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July 27, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Dening leads the way in Salem's victory

7/27 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Salem picked up impressive victories on an otherwise lackluster day for the affiliates.

Nothing has gone right for Pawtucket lately as they continued their recent slide by being swept by the Columbus Clippers (CLE) 11-7. Mark Holliman, making his second start for the PawSox, was rocked for 7 runs on 5 hits and 7 walks in his 4.2 innings of work despite racking up 6 strikeouts. Reliever Rich Hill followed Holliman and did not fare any better, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits in his lone inning. Michael Bowden tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while collecting a strikeout, lowering his ERA to 3.47. Chad Paronto came on for the eighth and allowed 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. After the Clippers put up four quick runs in the first, Pawtucket responded with two in the second on a Lars Anderson solo home run and a Gil Velazquez RBI single. In the sixth, a Ryan Shealy solo shot and a Gustavo Molina three run home run brought the PawSox within one at 7-6. The Clippers opened up the game after that despite Pawtucket getting a Ryan Kalish solo home run in the seventh. Every member of the PawSox lineup had a hit with Velazquez being the only batter to collect two hits.

A six run fourth inning allowed Portland to brush aside the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 8-4. Blake Maxwell, making his first start of 2010, collected the victory for his 5.0 inning performance in which he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 5. Ryne Lawson picked up his first save since 2008 by tossing 4.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Down 2-0 in the fourth, Yamaico Navarro smoked an RBI double and Chih-Hsien Chiang cracked a grand slam to give the Sea Dogs a 6-2 advantage. Portland added two insurance runs in the fifth as Ryan Lavarnway hit his first Double-A home run, a two run shot that gave the Sea Dogs a comfortable 8-2 lead. The victory improved Portland to 7-3 in its last 10 games.

In a game that saw 26 hits between the two teams, Salem nipped the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (ATL) 5-4. Caleb Clay improved to 4-9 with his 5.1 inning performance in which he allowed 3 runs on 9 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Will Latimer followed Clay and hurled 2.0 innings of relief, allowing a run on 4 hits. Patrick Ryan picked up his first save as a member of the Red Sox organization by tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Salem wasted no time getting on the board, as they got three in the first on RBI doubles by Will Middlebrooks and Dan Butler and an RBI single by Tim Federowicz. Peter Hissey's RBI single in the fourth gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. Myrtle Beach handed Salem the eventual winning run in the sixth as an error and two wild pitches allowed Mitch Dening to cross home. Dening was 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored as the Red Sox lead-off man.

Greenville's contest with the Rome Braves (ATL) was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow.

Despite two late runs, Lowell continued its losing ways, falling to the Connecticut Tigers (DET) 3-2. Tyler Wilson picked up his third loss of the season despite allowing only 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 3 in his 5.0 innings of work. Garrett Rau was the next man out of the bullpen, hurling 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Tyler Lockwood pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing the decisive run on 2 hits and a walk. Lowell did not score until the eighth, when Felix Sanchez led off the inning with a triple and scored on Miles Head's RBI ground out. Kolbrin Vitek added a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but the Spinners left the bases loaded as they did not have enough magic for a comeback.

Jacoby Ellsbury began his rehab assignment, but the GCL Red Sox were shut out by the GCL Rays (TB) 3-0. Ellsbury was 1 for 3 as he hit lead off and served as the designated hitter. Ryne Reynoso made his Red Sox debut by starting and going 1.0 inning, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. Juan Rodriguez followed Reynoso and tossed 3.0 innings, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits while striking out 3. Michael Gleason twirled 3.0 scoreless innings and Matt Phillips hurled a scoreless eighth inning despite allowing 2 walks. The Red Sox had their best scoring chance in the ninth, loading the bases before the Rays got out of trouble. Leonel Escobar and Henry Ramos led the Red Sox offense with two hits apiece.

Unable to get much offense, the DSL Red Sox were dropped for a 4-1 loss by the DSL Dodgers (LAD). Carlos Pinales picked up his second loss of the season for his 5.0 innings of work in which he allowed 2 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Alexander Mateo followed Pinales with 4.0 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits. The Red Sox scored their lone run of the contest in the second on Aly Gonzalez's RBI single.

Player of the Night: Mitch Dening, who served as the catalyst for Salem by going 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored in a 5-4 victory over Myrtle Beach.