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August 27, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Castro strikes out 8 in win

8/27 Cup of Coffee: With playoff races in full swing, Salem and the GCL Red Sox collected big win's, while Greenville will have to wait a day to chase their division lead after being rained out Thursday.

Fabio Castro struck out 8 and combined for a five-hitter in Pawtucket's 3-1 win over Rochester (MIN). Castro went 6.2 innings, allowing an earned run on 4 hits in 6.2 innings. Gil Velazquez was 3 for 4 with a pair of runs scored, while Jorge Jimenez and Jeremy Hermida drove in a run each. Robert Coello tossed a perfect inning and a third with 2 strikeouts, and Dustin Richardson fanned 2 in the 9th for the save.

Ryan Lavarnway and Nate Spears went deep in Portland's 6-3 loss to New Hampshire (TOR). The Fisher Cats scored 4 in the bottom of the eighth off Daniel Turpen, who spoiled a good day by Stephen Fife and Ryne Reynoso. Fife allowed 2 runs, 1 earned in 4.0 innings, and Reynoso tossed 3.0 hitless, scoreless innings of relief. Lavarnway and Matt Sheely had 2 hits apiece in the loss.

Kyle Fernandes made it interesting in the ninth, but Salem held on for a 5-4 win in over Myrtle Beach (ATL). All but one of Salem's runs were unearned, with the winning run coming when Ronald Bermudez reached on an error and 2 runs scored. Miguel Gonzalez struck out 7 in 5.0 innings of two-hit, one-run ball, and Mark Holliman gave up a pair in 3.0 innings. Fernandes allowed a run in the ninth, but finished off the save. Alex Hassan was 2 for 3 with an RBI double in the win.

The opener of Greenville's crucial series with Asheville was postponed. The Drive are currently 1.0 game back of the first-place Tourists.

In the first game of their doubleheader with Staten Island (NYY), Lowell fell 5-1. Keith Couch and Tyler Lavigne each went 3.0 innings, with Couch allowing 3 runs and Lavigne 2. Jose Garcia hit a solo home run, and Josue Peley was 2 for 3 with a double.

Lowell lost the second game as well, this one a 5-2 decision. Madison Younginer took the loss, giving up 3 runs, 2 earned in 4.1 innings. Tyler Lockwood gave up 2 runs in 1.2 innings of relief, and Bryce Brentz was 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI in the loss.

The GCL Red Sox stayed in the thick of the playoff race with a 7-1 win over the Rays. Yieper Castillo allowed a run in 1.2 innings on a rehab assignment, and Juan Rodriguez struck out 7 while limiting the Rays to 3 hits in 4.1 shutout frames. Sean Coyle doubled and scored 3 runs, while Jason Thompson was 2 for 4 with a home run and 3 RBI. Trygg Danforth and Moko Moanaroa drove in a run each, and Mike Gleason struck out 5 in 3.0 innings of relief.

Player of the Night: Fabio Castro lowered his ERA to 4.84 with his eight-strikeout, four-hit performance in Pawtucket's win Thursday.