Tyler Murray –
The Worcester Red Sox scored eight unanswered runs, powered by a grand slam from Bobby Dalbec, but could not overcome an 11-0 deficit in an 12-10 loss to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Park.
The WooSox started the comeback in the sixth, when three two-out walks set up Ryan Fitzgerald for a broken-bat, two-run single into center field to make it 11-2. After a scoreless seventh, Worcester plated six in the eighth inning.
A wall-ball single from Daniel Palka started the rally, and the WooSox scored two runs thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice from Marcus Wilson and four walks. After a bases-loaded free pass, Dalbec launched a 1-2 fastball over the fence in right, an opposite-field grand slam to narrow the deficit to 11-8.
Lehigh Valley’s Dalton Guthrie responded with an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to pad the lead, which turned out to be a pivotal insurance run after Wilson blasted a two-run homer to left center in the ninth inning to cut the lead to 12-10.
The game swung in the third, when Lehigh Valley mounted a seven-run rally with each run charged to rehabber James Paxton (0.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 0 K), who took the loss while pitching out of the bullpen for the first time since 2013.
Weston Wilson started the scoring with an opposite-field homer to right, and the next three batters delivered hits including an RBI triple from Scott Kingery. Another single and two walks chased Paxton from the game, but the hits kept coming. A bases-loaded walk and a two-run double by Wilson extended the lead to 7-0, and Lehigh Valley would add four more runs over the next two innings, highlighted by a two-run blast from Jhailyn Ortiz.
The WooSox scored 10 runs on just eight hits, taking advantage of 11 walks from Iron Pigs pitching including three to Niko Goodrum.
Worcester used six pitchers in the game, including a strong opening effort from Taylor Broadway (2 IP, 0 R, 1 H). Jakob Hernandez picked up the win for the Iron Pigs with 1.1 relief innings.
The WooSox continue their six-game series with the Iron Pigs tomorrow night at 6:45 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park. Radio coverage begins at 6:25 p.m. on 98.9 Nash Icon and the rest of the WooSox Radio Network.