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July 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Lowell launches three bombs in PawSox win

7/28 Cup of Coffee: A number of Sox affiliates put up crooked numbers early on Tuesday, but a number of squandered leads led to just as many defeats. Meanwhile, a few rehabbing Boston Red Sox stole the show.

Mike Lowell’s rehab stint continued with a bang (or three, to be precise), as the veteran third baseman crushed 3 home runs to help Pawtucket overcome Toledo (DET) 10-6. The first Lowell homer came in the first inning, and two-run job to give Pawtucket a 2-0 lead. After Toledo tied things up in the bottom half of the frame, it was Mark Wagner’s turn to hit a big fly, also a two-run bomb, which combined with a Ryan Kalish sacrifice fly gave the PawSox a 5-2 lead in the top of the second. The aforementioned Lowell added to the lead in the third when he hit his second home run of the game, this one a solo shot, to make it 6-2. Kalish added to the power parade in the fourth with a solo home run of his own, and just like that it was 7-2 Pawtucket. All of this offense supported the serviceable mound work of Ramon A. Ramirez, who started the game and went the first 5.0 innings, yielding 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Dustin Richardson gave up 2 runs of his own in the seventh to bring Toledo closer, but a three-run Pawtucket eighth, highlighted by another two-run home run from Lowell, gave the Sox some breathing room. Fernando Cabrera gave up 2 more runs in the eighth, but the lead still stood at four, and Robert Manuel closed things out in the ninth without incident. Lowell’s 3-for-4, 5-RBI night certainly led all Pawtucket hitters, while Kalish and Wagner both went 2 for 4 with a double, a home run, and 2 RBI. The final RBI belonged to Aaron Bates, who was 1 for 4.

Portland took an early 4-0 lead but let it slip away, eventually losing big to Binghamton (NYM) 12-8. Ray Chang got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly, then after a walk, three consecutive RBI singles by Anthony Rizzo, Yamaico Navarro, and Ryan Lavarnway made it 4-0. Binghamton came right back with 2 runs in the second, but Portland expanded the lead in the third. A wild pitch scored Rizzo, then RBI knocks by Jorge Padron and Che-Hsuan Lin made it 7-2 after 3. But the lead would be short lived. In the fourth, 5 singles, a double, and a walk led to 5 runs against starter Alex Wilson, and just like that the game was tied at 7. Wilson managed a clean fifth inning, but allowed 2 base runners in the sixth before being yanked in favor of Ryne Miller. Miller, however, allowed both inherited runners to score, and then allowed 3 more runs of his own over his 3.0-inning outing. The damage left both men’s ERAs north of 6. Portland, meanwhile, managed only 1 more run on a Chih-Hsien Chiang RBI single in the seventh, leaving 2 runners on in the eighth but otherwise going down quickly and quietly after the third. Lin, Padron, and Nate Spears were all 2 for 5.

Salem struggled to put hits together all night, scoring late but far too little in a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Myrtle Beach (ATL). Stolmy Pimentel did a decent job but was hardly at his best, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk in 5.0 innings, striking out 5. The Red Sox offense, meanwhile, was stymied all night, leaving a few runners on here and there but generally sputtering at the dish. A two-run double by Drew Hedman with two down in the ninth spoiled the Pelicans shutout, but not the victory. Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Dent each had 2 hits in 4 at-bats.

A four-run first inning actually held up for Greenville in game one of its double-header at Rome (ATL), as the Drive cruised to a 4-0 win. Pete Ruiz was the king of the hill in this one, going the full 7.0 innings allowing just 4 hits, walking nobody and striking out 4 along the way. Shannon Wilkerson and Sean Killeen each drove in runs in the first with RBI singles, but the rally was greatly aided by 2 Rome errors and a wild pitch. Rome made 4 errors on the day, as each team only recorded 4 hits in the contest.

As good as game 1 was for Greenville, game 2 was that much of a disaster, as the Drive committed 3 errors and were out-hit 12-6 en route to an 8-1 defeat to Rome (ATL). Kendall Volz was most affected by the sloppy defense, allowing 7 runs in 3.0 innings total, only 2 of which were earned. He allowed 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4. Armando Zerpa tossed 2.0 scoreless frames, while Anatanaer Batista allowed a run in his inning of work, but the offense simply couldn’t bring Greenville back into this one. The Drive did finally score in the seventh on a Reynaldo Rodriguez RBI single, but were just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the game. Rodriguez (2 for 2 with a walk) and Vladimir Frias (3 for 3) both had nice games at the plate.

Lowell was idle on Tuesday.

The GCL Red Sox also scored 4 first-inning runs, but also let the lead slip away, losing a heart-breaker to the GCL Rays (TB) 5-4. After the Rays scored in the first to make it 1-0, Heiker Meneses continued his recent power surge in the first, launching a two-run home run out to right that scored the rehabbing Jacoby Ellsbury, who had walked and stolen second to open the frame. Four batters later, Jose Vinicio laced a two-run triple to right to make it 4-1. The next three innings went well for the Red Sox, but Luis Bastardo ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing 4 earned runs to give the lead back. The bullpen held the Rays scoreless from there, but the Red Sox managed only 3 hits the rest of the way. Ellsbury had 3 plate appearances before being pulled from the game, going 1 for 2 with a walk and a steal. No member of the Sox lineup had more than 1 hit.

In the DSL, Red Sox pitching got lit up by the DSL Pirates (PIT) as the team lost 13-4. A bases-loaded walk in the first by Jesus Loya actually gave the Red Sox a brief 1-0 lead, but the Pirates scored 2 runs in each of the next two frames to make it 4-1. A two-run Red Sox third, highlighted by a Xander Bogaerts RBI single and an RBI groundout by Loya, made it 4-3, but the Pirates again struck back, scoring 3 more runs in the bottom of the third to make it 7-3. The teams traded runs in the fourth, with the Sox scoring on a Dreily Guerrero triple, but a five-run Pirates eighth put the game out of reach. Francellis Montas gave up the early runs, allowing 7 of them on 8 hits in just 2.0 innings. William Cuevas had a nice run in relief, allowing just 1 run while scattering 8 hits over 5.0 innings, but Ricardo Betancourt was trounced in the eighth, giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and a walk in his lone inning of work. Guerrero led the way offensively, going 3 for 4 with a double, a triple, and his 22nd steal of the season, while Bogaerts was 2 for 4 in defeat.

Players of the Night: Mike Lowell, who launched 3 home runs while on rehab for Pawtucket, and Pete Ruiz, who earned a 7.0-inning shutout victory for the Drive in game one of a double header.