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August 9, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Rizzo's big night not quite enough

8/9 Cup of Coffee: Sunday was not kind to the Red Sox organization, as every affiliate followed Boston and added a tally to the loss column. Still, a few individual performances stood out and shined in the darkness.

In similar fashion to their big league brethren, the Pawtucket Red Sox lost big to the Yankees, falling 12-3 to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. It was not a good night for Adam Mills, who allowed 7 runs in the first inning alone and wound up going 3.1, yielding 9 runs on 11 hits. Already down 8-0 after two, Yamaico Navarro’s first International League home run put Pawtucket on the board, a solo shot. The final two PawSox runs came courtesy of a Jorge Jimenez two-run bomb in the seventh, scoring Navarro. The left side of the Pawtucket infield did most of the damage offensively, in fact, as both men went 2 for 3 with a walk.

Despite scoring 8 runs on 10 hits, Portland still got routed by Richmond (SFG), losing 16-8 at home. In this one, it was Stephen Fife who took the beating, as the righthander allowed 11 runs on 13 hits in his 3.1-inning start. Eammon Portice, too, was roughed up, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits in 2.2 relief innings. Bryce Cox and Ryne Lawson kept things scoreless from there, but it was far too little, far too late. The Sea Dogs actually led 2-1 after the first in this one, as Nate Spears drove in a run with a double and was driven home in turn by Anthony Rizzo. But the Flying Squirrels scored 15 unanswered runs from there to make this one a laugher. Rizzo did his best to start a comeback, launching a three-run home run in the fifth, while Luis Segovia, Luis Exposito, and Jorge Padron drove in a run each in the eighth and ninth innings, but it simply wasn’t enough. Rizzo led the charge on offense, going 4 for 5 with 4 RBI.

Salem built a solid 4-1 lead but lost it all, eventually dropping a 5-4 decision to Wilmington (KC). After the Blue Rocks scored first in the second, the Red Sox came right back in the third, when Oscar Tejeda singled, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a Will Middlebrooks ground out. The Sox then scored three in the fourth, when Drew Hedman powered a ball out to right field for a three-run home run, his third in the Carolina League, to make it 4-1. That lead held up through the middle innings thanks to starter Brock Huntzinger, who went the first 6.0 frames and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 1 but not walking a batter. Will Latimer had a clean sevenths, but ran into trouble in the eighth, allowing 2 runs to tie the score. Seth Garrison came on for the ninth, but allowed a solo home run to give Wilmington the lead, and the Sox couldn’t pull it out in the bottom half. Tejeda had himself a 2-for-4 game in this one including a steal, while Ronald Bermudez also went 2 for 4 in his Salem debut.

Another early lead, another loss for Sox affiliates, as Greenville came out on the wrong side of a 6-4 game against Rome (ATL). After Ryan Pressly yielded 2 runs in the first, Greenville started a comeback with a Jeremy Hazelbaker sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the frame. Derrik Gibson drove home two in the second to help the Drive take the lead. After Rome tied things in the third, it was Hazelbaker again, this time with a solo home run straight out to center, giving Greenville a 4-3 lead. But after a clean first inning of relief, Pedro Perez gave up the lead in the seventh, allowing 3 runs in the inning. The Drive attempted a mini rally in the ninth, drawing back-to-back walks with two down, but couldn’t cash in. Hazelbaker was the leader at the dish, going 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 RBI, while Wilfred Pichardo pitched in with a 2-for-4 effort.

The rough road continued for Lowell on Sunday, as the Spinners narrowly avoided a shutout and wound up losing 9-1 to Auburn (TOR). Keith Couch started and got tagged with the loss, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 5.0 innings. Tyler Lavigne also had a tough day, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in his 2.0 relief innings. Stymied for most of the afternoon, Bryce Brentz broke up the goose egg with an RBI ground out in the ninth, but Lowell simply could not capitalize on the team’s limited chances, rapping out only 6 hits and going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. No Spinner had more than 1 hit, though DH Jose Iglesias did go 1 for 3 with a walk.

The GCL Red Sox and DSL Red Sox were idle on Sunday.

Player of the Night: Anthony Rizzo, who went 4 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBI in a losing effort.