Byline: John McGuirk
WORCESTER - Well, at least the Worcester Tornadoes know they won't go winless against the Brockton Rox this season.
The Tornadoes took advantage of a pitcher with control problems and then came up big as they ground out a 7-4 victory yesterday at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. It was Worcester's first triumph over Brockton (8-2) in eight meetings this season. The Tornadoes are now 4-7.
Worcester led, 4-1, after four innings, but Brockton stormed back and tied it with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
But in the bottom of the sixth, Worcester put together four hits and Abraham Nunez and Mark Minicozzi each drove in a run for a 6-4 lead. One inning later Ryan Crespi smashed a home run that gave the Tornadoes a cushion.
"We haven't gotten the bounces to go our way against (Brockton)," Crespi said. "But today we were able to come through and this is a positive way to end this homestand and we hit the road on Tuesday at Pittsfield. (Starting pitcher) Zach Zuercher did a good job for us today and keeping us in this game. He's out there giving his all and we're going to go out and give it our all with our bats and defense. We knew we had to win this game and give us confidence going into the road trip."
The Tornadoes jumped on Rox starter Mike Smith, who struggled in 3-1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, but walked seven and gave up four runs. Smith threw 90 pitches - 46 for strikes.
The Tornadoes showed plenty of patience at the plate and forced the right-hander to throw strikes. When he did, Worcester made him pay.
After Brockton took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Chris Grossman, Alex Nunez tied it in the second with...