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August 2, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Sox affiliates go winless to start August

Despite having eight chances to pick up a win, the Red Sox minor league affiliates went winless on Saturday as the calendar flipped to August. Pawtucket took a pair of losses, dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 8-2 and 4-0. Chris Carter reached three times in the opener, going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Brian Anderson went 1-for-4 with his first home run as a PawSox. Kris Johnson (3-12) lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2. Jose Vaquedano allowed 2 more runs in 2.1 innings of relief, before Javier Lopez closed things out with a scoreless inning.

In the back end of the double-dip, Aaron Bates went 2-for-3 to bring his average up to .200, but the PawSox were held scoreless by recent Yankee acquisition Jason Hirsh, who allowed just 5 hits in 5.0 innings and struck out 7 before giving way to Edwar Ramirez for the final 2.0 innings. The bullpen handled pitching duties, despite the expected activation of Charlie Zink for the start. Randor Bierd (1-1) started and took the loss, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and two walks, striking out 4. T.J. Large followed with 2.1 innings, giving up 4 hits and a walk en route to allowing a run, while striking out one. Hunter Jones threw a hitless, scoreless inning to close, allowing a walk and recording 1 strikeout.

The Sea Dogs dropped a close 4-2 contest in Harrisburg. Juan Apodaca continued his recent hot streak, hitting a solo shot for his third home run of the year on a 1-for-4 night. Jorge Jimenez went 2-for-4 with a double. Felix Doubront went 4.0 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while whiffing 5. Chad Rhoades followed with a scoreless inning in which he allowed two hits and recorded all three outs by way of the K, while Dustin Richardson made use of his defense for all six outs in his 2.0 scoreless frames, allowing just one hit. Andrew Dobies ended things by allowing a run on a double, wild pitch, and a sac fly in his lone inning of work.

In Wilmington, the Salem Sox fell 8-3. After a pretty strong first four innings, Eammon Portice (6-5) got hit hard in the fifth, giving up 5 hits and getting charged with 5 runs in recording just one out. For his outing, he went 4.1 innings, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits, although he had no walks and struck out 6. Jose Capellan and Josh Papelbon followed out of the bullpen, each giving up 1 run. At the plate, Zach Borowiak led the way for Salem by going 1-for-2 with 2 walks, scoring once. Kris Negron went 1-for-4 with a triple, scoring twice. Che-Hsuan Lin, back in center field for the first time since Tuesday, went 1-for-5 with a double.

Greenville faced a similar fate in Augusta, losing 7-3. In his Greenville debut, former Augusta State star Shannon Wilkerson went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in familiar surroundings. Kade Keowen also was 2-for-4 with a run, while Jeremy Hazelbaker and Casey Kelly both went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks each. Stolmy Pimentel (9-6) was one of two Sox pitchers to go 5.0 innings on the night, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, notching 3 K’s. Lance McClain was the victim of poor defense, as he allowed just 1 earned run and 4 unearned runs thanks to a passed ball and two errors in his 1.1 innings of work. Leandro Marin pitched the final 1.2, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 2.

Up north in Vermont, the Spinners dropped their game, 8-3. Derrick Gibson and Michael Almanzar each had a pair of hits, the former tallying a double. Chris McGuinness hit his fourth home run of the year, driving in a pair of runs and scoring twice in a 1-for-4 night. Alex Hassan made his professional debut in right field, going 1-for-4 with an RBI. Jose Alvarez (4-3) joined Pimentel in going 5.0 innings, but gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk to take the loss. Richie Lentz, who had been cruising recently as his rehab nears its end, hit a bit of a speed bump. After striking out two hitters, he allowed a walk, a double, and induced a groundout to finish his first inning, then allowed a triple, single and hit-by-pitch before leaving the game. He was eventually charged with 3 runs. Michael Bugary gave up a run of his own in his one inning in relief, then Charlie Rosario pitched a 1-2-3 eighth to finish.

In the Gulf Coast League, the Red Sox took the closest loss of the night for the affiliates, losing to the Orioles, 4-3. Tyler Yockey broke out of an 0-for-14 slump by going 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. Playing third base for the second day in a row, Carson Blair went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Aaron Reza continued his rehab from a broken wrist, going 1-for-3 with a triple but making an error at short. Randy Consuegra (3-3) had his second short outing in three starts, lasting just an inning. He gave up three unearned runs, but did allow 3 hits and 3 walks and let loose a wild pitch in his lone frame. Chaz Angeloni gave up an unearned run in his 3.0 innings of relief, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 1. Swen Huijer and Justin Erasmus each threw 2.0 scoreless frames. Huijer was perfect, striking out 3, while Erasmus also faced the minimum, allowing a walk but inducing a double play.

The DSL Red Sox were the only affiliate to play at home on Saturday, but dropped a 10-4 contest to the Braves. Lewis Urena went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, scoring a run. Keury De La Cruz drove in a pair of runs on his third home run of the year. Starter Raynel Vellette allowed just an unearned run on 3 hits in 4.0 innings, striking out 1. Ronaldo Juan (4-2) took the loss, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in his lone inning of work, and was followed by Ernesto Reyes and Samuel Garcia, who each gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 2.0 innings of work and striking out 1. Reyes also allowed a pair of walks, while Garcia allowed one.

Player of the Night: Swen Huijer, who threw 2.0 perfect innings, striking out 3. He has not allowed a walk in his 29.0 professional innings, dating back to last year.