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September 7, 2010 at 5:01 AM

Reddick and Rizzo help Portland and Pawtucket end regular season on a high


9/7 Cup of Coffee: As the minor league regular season came to a close, Pawtucket and Portland used their lumber to bring home victories while Greenville and Salem closed the season in losing fashion.

Looking to end their losing season on a high note, Pawtucket edged the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 4-3. Ramon A. Ramirez evened his record to 5-5 on the year for his 5.2 inning performance in which he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. Tommy Hottovy added 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit. Chad Paronto tossed a perfect eighth inning and Fernando Cabrera notched his 22nd save of the year for a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The PawSox grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the second on an RBI double by James Kang and a two run home run by Josh Reddick. Gil Velazquez's RBI double in the fourth brought home what proved to be the game's decisive run. The rehabbing Jason Varitek went 1 for 3 as the designated hitter in the second game of his short rehab stint. Reddick was recalled to Boston following the contest.

Solid bullpen work and an opportunistic offense carried Portland past the rival New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 7-4. Alex Wilson collected his fourth Sea Dogs victory for his 5.0 innings of work, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. Kyle Fernandes followed Wilson with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just 2 hits. Daniel Turpen picked up his fourth save as a member of the Red Sox organization for his 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. After New Hampshire jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Portland responded with a Nate Spears solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Fisher Cat lead in half. In the third, a Ryan Lavarnway RBI single and a Luis Exposito RBI double gave Portland a 3-2 advantage. New Hampshire quickly retaliated and took a 4-3 lead after plating two in the top of the fourth but would give up the lead again in the bottom half of the inning. Jose Iglesias tied the game with his bases loaded sacrifice fly and Anthony Rizzo smacked a three run home run to put the Sea Dogs on top 7-4. Rizzo's home run gave him 25 on the season to go along with 100 RBI as he began the season with High-A Salem before moving up to Portland. Spears also collected his 20th home run, capping off the best season of his career by also setting a new high in RBI (82).

Despite collecting 12 hits, Salem was doubled up by the rival Winston-Salem Dash (CHW) 10-5. Starter Miguel Gonzalez was pounded in his 2.2 innings of work, allowing 7 runs on 9 hits to pick up the loss. Cesar Cabral did not provide much relief as he went 2.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. Will Latimer and Lance McClain threw well and combined to hurl the last 4.1 innings in scoreless fashion. Salem, already down 10-0 in the fifth, plated its first runs of the game in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring on a Drew Dominguez RBI ground out and a Ryan Dent RBI single. Drew Hedman laced an RBI double in the sixth to bring home another run, bringing the Red Sox within 7 at 10-3. In the eighth, Salem received their final two runs of the contest on a Jon Hee sacrifice fly and a Ronald Bermudez RBI single. Despite a great season, the Red Sox finished 7.5 games back of the Dash in the overall season standings.

With their attention focused on the playoffs, the Greenville Drive lost their season finale to the Hickory Crawdads (TEX) 5-3. Yeiper Castillo went the first 3.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks to pick up the loss. Manuel Rivera followed Castillo with 3.0 innings of relief, allowing just a hit and a walk. Jeremiah Bayer hurled a scoreless seventh and eighth inning while Anatanaer Batista allowed 1 run on 2 hits as he pitched the ninth inning. Sean Killeen knocked home the Drive's first run in the bottom of the first to cut the Hickory advantage to 2-1. Down 5-1 in the ninth, Greenville attempted to use some comeback magic, scoring on a Jose Garcia sacrifice fly and a Jeremy Hazelbaker RBI single. Unfortunately, the comeback dreams were crushed when Felix Sanchez was thrown out at home for the final out of the game. The Drive begin their playoff series with the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) at home on Wednesday evening at 7.

Players of the Night: Josh Reddick for his 2 for 3 evening that included a home run, 2 RBI and a run scored in Pawtucket's 4-3 victory. Anthony Rizzo who went 2 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored in Portland's 7-4 win.