Felix Perez’s solo home run in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and capped a second comeback by the Louisville Bats as they went on to defeat the Pawtucket Red Sox 6-3 Monday night at McCoy Stadium. The Bats secured a four game sweep of the Paw Sox that came after sweeping Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Louisville Slugger Field. It is the first time since 2003 the Bats have swept consecutive four game series.
The Bats got some insurance runs in the ninth on an RBI infield single from Miguel Rojas and RBI groundout from Joey Gathright to make it 6-3.
But it was the resiliency of the Bats that shined Monday. The Bats trailed 1-0 after one and 3-1 after three.
After a leadoff double from Miguel Rojas in the top of the third, Joey Gathright reached on a fielding error by shortstop Pedro Ciriaco. The ball kicked away from Ciriaco and into center field, allowing Rojas to score to the game tying run.
The Paw Sox came right back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs to take the lead. After Jonathan Hee doubled and later scored on a triple from Ciriaco to make it 2-1, Jason Repko’s sac fly scored Ciriaco to make it 3-1.
The Bats would not go away. Cody Puckett extended his hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff solo home run to start the fourth. Paul Janish followed with a single and Perez doubled to put the tying run ninety feet away. Janish would score two batters later on a single by Rojas to tie the game 3-3.
After Perez’s homer in the sixth it was time for the pitching to do its job. Bats starter Chad Reineke (3-5) pitched a perfect sixth and had two outs in the seventh when he was lifted for Nick Christiani.
Christiani got the final out of the seventh and combined with Travis Webb and Jordan Smith to go the final two innings scoreless to preserve the lead and the winning streak.
Smith was credited with his tenth save of the season, moving him into a tie for fifth in the International League.
The Bats last won eight straight from May 30 – June 6 of last season. They also improved their June record to 13-12. If they finish with a winning record in June, it will be their first winning month since April of last year.
The Bats take their winning streak to Buffalo where they will open up a four game series against the Bison Tuesday night. The Bats will send Tim Gustafson (3-1, 4.29) to the mound. Buffalo, who have lost six straight, have not announced their rotation for the series. First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05.
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