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July 5, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Younginer majestic in Spinners win


7/5 Cup of Coffee: Independence Day brought mixed results for Sox affiliates, though there were a number of stand-out performances.

A good start from Adam Mills quickly turned bad, and Pawtucket was unable to recover en route to a 6-4 loss to Lehigh Valley (PHI). Mills, who had allowed a respectable 3 runs through his first 6.0 innings, was unable to get any outs in the seventh, allowing two Iron Pigs to reach base before he was replaced by new PawSox lefty Rich Hill. Unfortunately, Hill wasn't any more effective, allowing both inherited runners to score and allowing an earned run of his own before the inning was over, making it 6-4 in favor of Lehigh Valley. Pawtucket grabbed its runs in the fourth, on a Gil Velazquez RBI double and a run-scoring ground out off the bat of Josh Reddick, and in the sixth when Lars Anderson drove in a run with a double and scored on Tug Hulett's single. But it was Ryan Kalish who had the best day on offense for the PawSox, going 3 for 4 with a walk, a double, and a stolen base. He is now hitting .317/.406/.467 at the Triple-A level.

Despite an early run of offensive success, some inopportune defensive lapses and a leaky bullpen undid it all, leading to a 10-8 defeat at the hands of Binghamton (NYM). Luis Exposito doubled in two in the first to open the scoring, and Ryan Khoury tacked on another run in the first with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 after one. Nate Spears made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly in the second, and doubles from Chih-Hsien Chiang and Che-Hsuan Lin made it 6-2 after three. The Mets closed the gap in the bottom of the frame to 6-5, but Portland once again thought it was sitting pretty after Chiang and Matt Sheely drove in runs in the sixth to make it 8-5. However, 5 runs on 5 hits and a walk against Mitch Herold in the bottom of the seventh swung the pendulum dramatically in the other direction, and while the Sea Dogs accumulated two baserunners in both the eighth and ninth innings, they couldn't swing it back. Stephen Fife started the game and was effective enough, scattering 9 hits through 5.0 innings while allowing only 1 of his 5 runs to be earned. Santo Luis continued his run of dominance in the final frame, striking out 2 in a perfect inning. Portland managed 13 hits in the loss, headlined by Lin's 3-for-4 showing and 2 hits each from Spears, Exposito, Rizzo, and Chiang.

A seven-run fifth inning helped Salem glide to an easy 10-4 victory over Myrtle Beach (ATL). After trading scoreless frames through three, Salem struck first on a two-run double from Will Middlebrooks, his twenty-third of the year. The Pelicans drew within one in the bottom of the inning, but the Red Sox exploded to blow the game open in the fifth. The first six batters of the inning reached base as Salem batted around and then some, scoring 7 runs on 8 hits and a walk, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway. All of this helped support a solid start from Caleb Clay, who allowed only 1 earned run (2 total) on 5 hits in 6.2, striking out 3, while five Red Sox hitters had multiple-hit games.

Greenville put up a six spot in the first and held on to defeat Kannapolis (CWS), 7-6. After the first batter of the game struck out, six straight Drive hitters reached base and 6 runs scored, including 3 an error and a passed ball, 1 on a bases-loaded walk, 1 on a sacrifice fly, and 1 on a double. The Intimidators got 3 unearned runs back in the third, but were otherwise unable to solve Ryan Pressly, who fired 6.0 innings allowing only 6 hits, striking out 2. Chris Court allowed 3 runs to score in the seventh and eighth innings, but an RBI groundout by Reynaldo Rodriguez in the eighth gave the Drive a 7-6 edge, and Armando Zerpa slammed the door to finish things. Chris McGuiness had the best offensive day for the Drive, going 2 for 4 with a walk.

A dominant start and some stellar relief work helped Lowell best Aberdeen (BAL), 3-1. Said start was turned in by Madison Younginer, who allowed only 2 hits and a walk in 5.0 innings, striking out 5. Sean Killeen gave Lowell the lead with his fourth home run of the year in the fifth, a solo shot, and added to it in the sixth on an RBI single by Joantoni Garcia. Felix Sanchez created a run with his legs in the eighth, stealing second and scoring on a throwing error by the IronBirds catcher, but it wasn't ultimately unnecessary thanks to the relief work of Charlie Rosario, who twirled the final 4.0 innings, allowing only a run on 5 hits, striking out 5. Sanchez and Killeen each had 2 hits.

Despite a furious comeback, the DSL Red Sox couldn't quite overcome the DSL Yankees (NYY), losing 10-9 in ten. The Red Sox took an early lead thanks to RBI hits from Juan Ugas and Dreily Guerrero and a Yankees error, but the Yankees took the lead back with 4 in the third off Raul Alcantara, who ended up allowing 5 runs (3 earned) in 4.2 innings. After the Red Sox tied things up at 5 thanks to RBI singles from Derward Ruiz and Guerrero, Nefi Ogando allowed 3 runs (2 earned) over the next 2.1 innings to put his team behind the eightball again. But the Red Sox came all the way back with 3 in the eighth, the final run scoring on a Jair Bogaerts single, and the game went to extras tied 9-9. Unfortunately, a Xander Bogaerts error allowed the first Yankees runner of the tenth to reach third, and after a big strikeout for the first out, the next batter singled to end the game in walk-off fashion. Both teams racked up 13 hits in the game.

Player of the Night: Madison Younginer, who allowed only 2 hits in 5.0 innings to earn the win for Lowell.