Betts gets best of Bell

June 9th, 2015 9:52 pm

First Posted: 6/20/2014

MOOSIC — Mookie Betts is considered one of the top prospects in Boston’s organization by many publications for a reason.

The 21-year-old showed a few of those reasons on Friday night at PNC Field as he went 3 for 5, including a two-run single with two outs in the top of the ninth inning off veteran closer Heath Bell leading Pawtucket to a 3-2 win over the RailRiders.

Bell entered with two outs in the eighth and got the final out routinely. But in the ninth inning, the 36-year-old Bell threw 39 pitches in the ninth and 46 pitches overall in his one inning of work. After getting a strikeout to start the ninth, he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs for the super prospect Betts. The two battled for a 10-pitch at-bat as Betts fouled off seven pitches then lined a single up the middle giving Pawtucket the lead.

The RailRiders made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth against Drake Britton as they loaded the bases with two outs. That’s when Tommy Layne entered for the PawSox and got pinch-hitting Carmen Angelini via strikes, the third one being in the dirt, to end the game.

The Pawtucket rally spoiled a fine performance by the RailRiders bullpen as Jim Miller and Preston Claiborne combined to throw 4 2/3 innings allowing just one run on two hits and striking out eight.

The relievers were needed because starter Joel De La Cruz was hit hard twice. Not by Pawtucket hitters though. He was hit by a batted ball twice in his three-plus innings of work. The first time, he was hit in the leg and got a groundout on the play. The next time, he appeared to get nailed in his pitching arm and was removed for the game.

The circumstances were unfortunate because De La Cruz had been struggling in his last five starts allowing 24 runs, just 15 earned, and was looking good on Friday night. He tossed three scoreless innings before getting lifted. He only had one strikeout, but only walked one and gave up four hits, two to Betts. De La Cruz also threw first-pitch strikes to eight of the 13 batters he faced.

Jose Pirela gave the RailRiders a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when he crushed a solo home run. His fifth homer of the season came on a 3-1 pitch and sailed over the bullpen in left field.

The RailRiders added another run in the fifth inning as Rob Refsnyder doubled in Zelous Wheeler for a 2-0 lead. After Corban Joseph popped out, Taylor Dugas – playing in his first Triple-A game – drew a walk. The speedy Dugas and Refsnyder then converted a double steal, but SWB squandered the opportunity with two runners in scoring position and one out when Pirela flied out to deep left and John Ryan Murphy struck out.

The PawSox cut the deficit in half in the top of the sixth when Travis Shaw tripled off Claiborne then scored on a groundout trimming the RailRiders lead to 2-1.

Notes: Pawtucket starter Anthony Renaudo, who entered the game tied for third in the International League with seven wins, retired the last eight batters faced and went seven innings. He struck out six and walked just one, while allowing only four hits to the RailRiders. …Murphy, who played in his first game for the RailRiders since April 13 after spending the last two months-plus in New York, had a nice return to the team with a double and a single in four at-bats.


Mookie Betts cf`5`0`3`2`1`0`0

Mike McCoy 2b-ss`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Will Middlebrooks 3b`3`0`1`0`0`0`0

Shannon Wilkerson lf`2`0`1`0`0`0`0

Travis Shaw 1b`4`1`2`0`0`1`0

Carlos Rivero ss-3b`4`0`0`1`0`0`0

Ryan Roberts dh`4`1`1`0`0`0`0

Christian Vazquez c`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Alex Hassan rf`3`1`1`0`0`0`0

Justin Henry lf-2b`3`0`0`0`0`0`0


Jose Pirela lf`4`1`1`1`0`0`1

John Ryan Murphy c`4`0`2`0`1`0`0

Zoilo Almonte rf`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Scott Sizemore 3b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0

Kyle Roller 1b`4`0`1`0`0`0`0

Zelous Wheeler ss`3`1`1`0`1`0`0

Robert Refsnyder 2b`3`0`1`1`1`0`0

Corban Joseph dh`3`0`0`0`0`0`0

Austin Romine ph-dh`0`0`0`0`0`0`0

Taylor Dugas cf`2`0`0`0`0`0`0

Carmen Angelini ph`1`0`0`0`0`0`0





Anthony Ranaudo`7.0`4`2`2`2`6

Drake Britton (W, 1-2)`1.2`2`0`0`2`1

Tommy Layne (S, 4)`0.1`0`0`0`0`1


Joel De La Cruz`3.0`4`0`0`1`1

Jim Miller`2.0`0`0`0`1`4

Preston Claiborne (H, 3)`2.2`2`1`1`0`4

Heath Bell (BS, 2)(L, 2-1)`1.0`3`2`2`1`2