Cleanup-hitting designated hitter Lars Anderson personified the PawSox’ toothlessness against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter D.J. Mitchell, who authorized only one hit and four baserunners as part of the Yankees 7-0, seven-inning victory in Part I of a Saturday doubleheader at McCoy Stadium.
After striking out on his first two tries, Anderson approached the plate once more in the sixth with a 3-0 deficit at hand, but with teammates Matt Sheely and Brent Dlugach both on base.
The sanguine sector of the Pawtucket was surely envisioning a long-awaited Anderson homer, which would have deleted the deficit and possibly turned the tables in the nick of time in the penultimate inning.
Instead, Anderson grounded out to end the inning and the Yankees wasted no time piling on four insurance runs at the expense of PawSox’ relievers Scott Atchison and Tommy Hottovy. With the cushion instantly augmented from three runs to seven, Mitchell threw a facile 1-2-3 seventh.
Atchison came on in relief of starting pitcher Brandon Duckworth and promptly benched Jesus Montero on a five-pitch strikeout, his first of four Ks in three innings-pitched.
Atchison proceeded to strand the two Yankee runners he inherited from Duckworth and chuck a 1-2-3 sixth inning, extending his shutout streak to 11.1 innings pitched, dating back four appearances to June 14. That streak was cut off when Montero catapulted a two-run homer to right-center with two out in the seventh, augmenting Scranton’s lead to 5-0.
Once again, second baseman Tony Thomas’ determination to stay up in Triple-A was unmistakable the way he performed in the dire phases of the game. He broke up Mitchell’s no-hit bid with a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth, and then wasted no time stealing second with Ronald Bermudez up. That allowed him to advance to third when Bermudez grounded out the other way.
Regrettably for Thomas, he stayed there while Luis Exposito struck out on a full count, thwarting his hope to hatch the goose-egg in the run column as well.
As noted previously, Anderson missed a radiant opportunity to at least hack the PawSox back into the equation in the sixth. Before that, he struck out on each of his first two tries, including a trinity of looks in the fourth. Over his three at-bats, Anderson faced 14 total pitches, including 10 for strikes. Of those strikes, he only swung at four of them.
Exposito and Bermudez also took a pair of Ks on the day.
Duckworth was done by the fifth inning upon authorizing three straight no-out singles. His transcript for the day consisted of 91 pitches, 55 strikes, seven hits, three earned runs, three strikeouts, three walks, and one wild pitch.
It was a regular Lucky No. 7 afternoon for Mitchell, who has now won two starts at McCoy this season by a cumulative 17-2 score. This game, behind Part I of a twinbill, was designedly seven innings in length. Mitchell’s mates served him up seven runs to work with. And he did his part with seven strikeouts, culminating with Ronald Bermudez swinging and missing to drop the curtain.
The game was halted and restarted from scratch after only one play as the Yankees were found to have accidentally submitted their lineup card from Friday’s date with the Norfolk Tides. That spared the Sox from starting the day with a double-whammy that had Duckworth surrendering a hit to Krum and the right fielder Bermudez being charged with a throwing error as Krum hustled into second base.
Greg Golson stole second with no one out in the fifth on a 1-1 pitch to Krum, and then scored when Krum deposited the next pitch in centerfield for an RBI single and a 3-0 Scranton advantage.
Brandon Laird and Montero each belted a two-run shot, the first off of Atchison and the second off of Hottovoy, to file Mitchell’s solid insurance policy in the seventh.
Che-Hsuan Lin had a half-and-half afternoon in centerfield. He had two singles drop in front of him in the first, the second of which scored Krum from second to give Scranton the initial 1-0 edge. He then caught Laird for the second out of the fourth, but couldn’t make time to thwart Golson as he scored from second to give Scranton its third run in the fifth.
Later that inning, though, Lin caught a deep fly by Tiffee for the second out in the fifth and acted quickly enough to keep Jordan Parraz and Krum on first and second base, respectively. He then retired Laird to end the inning and strand the two Scranton runners.
Daniel Nava made the most stimulating connection off any PawSox bat in the afternoon when he pushed Parraz to the right-field warning track to catch a fly ball in the fourth. Nava later gave way to Sheely after being hit in the ankle by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth.