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August 17, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Dening pushes Salem in key victory

8/17 Cup of Coffee: While most of fans attention was on the draft signing deadline, Salem pulled off the lone affiliate victory on a day where close losses were the norm.

Pawtucket hung around but were overtaken by the Buffalo Bisons (NYM) 5-3. Fabio Castro received the start and went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits while striking out 4. Robert Coello followed Castro and allowed 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 4 in his 3.0 innings of work. Tommy Hottovy pitched 0.2 innings, allowing 2 hits. Down 1-0 in the fourth, Pawtucket tied the contest on Jack Hannahan's RBI double. Yamaico Navarro's two-run home run in the seventh brought the PawSox to within one but they failed to muster any threats in the final two innings.

Looking to stay in first, Salem narrowly escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS). Stolmy Pimentel was outstanding on the way to his eighth victory, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a pair of walks. Seth Garrison tossed a scoreless seventh inning and Kyle Fernandes picked up his tenth save for his 2.0 innings in which he allowed 2 runs on a hit and a walk. The Red Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third as Mitch Dening laced a two-run home run. Oscar Tejeda would expand the lead in the fourth as he scored on a double play ball. Up 3-1 in the eighth, an error by the Winston-Salem right fielder brought home the Red Sox crucial fourth run. Dening was 3 for 5 with a home run, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored to lead the Salem offense.

Greenville's late lead evaporated due to shoddy bullpen work as they fell to the Asheville Tourists (COL) 4-3. Drake Britton turned in a solid effort in his 5.0 innings on the mound, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Tom Ebert picked up the loss for his 3.1 innings of relief during which he allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks while punching out 6. Dennis Neuman came in to try and stop the bleeding in the ninth but allowed the decisive walk off single. An error by the Asheville shortstop in the first allowed the Drive to plate its first run of the evening. Derrik Gibson's RBI single in the third gave Greenville a 2-0 advantage. In the fourth, Shannon Wilkerson laced an RBI double which put the Drive on top 3-0. Asheville scored twice in the fifth and took advantage of a loss of control by Ebert in the ninth to rally for a victory. Wilkerson and Reymond Fuentes each had two hits to lead the Greenville offense.

A back-and-forth game broke the wrong way as the GCL Rays stung the GCL Sox 6-4. Sergio Gomez got the start and went 3.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. Michael Gleason followed Gomez with 5.0 innings of relief, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits. Justin Erasmus picked up the loss for his lone inning of work in which he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and a walk. The Red Sox scored singular runs in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth on solo home runs by Jose Vinicio and Jason Thompson in addition to an Adalberto Ibarra RBI ground out and sacrifice fly. The Red Sox never held a lead in the contest but were tied heading into the ninth before the Rays scored two to bring home the win.

The DSL Red Sox lost a heartbreaking 4-3 extra inning contest to the DSL Pirates. Yunior Ortega was solid during his 6.0 innings on the mound, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits while striking out 4. Sully Bonnelly provided 3.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 4 hits. Ellis Jimenez took the loss as he went 1.1 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. Down 1-0 in the fifth, a costly throwing error and an RBI ground out by Javier Gutierrez gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. With the game tied in the seventh, Curtney Doran smacked an RBI single to put the Red Sox temporarily on top 3-2. The lead evaporated in the bottom half of the inning and the Red Sox eventually fell in the eleventh on a wild pitch.

Player of the Night: Mitch Dening, who was 3 for 5 with a home run, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored in Salem's 4-3 victory.