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August 5, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Almanzar, Drive walk off with win


8/5 Cup of Coffee: With Pawtucket off, Sox affiliates managed a 4-2 record in Wednesday’s slate, including some extra-innings drama in the SAL.

Bowie (BAL) got to Kyle Weiland early, and Portland couldn’t come all the way back in a 6-3 defeat. The Sea Dogs starter hit a small bump in the road in the second, giving up 2 runs, but allowed another 3 runs in the fifth, going 4.2 innings in all yielding 10 hits and 2 walks. Portland got on the board in the second when Anthony Rizzo launched his twelfth home run of the season, a solo shot to lead off the inning. After falling into a 6-1 hole, Rizzo again brought the Sea Dogs closer with his thirteenth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the eighth to make it 6-3. Portland brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with one out, but Ray Chang grounded into a double play to end things. Rizzo led the offense with his 3-for-4 performance, which also included a double, while Che-Hsuan Lin was 2 for 3 with 2 walks. Portland went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the game.

Mike Lee turned in a solid start and the offense rapped out 10 hits as Salem downed Frederick (BAL) 7-3. Lee, who went the first 6.0 innings, allowed only 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk, striking out 5 in his outing. After falling behind 1-0, the Red Sox tied the game in the fourth when Dan Butler singled home Alex Hassan with two outs, but the team did its real damage in the fifth. After a strikeout to begin the frame, three consecutive singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly brought home two runs, and then Tim Federowicz doubled home two more to make it 5-1. It was Federowicz’s 30th double of the year. An error in the seventh and an Oscar Tejeda RBI single in the ninth brought home two more runs, making this one a comfortable victory. Butler, Tejeda, and Jon Hee all had 2 hits in this one, and Tejeda, Hassan, and Pete Hissey each stole a base as well.

Greenville and Lakewood (PHI) were locked in a good one on Wednesday, and for the second straight night, the Drive prevailed by a 3-2 score, this time in 11 innings. The BlueClaws struck first, but Michael Almanzar tied the score at 1 in the fourth with an RBI double. A Christian Vazquez RBI single gave Greenville a lead in the seventh, but Lakewood notched the tying tally in the top of the eighth. The game then went into extra innings, and in the bottom of the eleventh, Almanzar struck again, launching a walk-off home run out to left. Drake Britton started this one and allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in 5.0 innings, striking out 7 without walking a batter. Tom Ebert was nearly as good in relief, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk in 4.0 innings, striking out 4. Anatanaer Batista picked up the win with 2.0 scoreless frames, racking up 3 strikeouts of his own. Almanzar, Vazquez, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Reymond Fuentes all had 2 hits in the game, and Hazelbaker also stole his 47th base of the season.

Lowell looked poised to earn a big win against Williamsport (PHI), but a three-run Crosscutters seventh tipped the scales and led to a 6-5 defeat. There was a lot of action early in this one, as Williamsport scored in each of the first three innings against Madison Younginer, who lasted 4.0 frames and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits. He left with the lead, however, thanks to a pair of Lowell runs in both the second and third innings. In the second, bases-loaded walks by Jose Iglesias and Miles Head brought home runs, while a Felix Sanchez RBI single and a sacrifice fly by James Kang plated runs in the third. The Spinners would add to the lead in the seventh on an error, but 3 runs in the bottom of the frame off of Garret Rau made it 6-5 Crosscutters. Sanchez had the best game at the plate for Lowell, going 3 for 5 from the lead-off spot, while David Renfroe went 2 for 3 with a walk.

The GCL Red Sox scored 2 in the first and got great pitching en route to a 3-1 win over the GCL Rays (TB). Keury De La Cruz provided said runs with a two-run bomb, his fourth of the season, and scored on a Oscar Perez single after doubling in the sixth as well. That was plenty for Sergio Gomez and Raynel Velette, who combined to allow just 6 hits and no walks in the game. De La Cruz and Luke Yoder both had 2 hits in the game.

Finally, in the DSL, more good pitching led to another victory as the Red Sox topped the Dodgers (LAD) 3-0. This time, Mario Alcantara and Ricardo Betancourt combined on the shutout, allowing just 7 hits combined and no walks. Roberto Duncan’s RBI double in the second provided the eventual winning run, while a pair of Dodgers errors led to two more tallies in the fifth. Duncan was the only Red Sox hitter to land multiple hits in the game.

Player of the Night: Michael Almanzar, who was 2 for 5 with an RBI double and a walk-off home run in Greenville’s win over Lakewood.