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July 29, 2010 at 8:32 AM

Chang's explosive night leads Portland to victory

7/29 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Salem were the only victorious affiliates on Wednesday, with the Sea Dogs coming out on top of a slug fest and the Red Sox riding solid pitching.

Unable to muster any offense against the bullpen, Pawtucket was dropped by the Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 8-5. Robert Coello continued to struggle as he went 5.0 innings, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Chad Paronto added 2.0 scoreless innings of relief but Michael Bowden struggled in the eighth, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in his lone inning of work. Back-to-back RBI singles from Mike Lowell and Ryan Shealy gave the PawSox an early 2-0 lead after one. With the game tied in the third, Lowell smacked an RBI double to put Pawtucket back on top 3-2. Dusty Brown cracked his sixth home run of the season in the fourth, giving the PawSox a 4-3 lead. Lowell continued his torrid rehab stint by adding a home run of his own in the fifth, giving the Pawtucket a two run cushion that it would eventually give back in the bottom half of the inning. Toledo took the lead with three runs in the fifth and never looked back, as their bullpen tossed 4.0 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits. Lowell was 3 for 4 falling a triple short of a cycle, with 3 RBI and a run scored to lead the Pawtucket offense.

In a game that needed extras to decide a winner, Portland overpowered the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 11-9. Stephen Fife took the hill for Portland, going 6.0 innings, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. Mitch Herold relieved Fife and struggled his way through 1.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and a walk. Jason Rice picked up the victory for his 2.2 inning performance in which he allowed 1 run on 1 hit while striking out 4. In the first, a costly throwing error by the Mets pitcher allowed two runs to score and give the Sea Dogs an early 2-0 lead. The very next inning Portland put up five on Che-Hsuan Lin, Yamaico Navarro and Ray Chang RBI singles and a Ryan Lavarnway RBI double to open up a 7-0 lead. With a 7-5 advantage in the sixth, Anthony Rizzo and Chang each hit solo home runs to give Portland some insurance runs and take a 9-5 lead. Binghamton tied the game in the eighth to force the game into extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Lavarnway smoked a two run home run to put the Sea Dogs up for good. Chang was 4 for 6 with a double, home run, RBI and 3 runs scored to lead the Portland offense.

Unlike Portland, Salem rode strong pitching to a 4-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (ATL). Miguel Gonzalez picked up the victory for his 5.2 innings of work in which he allowed 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 3. Kyle Fernandes added 2.0 hitless innings of relief and Cesar Cabral picked up his fourth save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. The Red Sox finally got on the board in the fifth on Ryan Dent's RBI single that tied the game 1-1. After Myrtle Beach took the lead in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox scored three in the bottom half of the inning on an Oscar Tejeda RBI double, Will Middlebrooks sacrifice fly, and an Alex Hassan RBI single to take a 4-2 lead. Tejeda was 2 for 3 with a double to lead the Salem offense.

Despite attempting a rally late, Greenville was smoked by the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 10-6. Manuel Rivera was hammered in his 2.0 innings of work, allowing 9 runs on 10 hits to pick up the loss. Pedro Perez pitched 4.2 innings in relief and allowed just 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 4. Chris Court finished the final 1.1 innings in scoreless fashion, walking 2 and striking out 3. The Drive was held scoreless until the seventh when they scored four runs on a Michael Almanzar sacrifice fly, wild pitch and a Reynaldo Rodriguez two run home run to pull within 5 runs at 9-4. Chris McGuiness and Ronald Bermudez added solo home runs in the ninth but it was not enough to overcome a deep hole. McGuiness and Rodriguez each had two hits to lead the Greenville offense.

Lowell continued to struggle as they fell to the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) 5-2. Miguel Celestino did not pitch poorly in his 5.0 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits. Cesare Angeloni picked up the loss for his 2.0 innings of work in which he allowed 3 unearned runs on 4 hits. Jay Broughton pitched a scoreless eighth inning. In the third, a wild pitch allowed Felix Sanchez to scamper home from third with the Spinners first run of the evening, which at the time tied the game 1-1. In the seventh, Seth Schwindenhammer lofted a sacrifice fly to give Lowell their only other run of the contest. Sanchez was 2 for 5 from the top of the order to lead the Spinners offense.

The GCL Red Sox were doubled up by the GCL Orioles (BAL) 4-2. Francisco Tavares went the first 2.0 innings of the game, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits to pick up the loss. Scott Swinson, Swen Huijer and T.J. Large combined for 7.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The Red Sox scored their lone runs of the game in the third on a Luke Yoder RBI single. The Red Sox were only able to muster 3 hits and went 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

Despite six Rays errors, the DSL Red Sox fell to the DSL Rays (TB) 7-4. Yunior Ortega went the first 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. Sully Bonnelly followed with 4.0 innings of his own, allowing 3 unearned runs on 4 hits and 4 walks to pick up the loss. Jesus Loya picked up an RBI double in the sixth and an RBI single in the seventh to account for two of the Red Sox runs. The remaining runs were added on errors by the Rays. Loya was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI to lead the Red Sox offense.

Player of the Night: Mike Lowell, who fell a triple short of the cycle as he added 3 RBI and went 3 for 4 in Pawtucket's 8-5 loss and Ray Chang who was 4 for 6 to also fall a triple short of the cycle as he scored 3 runs and added 2 RBI in Portland's 11-9 win.