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July 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Killeen comes up big in first Greenville start


7/26 Cup of Coffee: The results were generally lackluster for Sox affiliates on Sunday, as the teams had only one solid win and an error-aided victory to show for their efforts.

A four-run Columbus (CLE) fifth inning was just too much for Pawtucket, as the PawSox fell 5-4. The game began well enough for Pawtucket, when Ryan Kalish walked, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Daniel Nava to make it 1-0. An Aaron Bates RBI double in the second made it 2-0 PawSox, but the Clippers would soon start their comeback. A run in the fourth and 4 runs in the fifth were charged to starter Kris Johnson, and just like that it was 5-2. Johnson ended up only lasting 4.0 innings and gave up 8 hits and 2 walks. Fabio Castro put out the fire with 3.0 scoreless frames from there, and actually gave Pawtucket a chance to come back in turn. Another RBI by Nava, this time on a single in the seventh, made it 5-3, and the very next inning the PawSox loaded the bases with nobody out. Bates drove in one with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4, but a sharp groundout and a strikeout snuffed the rally. Pawtucket loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth as well, but again could not cash in. Nava was the big bat for Pawtucket, going 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, while Mark Wagner also chipped in 2 hits in 3 at-bats, walking twice.

It was a sloppy day for Portland, which was simply overmatched by Harrisburg (WAS), allowing 10 runs on 17 hits while making 3 errors in a 10-3 defeat. No Portland pitcher left the mound unscathed, led by starter Jeremy Kehrt, who allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 12 hits and 2 walks in 5.0 innings. Eammon Portice allowed 3 runs in his 2.0 innings, while Bryce Cox allowed 2 runs in his 2.0 frames. The Sea Dogs entered the eighth down 10-0, but scored three times in the frame to avoid the goose egg, tallying on an error, an RBI single by Anthony Rizzo, and a wild pitch. Rizzo, Che-Hsuan Lin and Nate Spears all had 2 hits in the game.

It was a closely fought contest in Lynchburg, but the Salem Red Sox ended up on the wrong end of the score, losing 6-5 to the Hillcats (CIN). Lynchburg started off strong, scoring 3 against starter Mike Lee in the first two innings, but Salem came back right away to narrow the gap; a Pete Hissey RBI groundout in the third and a Will Middlebrooks solo home run in the fourth made it 3-2. After the Hillcats scored single runs of their own in the fifth and sixth innings to make it 5-2, RBI doubles by Jon Hee and Ryan Dent in the seventh once again made it a one-run game. But Seth Garrison gave up another run in the bottom of the seventh, and though Salem got that one back in the eighth on a Middlebrooks RBI groundout, the team couldn’t quite make it all the way back. Salem even loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but a foul out and a ground out ended the game. The Salem offense was well spread, as the team collected 10 hits but only first baseman Hee had more than one, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles.

Greenville shot like a rocket out of the gate, accumulating a 5-0 lead before Rome (ATL) even came to bat and winning handily, 8-2. Two errors and a wild pitch led to the first 2 runs in the first, but the big blow was a bases-clearing three-run double by Sean Killeen which made it 5-0. Derrik Gibson singled in another run in the second, and the Drive added single runs in the sixth on a single by Michael Thomas and in the ninth on a single by Shannon Wilkerson to account for the final tally. It was all more than enough for starter Drake Britton, who went the first 5.0 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Tom Ebert was even more impressive in relief, going the final 4.0 innings allowing only 3 hits. Gibson was the star on offense, going 3 for 5 with an RBI, while Killeen was 1 for 2 with 2 walks and 3 RBI in his first start for Greenville since being promoted from Lowell, serving as the team’s DH in this one.

Lowell finally managed some offense on Sunday, scoring 5 runs on 12 hits, but Connecticut (DET) managed even more and defeated the Spinners 9-5. After giving up a run in the first, the Spinners came right back and tied things on Jose Garcia’s RBI double in the bottom half. Connecticut scored 3 more over the fifth and sixth innings, but again Lowell was resilient, cutting the deficit in half on a Felix Sanchez RBI groundout. The team’s traded runs in the eighth, with the Lowell run scoring on another Sanchez groundout, but the Tigers blew it open in the ninth, scoring 4 times against reliever Kyle Rutter to make it 9-3. A two-run double by Seth Schwindenhammer in the bottom half made it closer, but it was too little, too late. Josue Peley led the offense for the Spinners, going 3 for 5, while Sanchez, Miles Head, and Brandon Jacobs all tallied 2 hits.

As always, the GCL Red Sox were dormant on Sunday.

Despite being out-hit 7-5, the DSL Red Sox took advantage of 4 errors to defeat the DSL Royals (KC) 3-2. The Royals actually scored first in this one, tallying twice against starter Mario Alcantara in the second, but the Red Sox came back in the sixth. Four straight singles with one out did the job, with the last off the bat of Javier Gutierrez plating 2 runs to tie the score. The Red Sox scored the winning run in the eighth when Lewis Urena walked and eventually scored on a Royals error. Stellar relief work by Kiler Gil and Ellis Jimenez, who combined for 4.0 scoreless innings, was crucial in the win. Gutierrez carried the load on offense, going 2 for 3 with a walk.

Player of the Night: Sean Killeen, who was 1 for 2 with a big three-run double and 2 walks in his first start for victorious Greenville.