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August 31, 2009 at 6:18 AM

McKae throws 6 scoreless innings in Salem win

8/31 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket split a doubleheader with Scranton/WB on Sunday. The PawSox got off to a 5-0 lead in the first contest and cruised to a 5-3 win. Randor Bierd (2-1) started and went 5.1 innings to earn the victory. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 2. Fernando Cabrera earned his 21st save pitching the 9th inning, giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk. Mark Wagner went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Angel Chavez was 2 for 3 and scored 2 runs. The Yankees came back to win the nightcap, 6-1. Scranton scored 5 times in the bottom of the 6th to put the game away. Charlie Zink (5-15) threw 4.1 frames allowing a run on 4 hits and 4 walks. Hunter Jones went an inning, giving up 3 runs. Pawtucket's offense managed just 4 hits in the contest.

Portland dropped both games of a doubleheader to New Hampshire. In game one, Daisuke Matsuzaka started and gave up 5 runs in the first inning as the Sea Dogs went on to lose, 5-3. He managed a clean, 1-2-3 second inning before he was removed from the game. He ended up throwing 58 pitches. Chris Province threw 4 scoreless, 2-hit innings. Juan Apodaca went 1 for 2 with a home run and 2 RBI. In game two, New Hampshire downed Portland, 4-2. Felix Doubront (8-6) threw 5 innings, giving up all 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk. He struck out 3. Ryan Kalish went 2 for 4. Ryan Khoury went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI.

Salem won its third straight one-run game, downing Wilmington, 3-2. The win, coupled with Kinston's loss, moved the Red Sox into a 0.5-game lead for the final playoff spot in the Southern Division. Dave McKae pitched 6 strong, scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits. He faced just 19 hitters over the 6 innings and struck out 7 of them. Jon Hee homered in the 6th inning to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead but they trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the 8th. Ryan Dent singled, stole second and scored on a 2-out single by Anthony Rizzo, who took second on the throw home. He then stole third and scored what proved to be the winning run on a wild pitch. Jason Blackey (1-0) earned the win, pitching the final 2 innings. He allowed a run on 3 hits and a walk. He fanned 2.

Lexington edged Greenville, 4-3, in a 12 inning marathon. Felix Ventura (2-7) was charged with the loss, giving up a walk with two out in the 12th. After the walk, he was replaced by Will Latimer, who allowed a single, a wild pitch and another single to end the game. Fabian Williamson started and went 5 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 5. The Drive outhit the Legends 12-9 in the contest. Pete Hissey went 4 for 6 with a run scored and an RBI. Ty Weeden went 3 for 5 with a triple and a run scored.

Ronald Bermudez singled home Drew Hedman in the bottom of the 8th with what proved to be the winning run in Lowell's 3-1 win over Brooklyn. The Spinners' magic number to clinch the Stedler Division now stands at 3. Pedro Perez started and gave up 1 run over 4 innings on 3 hits and 5 walks. Cesar Cabral (1-6) pitched 4 scoreless, 3-hit innings of middle relief to pick up the win. He allowed 1 walk while striking out 7. Jordan Flasher pitched the 9th to earn the save, getting out of a bases-loaded, 1-out jam. Derrik Gibson went 3 for 4 with a RBI. He also stole 2 bases, giving him a league-leading 27 for the season. He is just 1 short of the all-time Spinner record for stolen bases in a season. Hedman and Bermudez each had 2 hits in the game.

The Gulf Coast Red Sox saw their game canceled yet again. The team's final game of the season will be played Monday, weather-permitting of course.

Player of the Night: Dave McKae, who threw 6 scoreless innings, facing just 19 hitters and allowing just 2 hits in earning a no-decision for Salem.