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August 1, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Spinners top Vermont in 12 innings

Five of the seven Red Sox affiliates found themselves in close contests on Friday, with one run providing the margin of victory or defeat. Pawtucket was able to pull out a 4-3 victory over Buffalo in its tight contest, thanks in no small part to Mark Wagner, who hit his first two Triple-A home runs and drove in 3 in the victory. Brian Anderson had a pair of hits in 4 at-bats, including a double, scoring once and driving in one, while Jeff Natale had three walks in four plate appearances, scoring once. Billy Traber (7-5) got the job done with six strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits and no walks, striking out one. Rocky Cherry got credit for 2.0 innings of relief in facing 5 batters, inducing a double play from the first batter he faced and retiring the next four. Fernando Cabrera, in his first appearance since coming off the Temporarily Inactive List, picked up the save despite allowing 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 1.

Portland had an easier time with Harrisburg, taking a 5-3 win with every hitter reaching base. Ryan Kalish played center field with Josh Reddick up in Boston, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, scoring 1 run and driving in another. Jorge Jimenez had Portland’s lone home run, going 2-for-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Yamaico Navarro, Jon Still, and Reid Engel also had two hits apiece, with Navarro and Still each tallying a double. Adam Mills (9-5) picked up the win by allowing just 5 hits and no walks over 7.0 innings, although 3 runs scored thanks to two Harrisburg home runs. He struck out 3. Groundball machines Chris Province and Bryce Cox each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, strangely inducing just one worm-burner between them.

Salem dropped a 3-2 decision as they continued their series with former Sox affiliate Wilmington. Dave McKae was strong making a last-minute spot start in place of Bryan Price, who was traded Friday afternoon, allowing just 5 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned, over 5.0 innings, striking out 4. Kyle Fernandes (4-2) took the loss after allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk in his 2.0 innings of work, striking out 2. Jason Rice tossed a scoreless inning, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. Jon Hee led the Salem Sox at the plate, going 3-for-4. Daniel Nava and Zach Borowiak had a pair of hits each, with Borowiak scoring once. Che-Hsuan Lin returned to the starting lineup as the DH after coming off the bench in the last two contests due to a minor injury, going 0-for-4 with a walk and scoring 1 run.

The largest winning margin came courtesy of the Greenville Drive, who beat another former Sox affiliate, Augusta, 10-4. Will Middlebrooks continued his hot streak, going 3-for-5 with a double and scoring twice. Jeremy Hazelbaker, Zach Gentile, Mitch Dening, Pete Hissey, and Michael Thomas each had a pair of hits. Hazelbaker had a triple, Dening a double, and Hissey one of each among their safeties. Jered Stanley had the lone home run, his first since rejoining the Drive. Fabian Williamson (7-3) went the first 5.0, holding the Green Jackets scoreless in scattering 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out four. Jeremy Kehrt earned the save by pitching the final 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs, 2 earned, on 8 hits and a HBP, striking out 2.

Lowell needed 12 innings to topple Vermont, 3-2, with Christian Vazquez driving in Drew Hedman with the winning run on a single to center. Wilfred Pichardo allowed the Spinners to even get to extras by blasting his first his first professional home run in the top of the 8th, a two-run blast that tied the game 2-2. Pichardo was 2-for-6, adding a double as well. Ryan Westmoreland and Ronald Bermudez each had a pair of hits in the effort. Yeiper Castillo got the start, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, in 5.0 innings of work, giving up 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. Will Latimer (2.0 inn.), Kyle Rutter (1.2 inn), and Dennis Neuman (1.1 inn.) each allowed 1 hit in keeping the Lake Monsters scoreless before giving way to Anatanaer Batista (3-0), who got the win by tossing the final 2.0 innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks and striking out 4.

The GCL Sox were the only affiliate that played at home on Friday, but they dropped a 2-1 decision to their cross-town rivals, the Twins. Manny Rivera had a stellar performance on the rubber, going allowing just 2 hits and striking out 7 over 5.0 innings. Kyle Stroup allowed 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2 in his 2.0 scoreless innings. The loss went to Dustin Mercadante (0-1), who gave up 2 runs, 1 earned, on 2 hits in throwing the final 2.0 innings. Eddie Lora drove in the lone Sox run on his third home run of the year, his only hit of the game. Felix Sanchez went 2-for-4 with a double, and Ken Roque went 2-for-3 with a walk in the loss.

Down in the Dominican, the DSL Sox lost to the Marlins, 1-0. Juan Rodriguez started the game with 5.0 no-hit innings, allowing just a walk and a HBP while striking out 7. Luis Diaz (0-2) got the tough-luck loss, pitching 3.0 innings and allowing just an unearned run on 3 hits and a walk with 3 strikeouts. At the plate, Dreily Guerrero had the Sox’s lone extra-base hit, going 1-for-3 with a double. Keury De La Cruz and Curtney Doran both reached twice, each going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Player of the Night: Juan Rodriguez, who tossed 5.0 no-hit innings for the DSL Red Sox, allowing a pair of baserunners on a walk and a hit-by-pitch while striking out 7.