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June 1, 2010 at 5:46 AM

Rizzo top dog in Portland victory

6/1 Cup of Coffee: Michael Bowden was brilliant for Pawtucket and Anthony Rizzo put on an impressive hitting display in Portland as the affiliates drew a split on Sunday.

Locked in a pitchers' duel through seven, Pawtucket scored four late runs to beat the Charlotte Knights (CHW), 4-1. Bowden, looking to get his first quality start of the season, pitched 6.0 innings, allowing only 4 hits while striking out 7. Gustavo Molina's RBI single in the seventh broke a scoreless tie and gave the PawSox the lead. Charlotte knotted the game in the top of the eighth, but Pawtucket added three in the bottom half of the frame as Aaron Bates laced an RBI single and Josh Reddick plated two on his eighth double of the season. T.J. Large pitched 2.0 innings in relief of Bowden, picking up the victory while allowing 1 run on 3 hits. Robert Manuel earned his sixth save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. Niuman Romero was 2 for 4 to have the only multi-hit day for the PawSox.

A terrific pitching matchup on paper turned into a battle of the bats in Portland, as the Sea Dogs collected 11 hits on their way to a 10-6 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). Portland starter Casey Kelly was torched in his 4.0 innings of work, allowing 6 runs on 10 hits, collecting only 1 strikeout. Luis Exposito put the Sea Dogs on the board in the bottom of the first on his RBI double which gave Portland the 1-0 advantage. Rizzo smacked an RBI single in the third to cut the New Britain lead to 5-2. The Sea Dogs crossed home six times in the seventh as they found their power strokes, getting solo home runs from Nate Spears and Yamiaco Navarro and a three-run bomb from Rizzo. Exposito capped the Portland scoring by cracking his second home run of the season in the eighth. Tommy Hottovy and Santo Luis combined to pitch 5.0 innings of one-hit relief to seal the victory. Rizzo was 3 for 5 with the home run and 4 RBI to lead the Sea Dog offense. Ryan Kalish was promoted to Pawtucket following his 2 for 4 performance.

Salem's bullpen faltered as it allowed a bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning to lose to the Lynchburg Hillcats (CIN), 4-3. Red Sox starter Alex Wilson had another solid outing, going 6.0 innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5. Alex Hassan's RBI single in the top of the second gave Salem an early 1-0 advantage. Hassan would add a sacrifice fly in the fourth to double the Salem lead. Ryan Dent's sacrifice fly in the seventh gave the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage, but the Rock Cats retaliated with two in the bottom half of the frame off Salem reliever Zach Hammes. Will Latimer pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth before running into trouble in the tenth. Latimer loaded the bases by allowing a single and two walks before Kyle Fernandes took over and promptly allowed a bases-loaded walk to end the game. Mitch Dening led the Salem offense by going 3 for 4 and coming up a home run short of a cycle.

Greenville collected seven hits but could not escape their seventh shutout loss of May by falling to the Hagerstown Suns (WAS), 4-0. Drive starter Pete Ruiz had a decent effort, pitching 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 5. Jordan Flasher pitched the final 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5. Greenville had many scoring opportunities but was 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Reynaldo Rodriguez was 2 for 4 with a double to lead the Drive offense.

The DSL Red Sox were postponed by rain and will look to move to 3-0 this morning against the DSL Pirates.

Player of the Night: Anthony Rizzo, who went 3 for 4 with a home run and 4 RBI in Portland's 10-6 victory.