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May 31, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Castillo, Greenville, keep on rolling


5/31 Cup of Coffee: Happy Memorial Day everyone! Two come-from-behind wins and more excellent mound work from Greenville's ace helped Sox affiliates take four of five games on Sunday's slate.

An early lead evaporated in the late innings, but Pawtucket managed to pull it out with some late runs of its own, coming back to top Norfolk (BAL) 5-4. Daniel Nava supplied that early lead with his seventh home run of the year in the first, a two-run shot to right-center field. Kris Johnson made that lead hold up until giving up single unearned runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie things up, but a sacrifice fly off the bat of Angel Sanchez gave Pawtucket another lead in the bottom of the fifth. Johnson ended up going 7.0 solid innings in this one, allowing just the 2 unearned runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 3 and leaving in line for a win. But the control problems of Dustin Richardson pushed the PawSox to the brink of defeat in the eighth, as the big lefty walked a hitter then gave up a two-run home run to Nolan Reimold that made it 4-3 Norfolk. Richardson ended up walking 3 in the inning, but escaped without further damage. The outing broke a string of 8.2 scoreless innings for him, but Josh Reddick took him off the hook in the bottom of the eighth when his RBI double tied things up at 4. One out later, Jorge Jimenez singled in Reddick to give the PawSox the lead, and Fernando Cabrera slammed the door with a scoreless ninth. Nava and Reddick were the multi-hit performers in this one, both going 2 for 4.

Portland exploded for 5 runs in the fourth and banged out 10 hits in all en route to a convincing 8-4 victory over New Britain (MIN). Already leading 2-0 heading into the fourth thanks to Ryan Kalish's eighth home run of the year in the third, the Sea Dogs did some serious two-out damage. Nate Spears reached on a bases-loaded throwing error to score the first 2 runs, then stole second to put runners at second and third for Che-Hsuan Lin, who promptly singled to cernter to drive in 2 more. Kalish was up next, and the Portland left fielder got the job done with an RBI triple to right, and just like that it was 7-1 Sea Dogs. Despite some control trouble, Kyle Weiland did a nice job of making that lead stick, going 6.0 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, walking 4 but striking out 5. Yamaico Navarro's RBI single in the fifth would make it 8-1, and while Bryce Cox made things interesting by giving up 3 runs in the ninth, he settled down and managed to seal the deal. Lin led the Portland attack with 3 hits in 5 at-bats, scoring and driving in 2, while Kalish, Navarro, and Ray Chang all had 2 hits.

Salem also scored early at Potomac (WAS) on Sunday, but that lead did not hold up, and the Red Sox fell 7-3 despite out-hitting the Nationals 10 to 8. The early lead came courtesy of home runs by Oscar Tejeda, his eighth of the year, and Ryan Lavarnway, his eleventh, both solo shots. Each ended up with 2 hits in the contest. But leading 2-0 heading into the fourth, Caleb Clay came unravelled, allowing 4 in the fourth and another in the fifth before departing. Clay's control was on, not walking anyone in his outing, but he gave up 6 hits. Pete Hissey brought the Red Sox back within two with his seventh-inning RBI infield hit, but the Nationals scored 2 runs in the bottom of the inning off Mike Lee to solidify the lead.

A thirteen-hit attack and some fantastic work from Yeiper Castillo were plenty to help Greenville beat Hagerstown (WAS), 6-1. Zach Gentile and Vladimir Frias each drove in a run in the second to get things started, and Derrik Gibson singled in another in the third to make it 3-0. The score would stay that way until the sixth thanks to Castillo, who allowed a run in that inning but was otherwise brilliant, lasting 7.0 innings giving up just 3 hits, striking out 5 and walking nobody to lower his ERA to 2.93. Chris McGuiness doubled home a run in the seventh, Gentile's second RBI triple of the game brought home another in the eighth, and McGuiness collected another RBI double in the ninth to round out the scoring. There were offensive heroes abound in this one, as McGuiness and Michael Almanzar each went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, and Gibson, Gentile, and Jeremy Hazelbaker each had 2 hits.

The DSL Red Sox were down early, but came roaring back with a six-run eighth to ultimately win 7-4 over the Royals. Two walks, a single, and a pair of sacrifice hits drove in the first four runs for the Red Sox, and doubles by Juan Ugas and Roberto Duncan capped things off as the team turned a 3-0 deficit into a 6-3 lead. A shaky start by Raul Alcantara helped dig that hole, as the right-hander allowed 2 runs in his 3.0 inning start, but 3.0 scoreless relief innings from Ellis Jimenez helped keep the Red Sox in it. Ugas, Duncan, and Jesus Loya each had 2 hits in the contest, as the Red Sox won their second straight game to open the DSL season.

Player of the Night: Yeiper Castillo, who was once again stellar in a Greenville victory, allowing only a run on 3 hits in 7.0 innings.