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September 5, 2010 at 7:54 AM

Balcom-Miller helps Greenville playoff push

9/5 Cup of Coffee: Greenville stayed ahead of Asheville in the SAL playoff race Friday night, while a 2010 draftee gave Lowell fans a taste of things to come in his debut.

Rich Hill gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings in Pawtucket's 6-1 loss to Scranton/Wilkes Barre (NYY). Chad Paronto allowed an earned run but retired all 4 batters via the strikeout, and Santo Luis walked 2 in an inning of scoreless relief. Mark Wagner had 2 hits in the loss, while Jorge Jimenez collected the PawSox' only RBI in the loss.

Anthony Rizzo homered and Nate Spears drove in 3 in Portland's 6-4 win over New Hampshire (TOR). Jeremy Kehrt fanned 7 in 5.0 innings of two-run ball, and Ryne Lawson tossed 3.0 shutout innings before Eammon Portice made it interesting by allowing a pair to score in the ninth. Ryan Lavarnway and Luis Exposito had RBI, and Jose Iglesias added 2 hits for the Sea Dogs.

In the completion of a suspended game from last month, Miguel Gonzalez and Zach Hammes combined on a three-hit shutout as Salem topped Winston-Salem 2-0. Gonzalez threw 3.0 innings of two-hit shutout ball on the original date, and Hammes struck out 6 in 4.0 innings of scoreless relief. Will Middlebrooks and Adalberto Ibarra drove in a run each, and Oscar Tejeda was 2 for 3 in the win.

Salem managed just 6 hits in game two, a 3-1 loss to the Dash. Dan Butler had the Sox' only multi-hit game and RBI, while Mitch Dening and Ronald Bermudez doubled in the losing effort. Caleb Clay allowed 3 earned on 6 hits in 6.0 innings, and Chris Court struck out 2 in a scoreless seventh.

In his organizational debut, Chris Balcom-Miller allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 6.0 shutout innings in Greenville's 10-2 win over Hickory (TEX). Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a three-run home run in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth, while Michael Almanzar hit a solo homer in the win. Jeremy Hazelbaker was 2 for 5 with 3 RBI, while Pedro Perez and Anatanaer Batista combined for 3.0 innings of shutout relief.

Chris Hernandez struck out 2 and allowed an earned run in 2.0 innings in his debut as Lowell lost 6-2 to Hudson Valley (TB). Tyler Lavigne gave up 5 runs in the sixth inning and Stephen Fox struck out 4 in 2.2 innings of relief. Felix Sanchez went 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored and Bryce Brentz was 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored in the loss.

:Player of the Night Reynaldo Rodriguez continued his furious end to the season with a pair of home runs in Greenville's 10-2 win Saturday night.