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July 12, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Kalish, Beckett help PawSox to win


7/12 Cup of Coffee: Only four affiliates were in action on Sunday thanks to a travel day for Salem and some rain in Greenville, and the Red Sox split those decisions. Three tight games made the action exciting, and some rehabbing players contributed in big ways.

The results were solid in Josh Beckett’s first rehab start for Pawtucket, and two first-inning tallies were just enough to best Syracuse (WAS) 2-1. The big Boston right-hander lasted the first 4.0 innings, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 4 without walking a batter. Beckett threw 68 pitches in his outing. From there, Rich Hill, Michael Bowden – who extended his scoreless relief innings streak to 4.0 – Blake Maxwell and Fernando Cabrera made quick work of the Sky Chiefs, allowing a combined 4 hits and 1 walk in 5.0 scoreless innings of relief. First-inning RBI singles by Bubba Bell and Mark Wagner provided just enough run support to back the excellent display of PawSox pitching. Ryan Kalish and Lars Anderson were both 2 for 3 with a walk to pace the offense, and each man was active on the base paths as well, with Anderson picking up his first steal of the season and Kalish nabbing three bags, giving him nine since joining Pawtucket.

Casey Kelly turned in a serviceable start while the Portland offense ripped into top Twins prospect Kyle Gibson as the Sea Dogs easily downed New Britain (MIN) 7-3. Gibson, who had been feasting on Eastern League hitters over his last three starts including a stellar effort against Portland on June 25, was touched for 6 runs in his outing. Ray Chang got it all started with a solo shot in the second, and after the Rock Cats took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third, the Sea Dogs took it right back with two in the fourth. Anthony Rizzo began that inning with a solo home run of his own, his ninth Double-A home run of the year, and Matt Sheely doubled in a run three batters later. Portland opened things up in the next inning, scoring three times on an RBI single by Yamaico Navarro, a hit batsman in the person of Chih-Hsien Chiang, and a Sheely sacrifice fly. Portland tacked on another run in the eighth on a wild pitch, but all of that was plenty for Kelly and the bullpen. The top Sox Prospect pitched the first 5.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 2. Nate Spears, Navarro, Chang, and Chiang all had 2 hits.

Salem was not scheduled to play on Sunday to accommodate travel back from Boston after the team was scheduled to participate in Futures at Fenway.

Greenville’s game at home against Hagerstown was suspended due to rain, with the game scoreless in the top of the fourth. The game will resume at 11:00 AM EST today, to be followed by today’s regularly scheduled contest.

The Lowell Spinners did not enjoy a similar respite after a tough loss on Saturday at Fenway Park, dropping another game on Sunday, this time a 4-1 decision to Brooklyn (NYM). Lowell actually scored first in this one on a third-inning RBI double off the bat of the rehabbing Jed Lowrie. Lowrie went 2 for 3 in the game, and is now 6 for 10 with 4 RBI since joining the Spinners. The Cyclones tied things up in the fifth in Tyler Wilson’s last inning of work, and scored a run in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings against Garrett Rau to put the Spinners in a three-run hole. The best chance of the night for Lowell to get back in the game came in the seventh, when Bryan Peterson doubled to send James Kang to third with one out. But Kolbrin Vitek and Joantoni Garcia both struck out to end the threat. Dusty Brown, who was also rehabbing in the game, went 1 for 3 with a double.

A tightly fought game didn’t go the way of the Red Sox down in the DSL, as the team dropped a 1-0 decision to the DSL Indians (CLE). A single run in the third off of Mario Alcantara proved to be the game winner, as the teams combined for just 9 hits in the game. Alcantara went the first 4.0 innings, giving up just the 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2. Kiler Gil allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk in 4.0 scoreless frames of relief, but the Red Sox couldn’t quite push one across. One good Red Sox chance came in the sixth, when a walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases with one out, but a double play killed that rally. The Red Sox managed four base runners in the seventh but couldn’t score then, either, as Javier Gutierrez was thrown out at third following a Jair Bogaerts single, and after two hit batsmen loaded the bases with one out again, a pop-up and a strike out ended that threat. The Red Sox scattered 5 hits in the game, with no player ending up with more than 1.

Player of the Night: Ryan Kalish, who was 2 for 3 with a walk and 3 steals to help Pawtucket to a narrow victory over Syracuse.