By Stephen Ur –
The Worcester Red Sox, who normally have Mondays off, were back home at Polar Park and hosting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees Triple-A) on Monday night in front of an audience of 9,008 people to celebrate Independence Day. Worcester came into this game after a 5-1 series win against the Rochester Red Wings, and have won 11 of their past 13 games since June 19.
The RailRiders got the scoring started on just the second pitch of the game as centerfielder Estevan Florial hit a home run into right field to give Scranton/WB an early 1-0 lead. Worcester pitcher Geoff Hartlieb would redeem himself with a couple strikeouts to retire the side and keep the score at 1-0. Hartlieb went on strike out the next five batters after giving up the solo home run in the first inning before being replaced by Phillips Valdez in the third inning.
Scranton/WB extended their lead in the top of the sixth inning when right fielder Phil Evans hit a line drive down the third base line, allowing shortstop Oswald Peraza to score, making the 2-0 in favor of the Railriders. They would add on two more runs as the next batter, second baseman Derek Dietrich, hit a single to center field, allowing both Evans and first baseman Jake Bauers to score, making the score 4-0.
Worcester would score their first run of the game in the bottom half of the sixth when Grandberg hit a double that allowed Yolmer Sanchez to score. They were now down 4-1 with a man in scoring position as the RailRiders would then make a pitching change, their first of the game.
The WooSox pulled within two off an error by the RailRiders on a throw to second base which allowed Sanchez to score for the second time tonight, making it a 4-2 game with no outs in the bottom of the eighth and men on first and third.
A Ryan Fitzgerald sacrifice fly allowed Granberg to score, and the score was now 4-3. Connor Wong attempted to score the game-tying run, but was thrown out by Evans, keeping it a one-score lead for Scranton/WB.
Worcester would take their first lead of the game on a three-run homer to left field from Ronaldo Hernandez, giving them a 6-4 lead.
Kaleb Ort came in for the save in the ninth and was able to force a double play after giving up a walk and force a pop-up in foul territory to seal the 6-4 come-from-behind victory for the WooSox.
Worcester and the RailRiders will have Tuesday off and will be back at Polar Park on Wednesday with Chris Sale expected to make a rehab start against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (AAA-Yankees) at 6:45 p.m. Sale has been on Boston’s injured list all season after suffering a stress fracture in his right rib cage during a live batting practice session with Florida Gulf Coast University players in his hometown of Fort Myers, FL during the lockout back in February.