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April 15, 2010 at 5:46 AM

Britton shines in Greenville victory


4/15 Cup of Coffee: Despite another monster game from Pawtucket's Darnell McDonald, the PawSox were toppled by the Buffalo Bisons (NYM) 8-2. Former Red Sox Chris Carter was a thorn in the PawSox' side the entire evening, hitting a two-RBI triple in the second and a key two-RBI double in the sixth. Carter was 4 for 4 with 4 RBI, 3 runs scored, 2 doubles and a triple. Buffalo starter R.A. Dickey threw a complete game, only allowing a Tug Hulett home run in the second and a McDonald RBI single in the sixth. McDonald ended the night 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Pawtucket starter Adam Mills suffered the loss, going 5.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and striking out 1. Kris Johnson pitched 3.0 shaky innings of relief, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits.

While the pitching struggled in Pawtucket, the pitching in Portland shined in the Sea Dogs' 3-1 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). Portland starter Ryne Miller went 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 1. Robert Coello came on in relief of Miller in the sixth and immediately gave up the only three hits of his outing, allowing the Rock Cats to tie the score at 1-1. He would settle down and pitch 3.0 innings, allowing only the 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 2 and walking 1. With the score knotted at 1-1 heading into the ninth, the Sea Dogs got a lead-off home run from Yamaico Navarro and added an insurance run when Lars Anderson scored on a Toby Gardenhire error. Jason Rice notched his first save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth. Anderson's walk in the ninth inning was his first of the season. Juan Apodaca went 2 for 4 to have the lone multi-hit performance for the Sea Dogs.

A late Red Sox rally was not enough for Salem as they lost to the Lynchburg Hillcats (CIN), 5-3. Lynchburg starter Matt Fairel stifled the Red Sox bats all night, as he pitched 6.0 no-hit innings notching 5 strikeouts. Salem starter Brock Huntzinger had a mediocre outing, going 4.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 1. The Salem bats came to life in the seventh, as reliever Justin Freeman allowed back-to-back singles to Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Lavarnway before Will Middlebrooks laced a double to get the Red Sox on the board. Mitch Dening grounded out to plate the second Salem run of the inning and bring the score to 4-2 in favor of Lynchburg. Reliever Leandro Marin gave back a run in the bottom of the frame, allowing an RBI single to Neftali Soto. Marin would allow the 1 run on 3 hits during his 3.0 innings of work while striking out 3. Salem would give Hillcat reliever Mace Thurman problems in the ninth, as he allowed a Lavarnway double, a Middlebrooks walk and an RBI ground out by Dening before striking out pinch hitter Oscar Tejeda to end the game. Mitch Herold pitched the final 1.1 innings of the game for Salem, walking 1 and striking out 1.

The story of the night was in Greenville, as starter Drake Britton had an electrifying start, going 5.0 innings, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 5. Britton was dominating from the first pitch, overpowering the Rome Braves (ATL) on the way to a 6-2 Drive victory. Dan Butler opened the scoring in the fourth, hitting a towering home run to left to give the Drive a 1-0 advantage. Greenville reliever Kendal Volz came on in the sixth and immediately ran into trouble, allowing an RBI double to Cory Harrilchak and an RBI single to Christian Bethancourt to give the Braves a 2-1 advantage. The Drive would respond in the seventh, as Wilfred Pichardo roped a go-ahead two-RBI double to reclaim the lead, 3-2. Greenville tacked on three more runs in the eighth, when Jeremy Hazelbaker smacked an RBI triple and later scored on a Reymond Fuentes sacrifice fly. Zach Gentile added an RBI single to cap the scoring. Volz earned the win for his 4.0 innings of relief, as he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 4.

Player of the Night: Drake Britton, who dominated in his 5.0 innings against Rome, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 5.