On May 28 at Harbor Field in Norfolk, Virginia, Doug Mathis’ orchestrated his best outing in the Pawtucket Red Sox uniform since his signing on December 2, pitching 7.0 innings of one-hit baseball, replete with three strikeouts, against the Norfolk Tides.
A week later, against the same club, Mathis was anything but spectacular. The 28-year-old surrendered six runs on 10 hits (three home runs), walked one and struck out two on 94 pitches (61 strikes) to a crowd of 3,755 at McCoy Stadium on Memorial Day
Mathis’ troubles emanated in the third, when Tides’ right fielder Jai Miller blasted a solo home run to center field after the PawSox starter retired the previous six batters he faced.
In the ensuing inning, the Tides’ tagged Mathis for two runs on four straight hits. Then the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate plated three additional runs on two home runs, from left fielder Jamie Hoffman and shortstop Blake Davis, to complete their 6-4 victory over the PawSox.
Six of the 10 hits from the Tides were for extra base hits.
Nate Spears’ second home run in as many days in the third, a sac fly by Ronald Bermudez, his first RBI since being called-up on May 24, in the seventh accounted for the PawSox’ offense entering the ninth inning.
And in the ninth, the PawSox narrowed the 6-3 lead by one after Josh Kroeger, who went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts last night, instilled a glimpse of hope into his first place club by hitting his sixth home run of the season.
Subsequent to a ground out by Alex Hassan, Ronald Bermudez doubled to center, and with Mauro Gomez pinch-hitting Jon Hee, the chances to tie the game were in favor of the PawSox.
Instead, Gomez grounded out weakly to first base.
Tomorrow, the same teams meet again in game two of the four game series at 7:05 p.m. EDT. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (4-3, 4.07), with his opt-out days away, will face Tides’ RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-1, 1.50)
- Lars Anderson followed his 3-for-3, two home run performance last night with a 0-for-4, one strikeout one this afternoon.
- Prior to be pinch-hit for by Gomez, Hee was 2-for-3 with one strikeout, raising his average from .143 to .194 in 33 at-bats.
- Garrett Mock and Alex Wilson combined to pitch 3.2 innings of relief for Mathis — allowing just three hits and striking out five.
- Jose Iglesias was absent from the PawSox’ lineup for the third straight day, and will sit tomorrow as well. Arnie Beyeler stuck with last night’s explanation, “He’s banged up.” When asked for a specific area, Beyeler declined to elaborate.