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May 12, 2011 at 4:17 AM

Brentz's scorching bat not enough to save Greenville from Tourists

5/12 Cup of Coffee: Not one team in the Boston system won Wednesday, with Pawtucket and Portland shut out and Salem and Greenville edged in close contests.

Despite outhitting their opponents 5 to 2, Pawtucket was shut out by the Gwinnett Braves (ATL) 2-0. Kyle Weiland dropped to 2-4 despite 6.0 stellar innings on the mound, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 4 walks, striking out 9. Dennis Neuman remained impressive in his leap to Triple-A, tossing 3.0 innings of scoreless relief, walking 1 and punching out 3. Gwinnett’s only hits and runs of the game came in the third, as Braves pitching held back the PawSox all evening. Matt Sheely was 3 for 3 to lead the Pawtucket offense.

A late morning start had the Portland offense in a slumber, as the Sea Dogs were blanked by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 3-0. Michael Lee picked up the loss despite turning in a quality start, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in his 6.0 innings of work while striking out a pair. Jeremy Kehrt hurled 2.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 1. Fisher Cat pitching picked up 10 strikeouts and allowed just 1 Portland hit, a Chih-Hsien Chiang single in the third inning. The Sea Dogs have now dropped 10 out of their last 13 contests and find themselves in sole possession of last place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.

A late game push was not enough to keep Salem from dropping a 3-2 decision to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC). Ryan Pressly picked up his first loss of the year, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, striking out 1. Mitch Herold contributed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief, allowing 1 hit and walking 2. Kendal Volz pitched a flawless eighth inning, striking out 1. In the third, Jeremy Hazelbaker’s RBI double gave the Red Sox an early 1-0 advantage. The lead was short lived however, as Wilmington plated two in the bottom half of the third and one more in the fourth to go in front 3-1. Salem pulled within one in the eighth, receiving a Kolbrin Vitek RBI single. The Red Sox left a runner on third in the ninth, as their attempt to tie up the contest fell just short. Hazelbaker, Vitek and Shannon Wilkerson each had two hits to lead the Salem offense.

Another outstanding performance from Bryce Brentz was not enough to keep Greenville from being overtaken by the Asheville Tourists (COL) 10-8. Anthony Ranaudo once again struggled against the Tourists, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 in just 2.2 innings of work. Ranaudo’s last start against Asheville on April 30 was also a struggle, as he allowed 6 runs on 6 hits in just 1.2 innings. Of the 12 earned runs Ranaudo has allowed this year, 11 have been to the Tourists. Scott Swinson followed Ranaudo out of the bullpen and was absolutely outstanding, tossing 3.1 flawless innings, striking out 8. Tyler Lockwood picked up the loss, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in his 2.0 innings of relief. Down 3-0 in the third, Brentz smashed a three run home run, his eighth of the season, to tie the game at 3-3. In the fourth, Lucas LeBlanc hit his first professional home run, a two run blast, to knot the score at 5-5. Greenville grabbed the lead in the fifth, as Brentz laced an RBI double to give the Drive a 6-5 advantage. Asheville knotted the game up in the seventh, but Felix Sanchez’s RBI single in the top of the eighth put the Drive on top again 7-6. The Tourists put away the game in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four times to jump out on top 10-7. The Drive attempted a rally in the ninth, bringing home a run on a Christian Vazquez RBI ground out, but ultimately fell short. Brentz was once again the star for Greenville, extending his hitting streak to 23 games and his on base streak to 32 games, as he added his 13th multi-hit game of the season.

Player of the Night: Bryce Brentz, who went 4 for 5 with a two singles, a double, home run, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored in Greenville’s 10-8 loss to Asheville.