April 17, 2011 at 7:00 AM
4/17 Cup of Coffee: With rain falling up and down the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday, two games were postponed while another was suspended, leaving Greenville as the only affiliate to play its game to completion.
Pawtucket got through eight innings before play was called to a halt, and with the game against the Buffalo Bisons (NYM) tied, 1-1, the contest was suspended. Brandon Duckworth twirled 6.2 innings of one-run ball, allowing 3 hits and walking 1 while fanning 6. The PawSox got their only run in the fifth when Tony Thomas, on third with a leadoff triple, scored after Jose Iglesias reached on an error. In the seventh, Duckworth was pulled in favor of Hideki Okajima. Okajima inherited a runner on first, and allowed a double to the first batter he faced to tie the game. Josh Reddick doubled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games. The suspended game is scheduled to resume Sunday at 1:05 p.m, with the regularly scheduled game to follow.
Portland was scheduled to play the third game of a four-game series with the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), but it was rained out. The two teams will play Sunday at 1:35 p.m., but no makeup date was announced yet.
For the third time in five scheduled meetings, Salem and the Frederick Keys (BAL) were also washed out. The clubs will play a seven-inning doubleheader on Sunday, with game one scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m.
Greenville made up for the lack of baseball in the farm system by going to extras, but was knocked off by the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) 6-5 in 14 innings. Miles Head opened up the scoring in the top of the third with a solo home run to left. Greenville doubled their lead in the fifth after a ball hit by Brandon Jacobs was misplayed in the outfield, allowing Cristian Vazquez to score all the way from first. Drive starting pitcher Miguel Celestino pitched well through four innings, but allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in the fifth and was pulled with two outs in favor of Dennis Neuman. Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, Head picked up another RBI on a groundout to cut the lead to one. Savannah would answer right back though with a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh. A eighth-inning sacrifice fly from David Renfroe cut the Sand Gnats lead to one once more, and the Drive followed that up with a Jacobs RBI single in the ninth to tie it up. Jordan Flasher and Tyler Lockwood combined to throw five no-hit innings over the next five frames, but with pitching running low in the 14th, Greenville was forced to turn to infielder James Kang. A closer in college, but on the mound for the first time in his short professional career, Kang allowed back-to-back one-out doubles, and Savannah came away with the win. After having the day off on Friday, Bryce Brentz snapped an eight-game hitting streak with a frustrating 0-for-6 day at the plate.
Player of the Night: Miles Head, who went 2 for 5 with a home run and 2 RBI in a losing effort for Greenville. The 19-year-old is tied for the team lead in home runs on the young season with three.