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August 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Ebert and Greenville's legs keep Drive in first

8/10 Cup of Coffee: Monday was a down day for everybody except Greenville, who remained in first place thanks to some speed on the base paths and dazzling pitching.

A pitcher's duel became a heartbreaking affair as Pawtucket fell in the ninth to the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY) 2-1. Rich Hill was magnificent in his 5.0 innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out 6. Chad Paronto followed Hill with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief. Robert Manuel picked up the loss as he went 1.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. The game was scoreless until the ninth when Pawtucket struck first on Jack Hannahan's RBI single. Unfortunately for the PawSox, a walk off home run in the bottom of the inning propelled their arch rivals to victory. Bubba Bell was 3 for 4 with 2 doubles to lead the Pawtucket offense which was a dismal 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Carlos Delgado was 0 for 3 in his Pawtucket debut.

Salem suffered their third straight defeat as they were overrun by the Kinston Indians (CLE) 5-2. Mike Lee got the start for the Red Sox and went 6.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits while striking out 4. Kyle Fernandes tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and Patrick Ryan completed a scoreless ninth inning. Salem's only runs of the evening came in the sixth on a Daniel Butler RBI double and an Oscar Tejeda RBI single. Alex Hassan and Pete Hissey were both 2 for 4 with a double to lead the Red Sox offense.

Speed and pitching drove Greenville over the Rome Braves (ATL) 4-2. Drake Britton tossed the first 3.2 innings, allowing 2 unearned runs on 5 hits while striking out 2. Tom Ebert relieved Britton and was outstanding, hurling 5.1 innings, allowing just one hit and 2 walks while punching out 7 to pick up the victory. Down 2-0 in the third, Michael Almanzar and Sean Killeen both notched RBI singles to give Greenville a 3-2 lead. A wild pitch in the seventh gave the Drive their final run of the night. Five stolen bases including Jeremy Hazelbaker's league leading 52nd contributed to the victory. Almanzar committed his 31st error of the season in the third on a muffed catch on a throw from catcher Christian Vazquez.

Lowell's game against the Auburn Doubledays (TOR) was cancelled due to rain. The Spinners do not travel back out to Auburn again this season and the game will not be made up. Lowell begins a six game home stand this evening against the State College Spikes (PIT).

The GCL Red Sox were shut down by the GCL Orioles (BAL) 5-1. Francisco Tavares pitched the first 2.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out 3. Scott Swinson followed Tavares with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Matt Phillips added 4.0 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just 4 hits on his way to punching out 4. John Killen made his professional debut in a scoreless ninth inning. The Red Sox lone run of the contest came in the eighth on Keury De La Cruz's solo home run.

The DSL Red Sox could not hold an early lead as they were defeated by the DSL Astros (HOU) 5-4. Luis Diaz tossed 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks. Francellis Montas relieved Diaz with an inning of scoreless relief. William Cuevas pitched the final 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while punching out 3. The Red Sox struck early by scoring on a Xander Bogaerts RBI ground out in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Dreily Guerrero laced an RBI single in the second inning to expand the Red Sox lead to two. In the third, a Jair Bogaerts RBI single plated two more to give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead. The lead was erased the very next inning and the Red Sox allowed the winning run in the eighth as they dropped their third straight.

Player of the Night: Tom Ebert, who secured a Greenville victory by tossing 5.1 innings of relief, allowing just 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 7 to pick up his ninth win of the year.