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April 21, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Mills lights out in losing effort


4/21 Cup of Coffee: While the big league club was putting the finishing touches on an exciting come-from-behind victory, there were mixed results down on the farm. Tuesday's action included a squeaker, a blow out, a rain out, and a pitching gem.

A stellar start by Adam Mills was spoiled by some shoddy relief work, as Pawtucket fell to Rochester (MIN), 4-3. The aforementioned Mills started the game and fired 5.0 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. He left the game in line for the win, his offense having scored 3 runs in the top of the fourth on RBI hits by Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown and an RBI groundout by Bubba Bell, but Kris Johnson gave the lead right back in the bottom of the sixth. The first five Red Wings reached in that inning, and by the time Johnson was pulled he had allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, a walk and a hit batsman in just 0.2 innings. Ramon A. Ramirez was solid enough in his 1.1 innings to follow, but he allowed the lead runner on in the eighth, and Joe Nelson wasn't able to keep him from scoring. There was some drama in the ninth, as Pawtucket loaded the bases with two outs, but Jorge Jimenez flew out to right to end the game. Wagner was the offensive star in this one, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Aaron Bates started in left field and went 2 for 4, raising his early season line to .324/.405/.541.

The contest up at Hadlock field was decidedly more one-sided, with Binghamton (NYM) routing Portland to the tune of 15-3. It was a bad day to be a Ryne on the Portland mound, as Ryne Miller and Ryne Lawson combined to allow 10 runs on 10 hits and 6 walks in the first 6.0 innings of this one. After Jason Rice couldn't stem the bleeding in the seventh and eighth, allowing 2 runs of his own, infielder Nate Spears came on to pitch the ninth. After yielding another 3 runs to Binghamton, including a home run, he'll likely stick to hitting. Ryan Kalish had a solid night from the lead-off spot, going 2 for 5 with a run scored, while Luis Exposito drove in 2 with his double in the fifth, going 1 for 3 with a walk.

Salem's game at home against Lynchburg was postponed due to rain. The teams will play a double-header today, with the first game starting at 5:30 PM.

Despite being out-hit 10 to 6, Greenville drew 6 walks, got some good pitching, and rode timely hitting to a 6-1 victory over West Virginia (PIT). While Manny Rivera was solid in his start, allowing just 1 run in his 4.0-inning start, it was the work of Jordan Flasher, Cesar Cabral, and Dennis Neuman that sealed the deal. The trio combined to throw 5.0 scoreless innings, striking out 4. The game was tight through 5.0 innings, with Greenville leading 2-1, but the Drive put things in gear in the sixth. With Michael Almanzar and Ronald Bermudez on base and two outs in the inning, Reymond Fuentes showed off his speed by legging out a two-run triple to right. He would score on a passed ball one batter later, and went 2 for 3 in the game. Greenville was also active on the bases once again, with Fuentes and Jeremy Hazelbaker each picking up a steal.

Player of the Night: Adam Mills, who went 5.0 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in a losing cause.