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April 13, 2010 at 6:44 AM

Portland, Pawtucket victorious as Kelly makes 2010 debut

4/13 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket got a strong start from Michael Bowden, who went the first 3.0 innings allowing one hit, one run, one walk and striking out three as the PawSox held on for a 6-5 victory over Lehigh Valley (PHI). Aaron Bates put Pawtucket on the board in the second with a three-run home run that plated Kevin Fransden and Mark Wagner, and the PawSox expanded their lead to 5-1 in the fourth with RBI singles by Angel Sanchez and Jorge Jimenez. With the score 6-2 entering the ninth, Alan Embree struggled to find the plate, allowing four walks, one hit and three runs in just a third of an inning to let Lehigh Valley back into the contest, but Fernando Cabrera put out the fire, getting the final two outs of the game to record his first save of the season. Randor Bierd (1-0) picked up the victory with 3.0 innings of solid relief, allowing one run on three hits and striking out three. Wagner, Jimenez and Sanchez were all 2 for 4 to pace the offense.

In the most highly anticipated game of the evening, Casey Kelly made his 2010 debut for Portland, going 2.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and a walk while striking out two as the Sea Dogs picked up the 8-2 victory over New Britain (MIN). Portland jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first on a Luis Exposito sacrifice fly, back-to-back RBI doubles by Yamaico Navarro and Ray Chang, and Jose Iglesias' RBI single. The Rock Cats scored their first run of the contest in the second as Iglesias booted a grounder by Whitney Robbins and Kelly threw a wild pitch that plated Joe Benson. Portland expanded its lead to 5-1 in the fourth as Jason Place hit an RBI triple to deep center. New Britain would cap its scoring in the sixth as Chris Parmelee hit a solo home run off of Eammon Portice (1-0), who picked up the victory going 4.0 innings, allowing one run and striking out four. The Sea Dogs opened up the game in the seventh, as Chang hit his second double of the game, knocking in three and giving Portland the 8-2 lead. Chang and Navarro both had two hits each to lead the Portland offense. Andrew Dobies pitched two scoreless innings of relief, striking out four. Bryce Cox pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two.

Down in Greenvile, the Drive held an early 4-1 lead but could not combat a late rally by the Rome Braves (ATL), as they fell, 5-4. The Drive wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three in the first on an RBI single by Chris McGuiness, a sacrifice fly by Shannon Wilkerson and an error by Rome starter David Hale. McGuiness expanded the Greenville lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second with an RBI double. The Braves answered right back in the top of the third when Kyle Rose laced an RBI double to bring the score to 4-2. Greenville reliever Pete Ruiz (0-1) could not hold the lead, as the Braves rallied in the top of the seventh when Matthew Weaver roped an RBI triple and Cory Harrilchak hit a sacrifice fly. Cesar Cabral entered the 4-4 game and promptly allowed a ground-rule double to Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, giving the Braves the 5-4 advantage. The Rome bullpen held the Drive hitless the rest of the way to earn the victory. McGuiness had half of Greenville's six hits, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI as he continued his hot start. Starter Ryan Pressly went the first three innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out two. Jeremy Hazelbaker stole his sixth base of the early season, but was caught trying to swipe third base in the fifth inning.

Player of the Night: Chris McGuiness, who went 3 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI and a run scored in Greenville's 5-4 loss.