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Pawtucket Takes Down Indianapolis in Opener, 3-2

INDIANAPOLIS – In a ballgame that featured 24 hits, the Pawtucket Red Sox (54-61) were able to get by the Indianapolis Indians (65-52).

Indy’s winning streak ends at three, as the Tribe left the tying run on third base in the ninth to allow the PawSox to hold on for a 3-2 win at Victory Field.

Pawtucket raced out to a 1-0 lead, just 11 pitches into the game. A double to right, a sharp single to center and a swinging bunt that stayed fair up the third base line shot the Sox ahead in an instant. A sacrifice fly later made it a 2-0 game before the Tribe even came up to bat for the first time.

Those runs came against Indians starting pitcher Brandon Waddell, who battled back with four consecutive scoreless innings. They didn’t come easy, though.

Waddell was just able to get through five innings of work, escaping a bases loaded jam in his final frame. The lefty finished with a final line of two runs allowed on eight hits and a walk.

Josh Smith opposed Waddell on the mound and also pitched quite well. Smith struck out seven batters over five innings of his own, giving up just one run. That run came from recently outrighted first baseman Jose Osuna, who got Indianapolis on the board with a two-out RBI single in the fifth.

With a score of 2-1, Friday night became a bullpen game starting in the sixth. The PawSox narrowly won.

Damien Magnifico threw two scoreless innings of relief for Indy before the Red Sox got a big insurance run in the eighth. New Indians pitcher Montana DuRapau served up a leadoff homer to Sam Travis, handing Pawtucket a 3-1 lead. It was a lead that they ultimately needed.

Sox reliever Matthew Gorst matched Magnifico with shutout sixth and seventh innings and Bobby Poyner fired a clean eighth frame, but Poyner ran into some trouble in the ninth.

Pablo Reyes and Kevin Newman each singled to open the bottom of the ninth and a sac bunt from Jason Martin put the tying runs in scoring position for the home team. Osuna stepped up to the plate next and got a run in, but at a price of one out on a sac fly. Newman also tagged up on Osuna’s fly ball, leaving him 90 feet away from home with Jacob Stallings due up. Stallings was unable to tie the score, however, as Poyner got him to fly out to end the night.

J.T. Brubaker (7-3, 3.94 ERA) will aim to get the Indians back in the win column on Saturday night. Game two of this weekend set is slated for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

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