APRIL 11th ROCHESTER (2-4) at PAWTUCKET (5-1) 7:05 pm
Opening Act – The defending International League Champion Pawtucket Red Sox – coming off a 5-1 season-opening roadtrip to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (4-0) and LehighValley (1-1) – make their 2013 McCoy Stadium debut tonight when they play their home-opener against the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 pm. The PawSox have won 3 straight home-openers (2010, 2011, and 2012) and 7 of their last 9 home-openers since 2004. They have a chance tonight to make it 4 victorious home-openers in a row which would be a new franchise-mark. Pawtucket began this year on the road for the first time since the 2009 season. The PawSox lost their home-opener that year on April 17, 2009 by a 4-3 score to LehighValley – marking the last time the Sox dropped their home-opener.
Start Me Up – Pawtucket’s 5-1 start is their best in franchise-history. The 1994 PawSox put together the best extended start in club-history going 6-2 after 8 games, 10-3 after 13 games, and eventually 21-5 and then 30-7 (through May 14, 1994).
No Close Encounters – All six PawSox games this season have been decided by 4 runs or more as the Sox five wins have come by 4 runs, 5 runs, 5 runs, 4 runs, and 5 runs again while their only loss was by 9 runs. Pawtucket and Columbus are the only IL teams not to have played a 1-run game yet this season while the PawSox and Syracuse are the only two clubs not to have been involved in a 2-run game thus far. Last year Pawtucket was 21-22 in 1-run games and 13-18 in 2-run games as 74 of their 144 games were decided by one or two runs (51%).
The Road Home – Pawtucket went 5-1 on their initial roadtrip of the season that was cut short by one game last night when the finale at LehighValley was suspended by rain. The game was scoreless after 2-innings when it was suspended – it will be resumed during Pawtucket’s next trip to LehighValley on July 8. The just-concluded PawSox trip featured a 4-game sweep in Moosic, PA against the Scranton/WB RailRiders over the weekend and a split of the abbreviated 2-game set in Allentown, PA against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs earlier this week. Pawtucket’s best roadtrip last season came in their first trip of the year when they went 7-2 through Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse from April 11-19.
This Homestand - The PawSox make their 2013 McCoy Stadium debut tonight when they host the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 pm. Returning PawSox players will receive their 2012 Governors’ Cup Championship rings in special pre-game ceremonies. The PawSox play Rochester for four games tonight & tomorrow at 7:05 pm and then over the weekend on Saturday & Sunday at 1:05 pm. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs will visit next for a 4-game set next week with games Monday at 6:15 pm, Tuesday at 12:05 pm, Wednesday at 6:15 pm, and next Thursday at 12:05 pm.
Ortiz is recovering from right Achilles’ tendinopathy that originally happened last July 16 while he was running the bases. David returned for one game on August 24 but was placed back on the DL the next day and missed the remainder of the 2012 season. Ortiz, who did not appear in any games with the Red Sox during the past spring training, played in a simulated game on Monday in Fort Myers, FL (going 2-for-4) and in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers on Tuesday (again going 2-for-4).
Despite being limited to just 90 games last season he led the majors with a .611 slugging pct. while batting .318 with 23 HR & 60 RBI. An 8-time American League All-Star, Ortiz has a career average of .285 with 401 HR & 1326 RBI in 1832 games (16 years). He ranks among the all-time Red Sox leaders in homers (5th, 343), RBI (6th, 1088), extra-base hits (5th, 730), doubles (6th, 374), walks (6th, 825), total bases (6th, 2899), hits (9th, 1470), runs (9th, 909), slugging pct. (4th, .573), and OPS (4th, .962).