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July 10, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Vitek leads Lowell awakening


6/10 Cup of Coffee: Though Salem won't be traveling north on a high note, first round pick Kolbrin Vitek had an outstanding game in Lowell while Aaron Bates and Chris McGuiness hit late home runs to power their squads to victory.

Bates' three-run home run broke a 5-5 deadlock in the seventh inning to give Pawtucket an 8-6 win over Rochester (MIN). Bates finished with 4 RBI, and Jorge Jimenez was 2 for 4 with a two-run home run and a pair of runs scored. Adam Mills was charged with 5 runs in as many innings before Rich Hill and Michael Bowden added scoreless innings of relief. Chad Paronto recorded a six-out save. Tug Hulett was 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and an RBI in the win.

Eastern League All-Star Stephen Fife put on a performance worthy of his title, giving up just 2 unearned runs on 2 hits while striking out 5 in Portland's 7-5 win over New Britain (MIN). Nate Spears gave the Sea Dogs a lead they would never relinquish with a grand slam in the second inning, while Matt Sheely was 2 for 4 with a triple. Chih-Hsien Chiang and Anthony Rizzo added 2 hits in the win. Ryne Miller served up 3 solo home runs in 1.2 innings of relief, and Bryce Cox notched the four-out save.

Salem will be coming to Fenway Saturday on a sour note after an 11-0 drubbing at the hands of Kinston (CLE). Tim Federowicz was 3 for 3 with a walk while Ryan Lavarnway and Alex Hassan collected 2 hits each, but the Red Sox couldn't push a run across. Caleb Clay was tagged for 7 earned on 11 hits and 3 walks in 4.0 innings before making way to Zach Hammes, who walked 5 and allowed 2 more runs. Lance McClain finished it off with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.

Hagerstown (BAL) drew even in the top half of the ninth, but Chris McGuiness hit a home run in the ninth to give Greenville a 4-3 walkoff win. Ryan Pressly surrendered 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 in 3.2 innings, and Pedro Perez fanned 4 in 4.1 innings of shutout relief. Anatanaer Batista gave up the run in the ninth, but ultimately picked up the win. McGuiness was 3 for 3 with a walk, and Ronald Bermudez went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Derrik Gibson and Christian Vazquez added a hit and 1 driven in apiece.

After dropping 7 of their last 8, Lowell will go to Fenway with some momentum after their 9-3 win over Jamestown (FLA). The Spinners collected 19 hits, led by Kolbrin Vitek who went 4 for 5 with 3 doubles and an RBI. Four players, including Jed Lowrie, had 2 hits, with Lowrie, Bryce Brentz, and Miles Head each driving in 2 runs. Roman Mendez had another solid start, holding the Jammers scoreless and allowing just a pair of hits while striking out 4 in 4.2 frames. Cesare Angeloni gave up a pair in 2.1 innings before Wilson Matos tossed a scoreless ninth.

A couple of familiar faces made rehab appearances in Ft. Myers Friday, with Dusty Brown and Seth Garrison helping the GCL squad sneak past the Twins 3-2. Luke Yoder drew a bases-loaded walk and Wilfred Pichardo added a two-run single in the seventh to provide all of the offense for the afternoon, while Brown went 1 for 2. Garrison struck out 5 in 2.0 innings, allowing 1 hit before Juan Rodriguez gave up a pair of runs on 3 hits in 4.0 innings. Luis Bastardo got the win, combining with Scott Swinson to provide 3.0 shutout frames of relief.

Player of the Night: Kolbrin Vitek was 4 for 5 with 3 doubles, 3 runs scored and an RBI in Lowell's 9-3 win Friday. He also stole his fifth base of the season.