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May 10, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Weiland's gem propels Portland


5/10 Cup of Coffee: Sox affiliates did all their business on the road in Sunday's action, splitting a set of (mostly) close games.

It was looking like another close game in Charlotte, but the PawSox came alive offensively with a monster sixth inning and took down the Knights (CWS), 8-3. Charlotte took an early 2-0 lead on Michael Bowden and the Red Sox, scoring once in both the first and second innings. But things changed in a hurry in the sixth, as Pawtucket batted around and struck eight times. Tug Hulett got the scoring started with his two-run double to tie things up with nobody out. Three batters later, it was Dusty Brown's turn, as his two-run double put the PawSox up 4-2. Old friend Andrew Dobies then entered the game and promptly gave up an RBI single to Jorge Jimenez and another single to Bubba Bell. But even after striking out Josh Reddick, the Knights couldn't escape the inning, as Daniel Nava hit his fifth home run of the year out to left to make it 8-2. Bowden allowed another run in the bottom of the frame to make it 8-3, but that was all Charlotte would get, as Joe Nelson and Dustin Richardson slammed the door over the final 3.1 innings. For Richardson, it was his fifth straight scoreless appearance spanning 7.1 innings. Angel Sanchez had another standard two-hit game, going 2 for 5.

It was a much tighter affair in New Britain, where despite allowing only 1 hit to the Rock Cats (MIN), Portland barely hung on to win, 2-1. The Sea Dogs started the game with a solid threat, loading the bases on a hit and 2 walks in the first, but leaving the bases loaded. The team would actually break through in the fourth, when Jose Iglesias singled and was driven home by Chih-Hsien Chiang. Meanwhile, Kyle Weiland was dealing, and ended up going 5.0 perfect innings in this one, striking out 4. Robert Coello relieved him in the sixth and got through that inning unscathed, but ran into trouble in the seventh when he hit Ben Revere to lead off the inning. Revere then stole second and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Coello managed to record a big strikeout to nearly escape the jam, but a two-out single plated the Rock Cats run and tied the score. But the Sea Dogs started the top of the eighth with a single and a walk, and after a Yamaico Navarro attempted sacrifice bunt was botched by New Britain, the bases were loaded with nobody out. After Iglesias couldn't get the run home, Chiang drew a huge RBI walk to put Portland up for good. Bryce Cox made it interesting in the ninth, walking 2, but preserved the victory in the end.

It was another close came in the Carolina League, but the Salem Red Sox ended up on the wrong side of that one, losing 4-3 to Winston-Salem (CWS). Salem drew first blood thanks to the wheels of Pete Hissey, who singled to lead off the game, stole second and third, and scored on an RBI ground out by Anthony Rizzo. The steals were Hissey's seventh and eighth of the season. The Red Sox scored another run in the second to make it 2-0 when David Mailman doubled home Alex Hassan, but Winston-Salem came right back with single runs in the second and third to tie things at 2 against Alex Wilson. After a scoreless fourth for both teams, the Dash got to Wilson again in the fifth. The right-hander ended up with a solid 5.0-inning effort, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) while striking out 5 against only 1 walk, but ultimately took the loss. Mike Lee gave up another run in the sixth, and while Salem pulled within one on four walks in the top of the seventh, the team left the bases loaded in that inning and couldn't quite complete the come-back. The Red Sox had a golden chance in the top of the ninth, when Tim Federowicz doubled to lead off the inning, but the runner was stranded at third.

There was more exciting baseball in Hickory on Sunday, but unfortunately, another close loss on the road for Sox affiliates, as the Drive fell 5-4 to the homestanding Crawdads (TEX). The start went to Yeiper Castillo in this one, and he was solid in his effort, allowing only 2 runs in 6.0 innings but leaving the game with his team trailing 2-1. That Drive run was scored in the top of the sixth, when Dan Butler hit his fourth home run of the year to lead off the inning. An inning later, Chris McGuiness took Castillo off the hook when he too led off an inning with a solo blast, also his fourth of the year to tie things at 2. But Hickory untied the game in a big way against Ryan Pressly in the bottom of the seventh courtesy of a three-run home run to make it 5-2. In the top of the eighth, a Derrik Gibson single and a passed ball brought the Drive back within one, but Jeremy Hazelbaker struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat. Greenville managed only 5 hits in this one, and 2 belonged to the aforementioned Butler, who is now hitting a robust .295/.409/.590 this season.

Player of the Night: Kyle Weiland, who fired 5.0 perfect innings to help Portland eek out a 2-1 victory.