Berkshire Eagle Staff
NEWARK, N.J. -- Chad Paronto lost his first three starts for the Pittsfield Colonials, but kept on saying that things would get better. This must be what he meant.
The right-hander (3-3) won his third straight start to even his record as the Colonials rallied to beat the Newark Bears 5-3 on Tuesday.
Paronto went six innings Tuesday, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits. T.J. Wink, the fourth Pittsfield pitcher, threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his first professional save.
In his last three starts, Paronto has pitched 20 2/3 innings and has given up four earned runs on 18 hits, for an earned-run average of 1.75. That compares most favorably with the righty’s first three starts, where he gave up 14 earned runs in 16 innings and had an ERA of 7.88.
On Tuesday, Paronto walked only two and struck out seven. He threw 112 pitches, 72 for strikes.
The Bears got to Paronto for two runs in the first inning, one scoring on an error by the pitcher and the other scoring on Danny Santiesteban’s ground out.
Newark made it 3-0 when Tim Raines Jr., the son of the Bears’ manager, singled and later scored on an RBI base hit by Billy Alvino.
The Colonials did have a chance to jump on Newark starter Jesse Estrada in the first when Jerod Edmondson led off with a double. Matt Nandin flied to right, but Santiesteban made the grab and threw Edmondson out trying to take third.
Pittsfield got on the board in the top of the fifth. The Colonials scored two runs on no hits, two walks and an error by left fielder Brandon Watson that allowed the two runs to score.
After pitching a solid six innings, Paronto was done in the seventh. But he was still the pitcher of record when the Colonials took the lead.
Billy Mottram hit a one-out double, Johnny Welch singled to third and both runners moved up on Peter Fatse’s ground out. Chris Torres then singled both runs home, giving the Colonials a 4-3 lead.
Pittsfield added a run in the top of the ninth as Torres singled and later scored on Nandin’s single.
Pittsfield’s bullpen was stellar as Rafael Lluberes, Matt Lyons and Wink each threw one scoreless inning of relief. Lluberes and Wink set the side down in order, with Wink striking out Watson, Juan Martinez and Raines Jr. to end the game.
Pat Moran (3-2, 5.93 ERA) will pitch for the Colonials tonight against Casey Gaynor (1-0, 12.60).
NOTES: A pair of Worcester Tornadoes are the Pointstreak Can-Am League players of the week.
Nick Salotti is the hitter of the week after going 11 for 30 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in for his last eight games.
Left-hander Zach Zuercher is the pitcher of the week. He threw 13 scoreless innings in two starts, giving up only six hits and striking out 12.