By Josh Cook
A big first inning, and a solid start by Matt Klinker, boosted the Louisville Bats to an 8-4 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday night.
The Bats, who broke a two-game losing streak, broke open the game early with three runs in the first and one in the second.
Chris Burke led off the bottom of the first with his third home run of the season. Then with two outs Wladimir Balentien walked, stole second and scored on Luis Terrero's double. Drew Sutton walked before Chris Denove doubled in Terrero to make it 3-0.
In the second Zack Cozart hit a one-out, solo homer to left field off Pawtucket starter Kris Johnson (3-4).
The Bats added three more in the fifth off Red Sox reliever T.J. Large. Balentien and Terrero led off with back-to-back singles. Then they pulled off a double steal, and after a walk to Denove, they both scored on Chris Valaika's single.
Valaika moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on Todd Frazier's ground out.
That was more than enough for Matt Klinker (1-1), who gave up only two earned runs on seven hits while striking out three over six innings in his second start for the Bats. In addition to the two runs Pawtucket scored against Klinker in the sixth, the Red Sox added one in the seventh and another in the eighth.
Frazier added a solo home run, his seventh of the season, in the seventh for the Bats.
Terrero went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead Louisville's 14-hit attack. Burke, Cozart and Denove added two hits apiece.
The two teams meet again at 6:05 p.m. Saturday night. There will be $2 Anheuser Busch Craft Beer from 5-6:30 p.m. as well as music by Andrea Davidson. The Quick Change Act, which appeared on the TV show 'America's Got Talent,' will also appear.