Pedro Villarreal’s start Friday night against the Pawtucket Red Sox was nothing like his first. On June 22, Villarreal gave up just three runs on six hits over seven innings while striking out seven. Nearly a month later, Villarreal had no such success.
Friday night, the Paw Sox reached Villarreal for six runs on nine hits over four innings as they beat the Louisville Bats 9-1 before a Louisville Slugger Field crowd of 8,774.
Villarreal and the Bats were down 2-0 before they even had an out. Ryan Kalish doubled to lead off the game. Jose Iglesias then singled to put runners at the corners. Ryan Lavarnway singled home Kalish to make it 1-0. The next batter, Mauro Gomez, then doubled in Igelsias to make it 2-0. The first out of the inning came on an RBI sacrifice fly from J.C. Linares, making it 3-0. That set the stage for a dismal night for the Bats.
The Paw Sox added two more in the third on a double from Jason Repko, but it was the fifth that broke the Bats’ back.
An RBI single from Gomez capped a four-run fifth for Pawtucket to stretch their lead to 9-0. Gomez finished the game 5-for-5 with doubles and two RBIs. It was the only five-hit game of the season for the Paw Sox.
Six of the Paw Sox’ fifteen hits were doubles and the top four hitters in their lineup were a combined 12-for-21.
On flip side, Brandon Duckworth was stellar for the Red Sox, going six shutout innings while striking out three.
“He’s been a good pitcher for a long time,” Bats manager David Bell said. “He was very good for them tonight.”
After walking Repko to start the fifth, Villarreal appeared to have injured himself and was removed from the game.
Bell said they were not sure of the cause of the injury. Villarreal will be evaluated Saturday.
The Bats’ (37-64) only run came on an RBI sac fly from Felix Perez in the seventh. They fell to 27 games under the .500 mark for the fifth time this season. In their last two games, the Bats have given up 22 runs on 33 hits in their last two games.
The Bats and Sox continue their four game series Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Todd Redmond will be making his first start with the Bats since being traded from the Braves to the Reds in exchange for Paul Janish July 14. Redmond was 6-6 with a 3.58 ERA with the Gwinnett Braves. Redmond threw a no hitter against the Bats May 28, 2010 as a member of the Braves.