SoxProspects News

April 21, 2011 at 3:39 AM

Salem brushes aside Hillcats, Hottovy's sparkling outing not enough for Portland

4/21 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket was cooled off as they searched for their eighth win in a row on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Portland dropped its second game in a row, and Greenville was doubled up by their rivals as Salem was the lone bright spot of the night amongst the affiliates.

Looking to continue their recent success, Pawtucket was the victim of a leaky bullpen as they were tripped up by the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 6-3. Left-hander Andrew Miller had perhaps his best outing of the season, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks in 6.0 innings of work. The PawSox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third, plating runs on Yamaico Navarro’s RBI single and Josh Reddick’s sacrifice fly. The Chiefs cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth, but Luis Exposito’s RBI single in the bottom half of the inning vaulted Pawtucket out to a 3-1 lead. The score would hold until the seventh, when the PawSox bullpen broke down. Tony Pena came in for the seventh inning, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits to take the loss. Rich Hill pitched 2.0 innings of relief to finish the contest, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits. Every member of the Pawtucket starting lineup had at least one hit in the loss.

An early deficit was too much to overcome as Portland was dropped by the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 5-3. Alex Wilson had a rough outing on the mound, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in just 3.0 innings of work. Down 4-0 in the third, the Sea Dogs benefited from two Binghamton errors to cut the lead in half. The offense remained quiet until the ninth, when Will Middlebrooks brought home the final Portland run with an RBI single. Tommy Hottovy was spectacular in relief, hurling 3.0 scoreless innings while allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5. Blake Maxwell added 2.0 perfect innings of relief to round out the game for the Sea Dogs.

In the lone affiliate victory of the evening, Salem continued its stranglehold on the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) with a 5-4 win. Left-hander Drake Britton turned in his best outing of the young season, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits while striking out 2. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, the Red Sox knotted the score on a Zach Gentile RBI single. Salem would pull into the lead in the fourth, when Michael Almanzar’s RBI double gave them a 2-1 lead. Lynchburg retaliated with two runs in the top of the fifth, but Salem evened the score at 3-3 when Matt Spring hit a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth. The Red Sox would grab the lead for good the very next inning as David Mailman walked with the bases loaded and Derrik Gibson lofted a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3. Anatanaer Batista picked up the victory for his 3.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while punching out 5. Mitch Herold notched his second save for pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Kolbrin Vitek was 3 for 4 with a walk and a run scored to lead the Red Sox offense. He has now raised his average to .300 after sitting at .148 at the beginning of the series with Lynchburg. The 9-2 start for Salem is the best in team history and they are now a perfect 6-0 against the Hillcats this season.

Greenville’s offense fell flat as they were beat back by the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 4-2. Brandon Workman fell to 0-2 on the season as he twirled 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits while striking out 4. Hunter Cervenka relieved Workman and tossed 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 4 walks. Greenville took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Miles Head’s two run home run, his fourth of the season. The early scoring was all Greenville could muster, as they went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position despite outhitting Charleston 7 to 5.

Player of the Night: Tommy Hottovy, who pitched 3.0 innings of scoreless relief allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5 in Portland’s 5-3 loss.

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