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July 20, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Portland cruises while Head's big game is not enough in Lowell


7/20 Cup of Coffee: Portland's thumping of New Hampshire accounted for the lone victory among the affiliates on Monday. The bleak evening included Salem being shutout and the Spinners dropping their seventh in a row.

Despite a solid start on the mound from an unlikely source, Pawtucket was silenced by the Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 4-1. Mark Holliman, making a spot start after being promoted from High-A Salem, went 6.0 innings while allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 8. Randor Bierd tossed 2.0 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 2. Robert Manuel pitched a scoreless ninth inning, allowing a hit and collecting a strikeout. The PawSox grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the third as Jed Lowrie smacked a double that plated Juan Apodaca. The run would be the only one scored by Pawtucket in the contest as the team left nine runners on base. Josh Reddick was 3 for 4 and Lars Anderson was 2 for 4 to lead the PawSox offense.

The story was much different for Portland, who crushed the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 11-2. Kyle Weiland picked up his fifth victory of the season for his 5.2 inning effort in which he allowed 1 run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 7. Eammon Portice followed Weiland and hurled 1.1 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. Mitch Herold tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, allowing just one hit. The Sea Dogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Ryan Lavarnway was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first to force home a run. In the fifth, Portland exploded for seven runs as Anthony Rizzo walked with the bases loaded, Lavarnway was once again hit by a pitch to force home a run, Jorge Padron and Chih-Hsein Chiang smacked RBI singles, Ryan Khoury laced an RBI double and a run came home on a wild pitch. Che-Hsuan Lin's RBI ground out and Yamaico Navarro's RBI single brought home three insurance runs in the seventh. Lin was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored from the top of the order to pace the Sea Dogs offense.

Salem was only able to muster five hits on their way to being shut out by the Potomac Nationals (WAS) 13-0. Brock Huntzinger got the start for the Red Sox, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5 in his 5.0 innings of work. Kyle Fernandes was the next pitcher out of the bullpen and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in his lone inning of work. Zach Hammes added 0.2 innings, allowing 5 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and a walk. Will Latimer pitched the final 1.1 innings of the contest, allowing just 1 hit and a walk while striking out 3. Salem's best threat was in the sixth, when Will Middlebrooks roped a double with a runner on second but Mitch Dening was thrown out at home. The Red Sox had the bases loaded with no outs in the ninth and came up empty as a strikeout and a double play killed the rally. Oscar Tejeda was 2 for 4 to lead the offense.

Lowell continued its losing ways by dropping their team record seventh game in a row, falling to the Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 6-5. Roman Mendez went the first 4.0 innings for the Spinners, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 6. Keith Couch took over for Mendez and went 3.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 3. Tyler Lockwood pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing just a hit and a walk. Stephen Fox came on for the save in the ninth and promptly allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in his lone inning of work. After Aberdeen scored in the top of the first, the Spinners responded in the bottom of the inning as Miles Head roped an RBI double and Brandon Jacobs lofted a sacrifice fly. James Kang would bring another run home the very next inning on his sacrifice fly. Up 3-2 in the fourth, the Spinners took advantage of a costly error by the Aberdeen second baseman to plate two. The Ironbirds fought back to tie the game in the top of the seventh but Lowell took the lead back in the bottom half of the inning as Head once again smacked an RBI double. The Spinners attempted a rally in the ninth, receiving a run courtesy of a Sean Killeen ground out, but were unable to have enough magic. Head had a tremendous game, going 3 for 5 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI to lead the Lowell offense.

In a close contest, the GCL Red Sox fell to the GCL Rays (TB) 6-5. Sergio Gomez started the game for the Red Sox and went the first 2.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits while striking out 4. Raynel Velette picked up the loss for his 5.0 innings of work in which he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Justin Erasmus tossed the final 2.0 innings, allowing just 3 hits while striking out 3. Down 3-0 in the third, Willie Holmes cracked an RBI single to get the Red Sox on the board. The Red Sox tied the score 3-3 in the fourth as Henry Ramos collected an RBI double and Oscar Perez lined an RBI single. Keury De La Cruz gave the Red Sox the lead in the fifth as he brought home Wilfred Pichardo on his RBI single. The Rays scored three in the seventh to take a two run advantage. Pichardo's RBI ground out in the ninth got the Red Sox within one but was not enough as the team left a runner in scoring position to end the game.

Despite holding a lead going into the ninth, the DSL Red Sox were nipped by the DSL Rays (TB) 7-6. Luis Diaz pitched the first 3.0 innings for the Red Sox, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Carlos Pinales followed Diaz and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks in his 3.0 innings of work. Ellis Jimenez picked up the loss as he allowed 2 runs on a hit and a walk in his 2.0 inning stint. The Red Sox drew first blood by scoring two in the first on Jair Bogaerts RBI single and an error by the right fielder. Derward Ruiz poked an RBI single in the second to give the Red Sox a 3-0 advantage. With the game tied in the fifth, a passed ball by the catcher allowed Dreily Guerrero to scamper home and give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. The Rays took a one run lead to the eighth but Guerrero's RBI double and Javier Gutierrez's RBI single gave the Red Sox a 6-5 advantage. The Rays received a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to pull out the victory.

Player of the Night: Miles Head, as he went 3 for 5 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI in Lowell's 8-7 loss Monday night.