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May 14, 2010 at 6:46 AM

Johnson delivers PawSox third straight win


5/14 Cup of Coffee: Everyone but Kris Johnson and his PawSox teammates hope to quickly forget Thursday night, but Will Middlebrooks continued his torrid start to the season as Salem ended their brief homestand with a loss.

In the lone afternoon game of the day, Pawtucket extended their season-long win streak to 3 games with a 3-2 win over Gwinnett (ATL). Kris Johnson had a season-high 5 strikeouts in 6.0 innings, allowing just 2 earned runs on 3 hits. The teams traded runs in the second before Daniel Nava singled in the third to score the rehabbing Mike Cameron, who drove in the PawSox' third run with a sacrifice fly in the next frame. The RBI was Nava's 8th in his last 5 games. Scott Atchison, Dustin Richardson, and Joe Nelson combined for 3.0 innings of scoreless relief. Nelson hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 13.2 innings, while Richardson extended his scoreless streak to 8.2 innings. Jorge Jimenez and Niuman Romero each had 2 hits in the win.

Starter Ryne Miller gave up two first-inning home runs and Portland couldn't recover, falling 9-2 to New Hampshire (TOR). Miller was shelled to the tune of 7 earned runs and 10 hits in 4.0 innings, with 4 of the runs coming by way of the long ball. Both Portland runs came on a Che-Hsuan Lin home run in the fifth. Santo Luis threw 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, and Robert Coello allowed a pair of runs in 2.0 innings of mop-up work. Lin and Ray Chang were both 2 for 4, and Anthony Rizzo was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Despite their hot start to the season, Salem has fallen into a funk of late, dropping five of their last six after last night's 8-4 loss to Frederick (BAL). Salem led 4-2 when starter Caleb Clay left in the fifth, but Mike Lee was tagged for 4 runs in just 1 inning of work and the Keys never looked back. Clay fanned 5 in 5 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 3 hits. Ryan Lavarnway, Alex Hassan, and Ryan Dent all drove in runs in Salem's three-run fifth. Middlebrooks and Oscar Tejeda each had two hits, including a triple, and Kyle Fernandes gave up 2 runs in 2.0 innings.

In Greenville, the Drive managed just five hits in a 5-2 loss to Lakewood (PHI). Pedro Perez got the spot start and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 4.0 innings, and was piggybacked by Jeremiah Bayer, who stuck out 3 and allowed 1 run on 3 hits in 4.0 frames of his own. Chris McGuinness drove in a run in the first and Derrick Gibson had an RBI double in fifth for the Drive, who fell for the third time in four games. Cesar Cabral, who has allowed just two hits and no runs in his last 9.0 innings of work, tossed a scoreless ninth in the loss.

Player of the Night: Will Middlebrooks, who was 2 for 2 with a triple and a run scored. He also walked twice while raising his batting average to .343.