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April 15, 2011 at 7:09 AM

Weiland dazzles, Hernandez locks down Salem sweep

4/15 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket stumbled in a doubleheader, Portland was the victim of a poor start on the mound and Greenville and Salem received stellar pitching performances from a pair of 2010 draftees.

In the first game of a day/night doubleheader, Pawtucket’s sloppy defense handed the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) a 3-2 victory. Kyle Weiland, looking to bounce back from a rough first start, went 4.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2 and punching out 10. Down 1-0 in the fifth, the PawSox grabbed a 2-1 on Ryan Kalish’s two-run double. Syracuse countered in the sixth, taking advantage of a Yamaico Navarro fielding error to plate the tying run. The game remained tied heading into the ninth, when Syracuse walked off with a win, thanks to errors from Jose Iglesias and Navarro. The Pawtucket offense was stymied most of the contest, as it only managed 5 hits, 2 of which came from the bat of Josh Reddick, who extended his hitting streak to 6 games.

Game two featured better defense from the PawSox, but their bats were still cold as they were swept away by Syracuse, 4-1. Matt Fox toed the rubber for Pawtucket, lasting just 2.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits. Clevelan Santeliz tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief and Hideki Okajima continued to impress by pitching a perfect 1.1 innings. Pawtucket’s lone run of the contest came in the fourth, when Nate Spears roped an RBI double that brought home Lars Anderson.

Looking to start its first road trip of the year off on the right foot, Portland was beat back by the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 6-2. Brock Huntzinger struggled in his 2.0 innings of work, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks. Eammon Portice and Seth Garrison combined to pitch 5.1 innings of relief without allowing a Rock Cat runner to reach base. Down 2-0 in the second, Will Middlebrooks cracked his second home run of the season to trim the Portland deficit in half. The Rock Cats extended their lead in the third inning, pushing across 4 runs to take a 6-1 advantage. The Sea Dogs would only muster one more run the entire contest, plating a run in the fifth when Oscar Tejeda scampered home on a passed ball. Middlebrooks and Ryan Dent both had multi-hit games to lead the Sea Dogs offense.

Salem completed its three game sweep of Lynchburg by dropping the Hillcats (ATL), 3-1. Chris Hernandez made his 2011 debut and pitched magnificently, twirling 5.0 innings and allowing just an unearned run on 1 hit and 2 walks. Kendal Volz followed Hernandez and contributed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief. Mitch Herold pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings for his first save of the season. The Red Sox got off to a hot start, scoring one on Reynaldo Rodriguez’s RBI single in the first. With the game knotted at 1-1 in the fifth, Salem scored the final runs of the game on back-to-back RBI doubles by Vladimir Frias and Peter Hissey. Hernandez faced a total of 17 Hillcat hitters, retiring 12 of them by groundout. In the three-game sweep of Lynchburg, the Salem pitching staff did not allow an earned run.

Greenville held rival Charleston to just 3 hits, blanking the RiverDogs (NYY), 3-0. Anthony Ranaudo made his second professional start, hurling 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. Garrett Rau picked up the victory for his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Tyler Lockwood recorded his first save with 2.1 perfect innings to close out the game. Greenville did not get on the board until the fourth, when Drew Hedman brought home two on an RBI single that was also aided by an error by the RiverDog right fielder. The Drive added an insurance run in the fifth, as Sean Coyle came home on Bryce Brentz’s RBI single. Greenville now stands at 6-2 and leads the Northern Division.

Players of the Night: Kyle Weiland and Chris Hernandez. Weiland went 4.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 in Pawtucket’s 3-2 loss. Hernandez picked up his first professional victory as he went 5.0 innings, allowing just 1 hit and an unearned run and 2 walks in Salem’s 3-1 win over Lynchburg.