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April 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Salem holds off Potomac for only affiliate win of night

4/30 Cup of Coffee: In what wasn't exactly a day to remember for Red Sox affiliates, Pawtucket and Portland were both held scoreless while Greenville was clobbered, leaving Salem as the only affiliate with a victory.

Alfredo Aceves got the start for Pawtucket and yielded just two hits, but was saddled with the loss as the PawSox were blanked by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 3-0. Though he gave up just two third-inning singles, the right hander allowed those two runs to score, and also walked three across his five-inning outing. On the other side of the ball, the PawSox struggled with the bats after the first three frames. Yamaico Navarro tripled with two outs in the third to give Pawtucket its third hit of the game, but that would be the last hit allowed by IronPigs pitching. Lehigh Valley also did not pick up another hit after their two-run output in the third. Rich Hill, Scott Atchison, and Clevelan Santeliz all threw hitless innings of relief for Pawtucket.

Portland had similar struggles at the plate, as they were only able to scratch out three hits in a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Reading Phillies (PHI). Stolmy Pimentel is still in search of his first win with the Sea Dogs after dropping to 0-3 on the season. He finished his day with 5.0 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. Portland's best chance for a run came after Che-Hsuan Lin and Alex Hassan both walked to lead off the fourth inning. The next three Sea Dogs were set down in order, however, and Portland was held without a run. Pimentel gave way to Seth Garrison in the sixth, who allowed just 1 hit over 3.0 innings pitched to keep Portland in the game. Hassan's double in the sixth was Portland's only extra-base hit, and it gave Hassan a five-game hitting streak. In fact, it was his first game in the streak where he picked up just one hit-- he now has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats.

Salem used a three-run fourth inning to propel itself to a Carolina League-leading 15th win of the season, a 5-2 victory over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). After starter Pete Ruiz yielded a run in the top of the first, Salem tied it up when the speed of Jeremy Hazelbaker forced an obstruction call, allowing him to score from second on a groundout. With a pair of runners on in the fourth, Derrik Gibson doubled to center to score them both and break the tie. Gibson would come around to score on a Hazelbaker single to make it a 4-1 Salem lead. Ruiz gave up another run in the fifth, finishing his day with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits. The 23 year old walked just 1 while striking out 6. Jeremiah Bayer came on to replace Ruiz, throwing a scoreless final 3.2 innings to earn the long-form save. A Vladimir Frias solo home run in the sixth gave Salem its fifth run of the game.

Greenville fell behind early and could never recover, as they were blasted by the Greensboro Grasshoppers (FLA) 11-4. Greenville sent Kyle Stroup to the mound for the start, and for the third time in four outings, he allowed 6 or more runs. The 21 year old tossed just 2.2 innings, allowing 7 runs on 10 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 2. Dennis Neuman didn't fare much better on the mound than Stroup, as he was tagged for 4 runs (3 earned) in 2.1 innings pitched. After Neuman's day was done, Keith Couch dealt 4.0 shutout innings to drop his ERA to 1.13 on the season. Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the third, the Drive got two runs back Bryce Brentz's fifth home run of the year. Down 8-2 in the fourth, Jose Garcia knocked in a run on an RBI ground out. The only other Drive run came on a wild pitch in the seventh inning.

Player of the Night: Jeremiah Bayer
, who earned his first save for Salem by allowing just a hit and a walk over 3.2 innings pitched in a 5-2 win over Potomac. His ERA is now a stingy 0.53.