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May 3, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Fuentes powers Drive to lopsided victory

5/3 Cup of Coffee: A pair of thrilling close victories and a rout helped make up for another weak showing by Pawtucket in Sunday's action, as Sox affiliates took three of four.

It was another tough night for last-place Pawtucket, as Fabio Castro and the PawSox bullpen were no match for Gwinnett (ATL), losing 11-2. The Braves managed at least one run in every inning except the fourth and eighth, tagging Pawtucket starter Castro for 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in his 3.1 innings. The damage could have been worse for Catro were it not for Daniel Nava, who recorded an outfield assist on the final out of second inning and laced an RBI single to center in the top of the third. He was 1 for 4 with a walk in the game. Down 5-1 in the fourth, the PawSox threatened, loading the bases with one out, but Niuman Romero grounded into a double play to snuff out the rally. Pawtucket did manage to draw closer on a Lars Anderson RBI ground out in the sixth, but it was too little, too late. Angel Sanchez continued to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 5 to raise his season batting average to .346. Aaron Bates also went 2 for 5.

It was a nail-biter in Portland on Sunday, when New Britain put the tying run in scoring position with one out in the ninth, but Jason Rice shut the door and the Sea Dogs prevailed, 6-5. The near disaster at game's end was the responsibility of Santo Luis, who had a clean eighth but allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in the ninth, almost ruining the nice outings of Ryne Miller and Tommy Hottovy, who allowed only 2 runs through the first 7.0 innings, striking out 6. The scoring started early for Portland in this one, as Ryan Kalish hit a two-run double to right to give the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead before an out was recorded. Kalish had a nice game overall, going 2 for 3 with 2 walks and a stolen base, though he did make a throwing error in the sixth. After scoring another run in the second, a two-run double off the bat of catcher Juan Apodaca made it 5-1. While it looked like that was all Portland would need at the time, Will Vazquez drew a huge bases-loaded walk in the fifth to give the Sea Dogs their sixth run, ultimately deciding the game. Vazquez played first base in this one, and was the only Portland batter without a hit in this one.

In a game in which each team managed only 3 hits, Salem came up with just enough in the ninth, walking off with a 2-1 win at home over Kinston (CLE). A hard-fought pitchers' duel throughout, the Red Sox trailed 1-0 heading into the final frame, having put only three runners on base to that point in the game against Kinston starter Alex White and the Indians bullpen. But back-to-back walks by Mitch Dening and Pete Hissey opened the inning, followed by an Oscar Tejeda RBI double and an intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo, setting up the game-winning sacrifice fly off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway. Not to be lost in the late-game heroics was the stellar outing by Fabian Williamson, who allowed only an unearned run on 2 hits and 3 walks in his 5.0-inning start. Mitch Herold and Kyle Fernandes were equally impressive, allowing only 1 hit combined over the final 4.0 innings. Tejeda, Rizzo, and Will Middlebrooks were the only Salem batters to record hits in this one.

No ninth-inning magic was necessary down in Greenville, as the Drive pummeled West Virginia 9-1. Roman Mendez, Pedro Perez, and Cesar Cabral turned in solid mound work, limiting the Power to just 6 hits, and the Drive offense did more than enough to make this one an easy victory. Chris McGuiness, who went 3 for 4 in the game, got the scoring started in the first with a RBI double to left, the first of two in the game for the big first baseman. After an RBI groundout by Michael Almanzar, Ronald Bermudez added to the score with a two-run bomb to left, his fourth of the season, to make it 4-0. West Virginia chipped at the lead with a run in the fourth, but Greenville put it away in the fifth. Reymond Fuentes led off the inning with his second home run of the year out to center field, part of a 3-for-4, four-run night for the center fielder. Ken Roque provided the dagger blow later in the inning with his two-out, two-run double to make it 7-1 and put the game out of reach.

Player of the Night: Reymond Fuentes, who went 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 runs scored for the victorious Drive.