Garin Cecchini doubled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Charlotte Knights 2-1 on Wednesday in the finale of their three-game series from McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I. Despite the loss, the Knights, who took the first two games of the series, won the three-game set with Pawtucket (2-1). The two teams will meet again next week at BB&T BallPark.
Charlotte reliever Jarrett Casey (5-1, 3.38) struck out Allen Craig to begin the inning. Casey then allowed a single to Travis Shaw, which put the game-winning run on base. Pawtucket then replaced Shaw on the base paths with Deven Marrero, who would advance to second base when Bryce Brentz followed with a walk. Cecchini then stepped to the plate with two on and just one out.
Ranked as the 10th best prospect in Boston’s system by Baseball America, Cecchini hit a 3-1 pitch over Trayce Thompson’s head in center field and Deven Marrero came around to score the game-winning run. It was Cecchini’s first hit of the day, but it proved to be the most important in a game that featured a pitcher’s duel.
The loss spoiled a terrific outing from Charlotte starter Erik Johnson, who allowed just one unearned run on three hits and one walk over eight innings. In his 11th start of the season, Johnson threw 94 pitches on the afternoon and struck out eight batters – increasing his season total to an International League best of 68.
Boston Red Sox hurler Justin Masterson started the game for Pawtucket on a Major League Rehab assignment and was sharp. Masterson allowed just one run on two hits over six innings. The rehab start was the third of 2015 for the Jamaican-born right-hander and the second with Pawtucket. PawSox reliever Zeke Spruill (4-1, 3.66) pitched the final three innings of the game and earned the win. He did not allow a run on the afternoon.
Charlotte’s only run of the game came in the fifth inning on an RBI double off the bat of Tyler Colvin.
The Knights will open a four-game series at Buffalo with a doubleheader Thursday beginning at 4:05 p.m. Scott Carroll will get the start for the Knights in Game 1 against Randy Wolf.