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May 27, 2007
PawSox manager Ron Johnson is never critical of his team publicly. No matter the score, win or lose, he calls every game a developmental process and quickly looks ahead to the next game the next day.
Pawtucket, however, has lost two straight to the Syracuse Chiefs, including a 9-2 drubbing at McCoy Stadium Sunday night.
“We just got whooped pretty good,” said Johnson. “We'll turn the page because we've got a new club (Columbus) coming in and let's get Syracuse out of here because they're starting to heat up. We'll let them beat up on some other staffs around the league and see what we can do tomorrow.”
The Chiefs stuck it to the PawSox on Saturday night, too, and scored four runs in the top of the ninth for a come-from-behind 10-7 victory.
Last night Pawtucket was done in by Syracuse starter Michael MacDonald, who earned his first Triple-A win by throwing seven scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
“He did a real nice job,” said Johnson. “We didn't do much. We only had six (total) hits. We didn't square up a lot of balls. We didn't do too much tonight offensively.”
In his first appearance since his spot-start for the Red Sox last Saturday, Pawtucket starter Devern Hansack dropped to 1-5 after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts
“He didn't pitch bad,” said Johnson. “He'll build on that next time he's back out there. He's been back for seven days (from Boston) and he was a tick off with his command. He really didn't establish his rhythm with all of his pitches. But that's the development of a young guy.”
Sometimes when players come back from a big-league stint, no matter how long or short, there's always a chance for a hangover. Johnson said he doesn't see that with Hansack.
“It doesn't appear to be,” said the manager. “He's upbeat. I always watch how guys interact with their teammates when they come back [and he's been fine].”
PawSox pitcher Abe Alvarez has been delegated to the bullpen of late due to Jon Lester's rehab presence in Pawtucket. Alvarez worked two innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
After Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin made his second rehab appearance and allowed two runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning in the seventh, PawSox reliever Mike Burns, who imploded on Saturday night against the Chiefs and allowed the four runs in the top of the ninth to blow his fifth save opportunity in eight chances, got some redemption last night. He worked a perfect ninth inning and recorded two strikeouts.
“I was fired up to see the way Burns came back and threw the ball tonight,” said Johnson.
The PawSox' Michael Tucker belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to account for Pawtucket's runs.
Even though the PawSox have lost two straight, Johnson and his boys aren't too concerned.
“We've really played well the last two weeks,” said the manager. “If you try to change stuff then it's just out of panic and you really can't do that here. We've got three months of baseball left and that's a lot of games. We're not going to do anything different.”
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 10:17 PM to PawSox