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August 20, 2010 at 6:59 AM

Spinners drop 11-inning heartbreaker

8/20 Cup of Coffee: Lowell stormed back from a 7-0 deficit only to see another late lead slip away, but it'll take a lot more than that to dampen the buzz surrounding Anthony Rizzo, who went yard twice in Portland's win Thursday.

Pawtucket couldn't muster much offense in a 5-2 loss to Lehigh Valley (PHI). Adam Mills surrendered 4 runs on 7 hits in 6.0 innings, and Santo Luis allowed a run and struck out 3 in 2.0 frames of relief. Fernando Cabrera tossed a scoreless ninth, and Jack Hannahan hit a solo home run in the eighth.

In some good old day baseball in Portland, the Sea Dogs came back from a 6-0 deficit to beat Altoona (PIT) 9-8. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo shot in the sixth and a grand slam in a six-run seventh, while Luis Exposito and Ryan Lavarnway added solo home runs in the comeback. Kyle Weiland was burned for 6 runs in 4.0 innings, but Ryne Lawson pitched well in 3.0 scoreless innings of relief. Ryne Reynoso made it interesting, allowing 2 runs in the eighth before holding on for the save. Nate Spears also hit a two-run home run in the win.

Mother nature refuses to cooperate with Salem, washing out today's scheduled double-header.

Greenville jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the bullpen gave it back late in a 5-2 loss to Lexington (HOU). Jeremy Hazelbaker and Sean Kileen drove in runs in the top of the first and Ryan Pressly held the lead, striking out 6 in 6.0 scoreless innings. Armando Zerpa gave up 4 runs in the seventh to take the loss and Jordan Flasher allowed 1 in the eighth. Michael Almanzar had 2 hits, and Wilfred Pichardo walked 3 times in the loss.

Lowell powered back from a 7-0 first inning deficit to take a two-run lead, but dropped an 10-9 heartbreaker to Vermont (WAS) in 11 innings. Keith Couch didn't make it past the first, but Tyler Lavigne struck out 7 in 5.0 innings of one-hit, shutout ball to allow the Spinners to mount a comeback. Kolbrin Vitek and Miles Head led the charge, with Vitek driving in a pair and Head pushing 3 across. After Lowell took a 9-7 lead, Garret Rau allowed 2 runs in 4.0 innings to send it to extras, and Wilson Matos took the loss in the eleventh. Brandon Jacobs, Josue Peley, and Chia-Chu Chen drove in a run in the loss.

Juan Rodriguez picked up his fourth win of the season, striking out 6 in 5.1 innings in the GCL Red Sox' 9-6 win over the Orioles. Rodriguez surrendered 3 runs on 9 hits, and Luis Bastardo held the O's scoreless until the ninth, where he allowed 3 runs and made way for Matt Phillips, who retired the final two batters for the save. Heiker Meneses, Trygg Danforth, and Jordan Sallis drove in 2 runs apiece, while Willie Holmes and Henry Ramos had 2 hits and an RBI for the winners.

In DSL action, the Red Sox fell to the Astros 6-1. Javier Gutierrez had 3 hits while Dreily Guererro and Jesus Loya collected 2 apiece. Mario Alcantara allowed 5 runs, 4 earned in 2.1 innings, and Kiler Gil delivered 4.2 innings of shutout relief. Ricardo Betancourt allowed an unearned run in the eighth, and Xander Bogaerts drove in the Sox' only run of the morning.

Player of the Night: Anthony Rizzo continued his torrid second half Thursday, going 3 for 4 with two dingers and 5 RBI. He's driven in 15 runs and hit 5 home runs in his last 10 games, and has 18 in 90 Double-A games this season.