By Jim Cain –
Chris Murphy turned in his finest outing of the season as the Worcester Red Sox (8-9) took game three of their six-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (6-11) by a 7-4 final on Thursday night.
Murphy went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. The left-hander walked two and struck out five. The six-inning performance matched Brayan Bello’s six-inning rehab start last Tuesday for the longest Worcester start so far this season.
Worcester opened the scoring in the second inning. Ronaldo Hernandez clubbed a two-run homer off Lehigh Valley starter Nick Allgeyer. After a Narciso Crook single and a Ryan Fitzgerald walk, David Hamilton singled on the tenth pitch of his at-bat against Allgeyer to score Fitzgerald and put Worcester on top 3-0. With that single, Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Daniel Palka made it a 4-0 game with an RBI single in the third.
Vito Friscia hit the first of his two solo home runs in the third inning.
The WooSox plated a pair in the fourth, with Bobby Dalbec and Wilyer Abreu driving in runs.
Lehigh Valley scored another run in the fifth thanks to a Weston Wilson single.
Friscia’s second homer came off Jake Faria in the seventh.
Fitzgerald gave Worcester a 7-3 lead with an RBI double in the eighth.
The IronPigs inched a bit closer in the ninth, as Simon Muzziotti brought in Jim Haley with a groundout, but Chase Shugart was able to close out the Worcester win.
Niko Goodrum drew three walks for a second straight game to extend his on-base streak to 10. Goodrum leads the International League in walk rate (34.5%).
Jorge Alfaro went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 14, which is now the longest active hitting streak in the IL.
The WooSox continue their series with the IronPigs tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 98.9 Nash Icon and the rest of the WooSox Radio Network.