By Cooper Boardman –
A pair of early long balls powered the Worcester Red Sox (9-14) to a 5-4 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (10-14) on Thursday night at Polar Park.
After Estevan Florial put Scranton/Wilkes-Barre up 1-0 with a leadoff homer, the WooSox’ offense responded with pop. Four batters in to the Worcester half of the first, Wilyer Abreu jumped on the first pitch he saw and blasted a two-run homer to center, putting the home team on top. Hernandez was next, and he annihilated a first pitch as well, a 450-foot long ball over the berm in left.
Both Abreu and Hernandez notched their second home runs of the season, swings that gave the WooSox a lead they would not hand back.
Wilmer Difo got one run back for the RailRiders with an RBI single in the second to cut the SWB deficit to 3-2, but again, the Worcester offense answered in the bottom of the frame. Nick Sogard cracked a one-out single and David Hamilton doubled to put two in scoring position. With the infield in, Niko Goodrum ripped a single up the middle for his seventh and eighth RBI of the season, extending the lead to 5-2.
Matt Dermody started but went just two innings, making way for Norwith Gudiño out of the bullpen. Gudiño tossed four innings, striking out three and allowing two runs (one earned). SWB’s runs against the right-hander came on a passed ball in the third and an RBI single by Jamie Westbrook.
Ryan Sherriff, Joe Jacques and Chase Shugart held the 5-4 lead over the final three innings, each tossing a scoreless frame in the seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively. Shugart posted a 1-2-3 ninth, recording his first Triple-A save.
The WooSox continue the two-week homestand on Friday night at 6:45 p.m. against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, affiliate of the New York Yankees. On the mound, Bryan Mata (0-2, 6.91) faces Sean Boyle (1-1, 6.61). Television coverage is on NESN+ tape delay and MiLB.TV, while radio coverage is live at 6:25 p.m. on 98.9 Nash Icon and the WooSox Radio Network.