PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The Pawtucket Red Sox broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and then held off a furious rally by the Gwinnett Braves in the top of the ninth for a 3-2 win in game one of the four game series Monday night at McCoy Stadium.
The loss dropped Gwinnett to 2 1/2 games behind Durham in the International League South standings, as the Bulls won their fifth straight game 4-3 against Toledo.
For the second straight game, the G-Braves had trouble with a former LSU starting pitcher. After Norfolk's Kevin Gausman beat Gwinnett with 6.1 scoreless innings on Sunday, Pawtucket's Anthony Ranaudo one-upped him tossing 6.2 scoreless frames for the Red Sox Monday night. The right-hander's strong performance on the mound, helped the Red Sox snap their seven-game losing streak.
Gwinnett (27-22) starting pitcher Daniel Rodriguez nearly matched Ranaudo's strong performance, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Christian Vazquez led off the half inning with a single and scored from first on a double in the left-center field gap by Mike McCoy. Ryan Roberts (1) followed with a two-run homer to left to give Pawtucket a 3-0 lead.
Gwinnett struggled most of the night at the plate, but finally made a push in the top of the ninth against reliever Rich Hill. With one out, Hill hit Brandon Boggs with a pitch. The next batter Edward Salcedo pounded a deep double to right center, scoring Boggs from first to cut the lead to 3-1. After Hill struck out Ozzie Martinez for the second out, Salcedo stole third and scored on an RBI single by Jose Constanza, cutting the lead to 3-2. With Todd Cunningham as the potential go-ahead run, Hill struck out the switch-hitter to preserve the win for the Red Sox (26-26).
Despite getting the loss, Rodriguez (4-5) earned his fifth quality start of the season. He went 7.0 innings with seven hits, three earned runs, and seven strikeouts. Pedro Beato went 1.0 inning out of the bullpen with one hit.
Ranaudo (5-3) worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings with four hits, four walks and four strikeouts. Hill went 2 1/3 innings with two hits, two earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts for the save.
At the plate for Gwinnett, Salcedo was 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Constanza, Phil Gosselin and Tommy La Stella went 1-for-4. The RBI single by Constanza in the ninth increased his hitting streak to eight games.
McCoy who was 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI led the Red Sox, while Roberts went 1-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs.
The two clubs will meet in game two of the four game series Tuesday night in Pawtucket. RHP Gus Schlosser (2-1, 6.87) will start for Gwinnett. The Red Sox will counter with RHP Matt Barnes (1-2, 4.35). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Tony Schiavone will have the play-by-play call beginning at 6:50 p.m. on wdun.com, gwinnettbraves.com, Tune-In Radio and MiLB First Pitch.