow two hits and two walks, but they were able to work around the baserunners to secure the 3-1 victory for the Red Sox.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Indians will attempt to avoid the sweep when they take on the PawSox again on Wednesday. First pitch from Victory Field is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. with Casey Sadler (3-2, 2.50 ERA) set to take the mound for the Tribe.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Wilfredo Boscan would be sent back down to the Indians, with Jose Tabata being called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Boscan was called up because the Pirates needed short term bullpen help and did not make an appearance in his few days in the big leagues. He did, however, pitch a scoreless ninth for the Indians in Tuesday’s game. In 28 games with the Tribe this season, Tabata has recorded a batting average of .352 with four RBIs and 14 runs scored.