By Tyler Murray –
The Worcester Red Sox dropped both games of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader, 5-4 and 9-3, to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park.
In Game 1, the WooSox jumped on IronPigs starter T.J Zeuch early to build a 4-0 lead. On the second pitch of the game, lead-off batter David Hamilton ripped a homer over the right-field fence. The long ball was Hamilton’s fourth of the season, and left the bat at 103 mph.
After back-to-back singles from Bobby Dalbec and Wilyer Abreu, plus a walk to Enmanuel Valdez, Niko Goodrum singled home Dalbec to make it 2-0.
Daniel Palka grounded into a double play to bring in Worcester’s third run. Greg Allen then hit a line drive to left that was originally ruled the final out of the inning on a Simon Muzziotti diving catch, but after the umpires convened, the call was overturned, and the play resulted in an RBI single for Allen that made it 4-0 Worcester. The WooSox would be held hitless for the rest of Game 1.
Lehigh Valley’s first three runs (all unearned) came in the second inning. Vimael Machin reached on a throwing error with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Then, Jhailyn Ortiz reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Simon Muzziotti brought in Lehigh Valley’s first run with a fielder’s choice, narrowly beating out a double play ball that would have ended the inning. After Brandon Walter hit Jim Haley with a pitch, Jordan Qsar drove in a pair with a double to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
The WooSox stayed in front until the bottom of the sixth. Esteban Quiroz led off the inning and doubled down the third-base line. The next batter, John Hicks, lined a double into the left-center gap to tie the game at four. Later in the inning, Muzziotti gave the IronPigs the lead with an RBI single on a 3-2 pitch from Oddanier Mosqueda.
In his fourth start of the year, Brandon Walter took the loss despite allowing just two earned runs in five innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
Lehigh Valley led the whole way in Game 2, scoring runs in each of the first four innings to open up a 4-0 lead. Top pitching prospect Bryan Mata allowed the four runs on five hits (including a two-run homer from Jordan Qsar) and was relieved after 2.1 innings with three walks and one strikeout.
Worcester mounted a rally in the top of the fourth to narrow the deficit to 4-3. Abreu and Dalbec walked to start the inning, and Valdez singled to load the bases. With one out, Daniel Palka blasted a pitch off the wall in right center, scoring Abreu from third. Some confusion on the bases led to Dalbec being forced out at third base, but Ronaldo Hernandez eventually came through with a two-run single to center field to cap the rally.
The Iron Pigs responded with an RBI single from Machin in the fourth, and busted the game open with a four-run rally in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run triple from Dalton Guthrie.
The WooSox return home to Polar Park on Tuesday for a 13-game homestand (including a doubleheader on Thursday, May 4) with back-to-back home series against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders and the Buffalo Bisons.