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June 4, 2010 at 6:36 AM

Ninth-inning homers give Portland win


6/4 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem combined for just 6 hits Thursday night, but Portland used a pair of ninth inning home runs to score a big win and avoid being swept.

In a game that was called after 5 innings because of rain, Pawtucket was dropped 3-1 by Charlotte (CWS). Adam Mills was the hard-luck loser, striking out 4 and allowing 3 runs, 1 earned on 8 hits in 5.0 innings. Aaron Bates had both hits for the PawSox, including a fourth-inning double that scored Lars Anderson for the home side's only run.

Trailing 7-5 heading into the ninth, Luis Exposito and Yamaico Navarro homered in the final frame to give Portland a 10-7 win over Trenton (NYY). Anthony Rizzo and Chih-Hsien Chiang also homered, and Ryan Khoury had a pair of hits and an RBI as the Sea Dogs prevented the sweep. Ryne Miller gave up 5 runs on 9 hits in 5.0 innings, and Ryne Lawson allowed a pair of runs in 2.2 frames before Jason Rice fanned 4 in 1.1 innings to get the win.

In Salem, the Red Sox offense couldn't get much going in an 8-2 loss to Myrtle Beach (ATL). The offense managed just 4 hits in support of starter Fabian Williamson, who allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 4.0 innings of work. Mike Lee gave up a run in 3.0 innings of relief before Zach Hammes was tagged for 4 runs, 2 earned, in 2.0 innings. Ryan Lavarnway hit a solo home run in the second inning and Will Middlebrooks added an RBI double in the loss.

Greenville, which had alternated wins and losses for their last six games, continued the trend last night with a 5-3 win over Kannapolis (CWS). All but one of the Drive starters had a hit, paced by Joantoni Garcia, who was 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, and Vladimir Frias, who had a pair of hits. Drake Britton tossed 2.1 innings and allowed 2 runs before Tom Ebert allowed 1 run in 4.2 innings of relief. Cesar Cabral and Anatanaer Batista added scoreless innings of relief, and Reymond Fuentes swiped his 17th and 18th bases of the season.

Player of the Night: Yamaico Navarro was 3 for 4 with a double and a two-run home run in the ninth that put the game out of reach for Portland. He also scored twice.