PawSox P Ranaudo solid in McCoy debut

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Red Sox pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo wasn't completely satisfied with his third start at Triple-A, but he was happy with the fact the Pawtucket Red Sox won their fifth in a row with a 4-2 victory over the Louisville Bats on Thursday night at McCoy Stadium.

"I felt I was in control a good portion of the game," he said. "There were definitely spurts where I didn't have my best command. I struggled throwing some pitches and repeating my delivery. For the most part, I felt like I made the pitches when I needed to and my defense bailed me out."

The 23-year-old right-hander had to settle for a no-decision after working 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run with no walks and three strikeouts. He tossed 105 pitches (68 for strikes).

"I don't think he had his best stuff from the very beginning," said PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina. "He got to two strikes a lot with some hitters. We counted four or five hitters early in the first two or three innings he had two strikes on guys but didn't finish them. He left some fastballs down the middle of the plate. It was almost like he was throwing too many strikes and that's where he ran into some trouble."

Ranaudo is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts for the PawSox since he was promoted from Double-A Portland on Aug. 4.

Stepping onto the bump Thursday for the first time at McCoy, Ranaudo surrendered a leadoff triple to the Bats' Billy Hamilton, who later scored on an infield single to give Louisville a 1-0 lead. It was the only run Ranaudo allowed.

Even when he did pitch himself into a jam, he worked his way out of it. Hamilton added his second triple of the game with one out in the top of the fifth, but was left stranded.

In the sixth, Ranaudo quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning before he allowed an infield single. DiSarcina emerged from the dugout and Ranaudo was done for the night. As the pitching prospect walked off the field, he received a nice ovation from the 5,513 in attendance.

After posting an 8-4 record with a 2.95 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Portland, Ranaudo was promoted to Pawtucket and made a solid debut for the PawSox on Aug. 4 at Buffalo. He worked six scoreless innings and allowed only four hits with no walks and five strikeouts to earn his first win at Triple-A. His second outing on Aug. 9 at Syracuse, Ranaudo suffered the loss after he worked five innings and allowed five runs (four earned) with two walks and three strikeouts.]

Despite the no-decision Thursday night, he's been happy with the way he's thrown the ball in his outings at this level.

"I feel really good about them, honestly," Ranaudo said. "I've had mixed results but as far as the way I felt, I felt really good. I feel like my command is really where I want it to be with my fastball. There were some parts tonight where I didn't command the ball very well, but overall my command has been really good. I've been able to go in and out, and up and down when I want it to and I've had good success with it so far."