PawSox Kick The Habit

We should have guessed the PawSox luck was about to change when we saw 8 nuns dressed in white habits on the pitcher’s mound before the game.


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(photo courtesy of Louriann Mardo-Zayat)


The Little Sisters of the Poor from Pawtucket (posing with Jeff Natale) made their annual visit to McCoy Stadium on Sunday afternoon and their timing was perfect, as the PawSox 8-game losing streak mercifully came to an end with a 3-2 win over Indianapolis.


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(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


Normally, that would have been cause for elation, but the celebration was muted because the PawSox were one out away from the 10th no-hitter in franchise history.


Michael Bowden (5 IP), T.J. Large (1 IP), and Javier Lopez (2.1 IP) had a combined no-hitter going with 2 outs to go in the 9th, when Manager Ron Johnson called on All-Star closer Fernando Cabrera to finish the game.


Cabrera got Steve Pearce to fly out to right field, but with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Larry Broadway grounded a single up the middle to spoil the no-hit bit.


Tagg Bozied followed with a 2-run HR to spoil the shutout as well, but Cabrera got Robinzon Diaz for the final out as Pawtucket ended its losing streak.


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(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


Bowden’s performance was especially encouraging.  It was his first outing in 13 days after receiving the midseason break that the Red Sox like to give to their minor league starting pitchers, and Michael looked great.  In 5 hitless innings he walked four batters (all on 3-2 counts) and struck out five in reducing his ERA to 3.13.


And congrats to T.J. Large, who bounced back from a rough outing on Saturday to earn his first Triple-A win.


* * * * *


Manager Ron Johnson was in a great mood before Sunday’s game after learning that his daughters were big winners at the Morrison, Tennessee co-ed softball awards banquet on Saturday night.


RJ’s 9-year-old daughter Bridget was named the girl’s MVP and 13-year-old Cheyenne was the girl’s home run champ.  As Hyder joked on Sunday’s broadcast, “Talent often skips a generation.”


It was apparently quite the shindig.  RJ figures he was the only one of Morrison’s 802 residents who did not attend.


As for RJ’s son Chris – currently playing third base for the Houston Astros Triple-A team in Round Rock, TX – he ripped his 5th home run of the season on Friday night.  Chris is batting .268 with 5 HR and 17 RBI after coming back from the broken hand he suffered early in the season.


* * * * *


I had an interesting chat recently with Angel Chavez about one of the greatest sports legends from his home country of Panama – boxing great Roberto Duran.


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In his heyday, Duran was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” which means “Hands of Stone.” 


I told Angel that he is such a great defensive third baseman that his nickname should be the opposite:  “Soft Hands”


Angel provided the Spanish translation:  “Manos Suave.”


So if you hear me use that term on the air, you’ll understand why.


* * * * *


The PawSox open a 4-game series in Rochester on Monday night with Billy Traber on the mound.  I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and


I’d love to hear from you.  The address is


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