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May 17, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Fuentes uses legs, bat to drive Greenville offense


5/17 Cup of Coffee: Four games, four wins for Sox affiliates on Sunday, including three close games and a laugher thrown in for good measure.

A couple of late RBI doubles and some excellent pitching helped Pawtucket to a 3-1 win over Syracuse (WAS). It all started with the work of Adam Mills, who was first to the hill for the PawSox and allowed only a second-inning run in his 5.0 innings. He allowed 2 hits and 2 walks total, striking out 3. But the Pawtucket offense could not get anything going in the early innings, scattering 7 hits through the fifth but unable to push a run across. That all changed in the seventh, when Bubba Bell singled with one out and Daniel Nava came through with a two-out RBI double to tie the score. Nava was one of four Pawtucket hitters with multiple hits in this one, ending up 2 for 4. Things got hairy in the top of the eighth, though, for Fabio Castro, who allowed a two-out double with a runner already aboard to put the go-ahead run at third base. But Joe Nelson came in and snuffed out the rally to send it to the bottom of the frame a tie game. Pawtucket capitalized on the missed opportunity by Syracuse, as the first four batters of the inning reached base, with runs scoring on a Gustavo Molina single and a Tug Hulett double to make it 3-1. Fernando Cabrera allowed only a walk in a scoreless ninth to seal the deal. Pawtucket pounded out 14 hits in this one, including 4 (in 4 at-bats) for Jorge Jimenez, whose recent hot streak has raised his season line to .279/.350/.336.

Portland was down early in its game at New Hampshire (TOR), but came back late to win a tight one, 4-3. The early damage in this one was done against Stephen Fife, who allowed single runs in both the second and third innings as part of his 6.0-inning effort, scattering 7 hits and allowing 2 walks in his outing. He left the game with the score 2-1, thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ray Chang in the top of the sixth, and would find himself in line for a win an inning later. In the top of the seventh, Nate Spears and Che-Hsuan Lin both walked with one out, and after Ryan Kalish struck out, Luis Exposito picked him up in a big way, doubling to drive in both runners and put Portland on top 3-2. But the lead would be short lived, as Santo Luis gave the run back in the bottom of the eighth and the game entered the ninth tied 3-3. But the patience of Spears and the bat of Exposito teamed up again, as the latter's RBI double put the Sea Dogs up for good. Anthony Rizzo also had 2 hits in this one, going 2 for 4 with a walk. He is now hitting .316/.333/.479 at the Double-A level.

It was a close see-saw affair in Myrtle Beach (ATL), but the Red Sox managed to down the Pelicans 3-2. Myrtle Beach struck first in this one against Brock Huntzinger, but Salem came right back in the top of the second, tying the game on Ryan Dent's RBI single. It was déjà vu two innings later, as the Pelicans took the lead in the bottom of the third, only to see Dent tie things with another RBI single. Salem managed to break the cycle in the sixth, when Dent's two-out walk was the first of three in a row handed out by Pelicans pitching to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Dent to score, and the Red Sox took a 3-2 lead. That was plenty for Mike Lee and Kyle Fernandes, who allowed only 1 hit combined over the final 4.0 innings of the game to preserve the win. Will Middlebrooks, Tim Federowicz, and Alex Hassan joined Dent in the multiple-hit club, as Salem totaled 10 in the game.

If anyone was hoping for another squeaker down in Lexington (HOU), the Drive put that baby to bed early, scoring five times in the first en route to an 8-1 drubbing of the Legends. Reymond Fuentes got things started with a single, stealing second and scoring on a throwing error following Derrik Gibson's fielder's choice. Another Lexington miscue scored Gibson and allowed the lightning-fast Jeremy Hazelbaker aboard, and he promptly stole second - his 17th of the year - and scored on a single by Ronald Bermudez. After the Legends finally managed to get two outs, Reynaldo Rodriguez hit his first state-side home run of the year to make it 5-0. All that offense suited Kendall Volz just fine, not that he needed it. The big righty allowed only 1 run in his 4.0 innings of work, striking out 7 in the process. Not to be outdone, Ryan Pressly struck out 8 in 5.0 hitless innings of relief, although he did walk 4. In the mean time, Greenville struck again in the fourth on a solo shot off the bat of Michael Thomas, and gathered two more in the eighth on a two-run triple by Fuentes. The Drive lead-off man ended up 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, and a stolen base to pace the offense.

Player of the Night: Reymond Fuentes, who was a home run shy of the cycle as part of a 4-for-5 night in a Greenville victory.