MAY 30th NORFOLK (21-30) at PAWTUCKET (33-20) 7:05 pm
Norfolk Tides RHP Brad Bergesen (2-2, 4.96) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Justin Germano (4-3, 2.93)
All Even – The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Norfolk Tides play game three of their 4-game series tonight at 7:05 pm at McCoy Stadium. The teams have split the first two games here at McCoy with the Tides taking a 6-4 decision on Monday before the PawSox evened matters with an entertaining 11-8 victory last night. The season-series is also knotted at 3 victories apiece with two games remaining – tonight and tomorrow night both at 7:05 pm.
Penultimate Meeting – This homestand began with the PawSox taking 3 of 4 from the Toledo Mud Hens. They are trying to do the same vs.Norfolk but need to win tonight and tomorrow to accomplish that feat. This series vs. the Tides features the return of first-year Norfolk manager Ron Johnson (who skippered the PawSox from 2005-2009) and fourth year Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin (who held that same role with Pawtucket from 2003-2007) who are making their only visit to McCoy this season. The PawSox and Tides play for the final time in the regular-season tomorrow night to end this series, their season-series, this homestand, and the month of May.
Homer Haven – The PawSox have belted 12 HR in their last four games (10 in their last three) – they had a total of 11 HR in their previous 19 games combined from May 6-25. Pawtucket’s current homer onslaught has enabled them to regain the International League lead with 57 HR on the year. Columbus is next with 54 HR.
Season Series Rolls On – These two teams faced each other last week inNorfolk and split a 4-game set. The Tides won the first two games over the weekend by scores of 8-4 and 6-3 but the PawSox bounced back to win the final two games on May 21 (4-0) and May 22 (5-3 in a game called after 8-innings due to rain). The teams have traded victories here at McCoy the past two nights (Tides winning 6-4 and Sox winning 11-8). The PawSox are hitting .291 in the 6-games vs. the Tides (59-for-203) with 7 HR (2 by Kroeger and 1 each fromAnderson, Gomez, Hassan, Podsednik, and Spears). Sox pitchers are 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA vs.Norfolk (30 ER in 51 IP) with 7 HRA. The teams have each scored 31 runs in the season-series thus far.
Reaching for New Heights – The PawSox (now 33-20) have equaled their season-high of 13-games over .500 on the year for the third time this season – the others on May 16 and this past Sunday. With a victory tonight they can move to 14-games above .500 for the first time since they finished last year a season-high 20-games over .500 at 81-61. The Sox have been below .500 just twice this season on April 9 and April 11 (at 3-4).
Simply the Best –Pawtucket has won 6 of 8 overall and 9 of their last 12 home games dating back to May 9. Pawtucket has also won 17 of their last 25 games since May 4. The Sox have maintained the best record in the International League at 33-20 (a ½-game better than Gwinnett) for the better part of two weeks. The PawSox lead in the division is 2½-games overBuffalo after they had a 3½-game advantage overLehighValley andBuffalo atop the IL North on Sunday to match their season-high on May 13.
Home Sweet Home – The PawSox – who are in the middle stages of a stretch that has them playing 16 home games in 20 days from May 24 – June 12 (4-2 thus far) – have the 4th best home record in the league at 18-8 behind Lehigh Valley (19-5), Indianapolis (17-6), and Gwinnett (19-8). They have this current 8-game homestand to end the month of May (4-2 so far), go to Lehigh Valley for a wrap-around 4-game weekend series this Friday to next Monday (June 1-4), and then return to McCoy for another 8-game homestand from June 5-12. The Sox are also in the midst of a span from May 7 – June 12 that has them playing 24 of 36 games at home (14-8 thus far overall).
Lead the Way - While their 18 home victories are T3rd most in the league behindLehighValley (19) and Gwinnett (19),Pawtucket’s 15 road victories are the most in the IL. The Sox 15-12 away record is best in the league.
Streaksville - The PawSox have been on a streaky ride over the past month and a half. They had a 9-game winning streak (to match a club-record) from April 16-24 which was immediately followed by a 4-game losing streak (April 25-29). The Sox won on April 30 and then had a 3-game losing skid (May 1-3) which was immediately followed by a 4-game winning streak (May 4-7). The Sox lost on May 8 but subsequently put together a 5-game winning streak (May 9-13). They recently endured a 4-game losing skid from May 17-20 and had a 3-game winning streak from May 21-24.
Stand Up – The Sox have been alone in 1st-place in the IL North since May 5. They were also in 1st from April 21 – May 2, fell into 2nd-place on May 3 & 4 (just a ½-game behind Buffalo), but regained sole possession of 1st-place on May 5. The Sox are presently 2½-games up onBuffalo. They had a 3½-game lead on Sunday which equaled their largest of the season (May 13).
Pulling Rank – Pawtucket leads the league with 270 runs scored. PawSox batters also lead the IL with 20 sacrifice flies. PawSox pitchers pace the league with 28 hit batsmen. Team-wise, the Sox own the best mark in the league in games decided by 4-runs or more (going 12-3 in those).