Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Post-game Pop-ups: Chiefs 7, PawSox 0

Swift Summation
Syracuse Chiefs southpaw Danny Rosenbaum preserved a no-hit bid through the second out of the fifth inning Wednesday afternoon. A 180-degree difference in the performance of counterpart Anthony Ranaudo undid the Pawtucket Red Sox with little delay en route to a 7-0 meltdown at McCoy Stadium.

Each of the first three stanzas saw the Sox surrender at least one run while the offense failed to land a single baserunner.

Syracuse raised the upper hand when Will Rhymes doubled to center and came home on Steven Souza’s opposite-field single to right. Souza, however, botched his attempt to extend his hit to extra bases, effectively minimizing the first-inning damage.

That did nothing to preempt a second-inning outburst. Zach Walters led off the road half of the next frame with a triple to the centerfield warning track. He hustled home when Brian Goodwin utilized the first out with a sacrifice grounder on a payoff pitch.

Souza accelerated the early romp in the third. With Rhymes and Eury Perez at the corners and one away, he belted Syracuse’s first homer of 2014 over the left-field wall for a 5-0 lead.

Garin Cecchini was the first Pawtucket batter to get the ball beyond the infield, though Souza snared his bid in shallow center in the fifth. Corey Brown followed with a single to right, breaking up the no-hitter, but was ultimately stranded.

After three mutually scoreless innings, Red Sox reliever Rich Hill reopened the wound in the seventh. A two-out single by Souza plated Jeff Howell to augment the Chiefs’ lead to 6-0.

Rosenbaum was on his last doses of mojo for the day when the Sox drummed up a rare threat. A leadoff walk to Ryan Lavarnway and a single by Dan Butler put to on board with nobody out. But Rosenbaum rebounded to induce a flyout to Cecchini and fan Brown before giving way to Manny Delcarmen.

Delcarmen’s first challenger, Christian Vazquez, filled the sacks with a single, but Justin Henry’s flyout preserved the shutout.

Syracuse passively picked up its seventh run in the eighth inning when Dalier Hinojosa allowed four straight two-out walks.

PawSox Pluses
There is no way to sugarcoat this. There was nothing positive for the McCoy masses to single out amidst Wednesday afternoon’s mess. 

Sox Stains
Ranaudo’s final stat line for the day: 5.2 innings pitched, five runs (four earned), seven hits, a walk and four strikeouts. Three of the hits he authorized were for extra bases, one of each variety.

Given everything Ranaudo gave the Chiefs to prey upon, Wednesday’s younger innings could have been worse for Pawtucket. The host starter let six of his first 12 challengers reach base on a hit with five translating to runs.

The PawSox defense was the principal reason Syracuse settled for a single run in the first and second. Four fielders collaborated to catch Souza on the base paths in the opening frame. Later, Butler terminated the second when he threw to Brock Holt to cut down Emmanuel Burriss’ stealing attempt and end the third.

That deficit-swelling stanza, though, started with Henry’s fielding error at second, which authorized the inning’s first runner in Perez.

The PawSox finally put a man on base and genuinely threatened after Rosenbaum hit Brock Holt and walked Brandon Snyder in the bottom the fourth. But both runners were left hanging when Lavarnway grounded into a double play up the middle.

Pawtucket would not have multiple baserunners nor place anyone in scoring position again until the seventh. As noted above, that went for naught with outs to Cecchini, Brown and Henry. Ditto the eighth, when Butler’s vain liner stranded Lavarnway and Holt.

Chiefs Notes
Burriss and was the only two Chief to chalk up a hit in all three games of this three-game set. He batted a cumulative 4-for-9 with an RBI, a run scored and three walks.

Cleanup man Brock Peterson finished the series a surprising 0-for-14. On Wednesday, he was the lone Syracuse batter to not reach base or pick up credit for an RBI. Rather, he went 0-for-5 with a different form of out for each at bat (one popup, one fly, one grounder, one liner and one “K.”)

With the loss, the PawSox failed to extend a winning streak to three games for the second time in as many attempts.

The Sox bookended their season-opening, seven-game homestand with a pair of shutout defeats. They previously endured a 4-0 falter at the hands of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to kick of their 2014 slate last Thursday.

The parent Boston Red Sox optioned pitcher Brandon Workman to Pawtucket Wednesday morning. The transaction comes on the heels of Craig Breslow completing his minor-league rehab regimen. Workman split last season between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a 3-1 record in six career starts for the PawSox.

Brown, who played 357 games for the Chiefs over the previous three seasons, made two appearances in his first series against his old allies. He finished the series 2-for-7 with a double, a walk and a run scored, but also struck out five times, including thrice Wednesday.