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May 12, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Iglesias remains hot, drives Portland to victory


5/12 Cup of Coffee: Even though Greenville had a scheduled off day, there were plenty of standout performances among the other Sox affiliates on Tuesday. Good starting pitching helped all three teams at least stay in their games, but it was the continued hot hitting of one Sox Prospect that stole the show.

A little power from the offense and a whole lot of good pitching from Adam Mills combined to give Pawtucket an easy victory over Gwinnett (ATL), 5-1. Mills was stellar in this one, going 7.0 innings allowing only 1 unearned run on 3 hits, striking out 3. His offense gave him an early lead to work with, as Daniel Nava drew a lead-off walk in the second before Aaron Bates hit his third home run of the season, and opposite-field shot that made it 2-0. Two outs later, Josh Reddick singled home Bubba Bell to add to the lead. Nava's patience at the plate would come up big again in the third, when his one-out walk this time preceded Dusty Brown's two-run shot, and it was 5-0 after three. Gwinnett would score an unearned run in the fourth on Bates's error, but it was too little, too late. After Mills left the game, Scott Atchison and Robert Manuel made quick work of the Braves, striking out 4 over the final 2.0 innings.

An early four-spot was more than enough support for Stephen Fife and the Portland bullpen, as the Sea Dogs cruised to a 7-2 victory at home against Binghamton (NYM). After Fife escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam in the top of the first, the Portland bats made sure the Mets would regret the missed opportunity. After Nate Spears lined out to open the game, three consecutive singles loaded the bases for new Sea Dog Anthony Rizzo, who promptly collected his first Eastern League RBI with a sacrifice fly. Rizzo ended up 1 for 2 with a walk in the game. Following Rizzo, Yamaico Navarro walked to re-load the bases for Jose Iglesias, who continued his torrid stretch by lacing an opposite-field triple to clear the bases and make it 4-0. That's how things would stay until the bottom of the fifth, when after Ryan Kalish led off the inning with his fifth home run of the year, Rizzo and Navarro again reached base in front of Iglesias. The Cuban-born shortstop took advantage of the opportunity, singling to center to drive both runners home and give Portland a commanding 7-0 lead. When all was said and done, Iglesias was 3 for 5 with 5 RBI, and is now hitting .323/.365/.448. But even without the offensive outburst, Portland was in good shape thanks to Fife, who fired 6.0 shutout innings in this one, scattering 7 hits and striking out 6 to lower his ERA to 3.26.

A close game throughout turned into a heart-breaking loss for Salem, which ended up dropping this one to Frederick (BAL) by a 4-1 score. The Red Sox actually struck first in this one, as Pete Hissey doubled to lead off the game and scored on an RBI groundout by Ryan Lavarnway. But that was the only run Salem could muster for starter Brock Huntzinger, who pitched well, giving up only 1 run on 3 hits in 6.0 innings, though he did walk 4 against only 2 strikeouts. The score stayed tied 1-1 for 2.0 more innings thanks to some good relief work from Will Latimer, but the big lefty ran out of steam in ninth and the floodgates opened for the Keys. Four of the first five hitters singled against Latimer, and by the time Lance McClain was summoned to put out the fire, three runs had already scored. The Red Sox went quickly and quietly in the ninth, giving Salem its fourth straight loss.

Player of the Night: Jose Iglesias, who went 3 for 5 with a bases-clearing triple, part of a five-RBI night that helped Portland take down Binghamton.