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May 7, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Ranaudo dazzles as Greenville maintains tie atop Southern Division

5/7 Cup of Coffee: The top Red Sox affiliates were downed last night, while Salem and Greenville earned victories thanks to great efforts on the mound.

Pawtucket was beat up throughout its game and was handily dispatched by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY) 10-1. Kyle Weiland battled through 5.1 innings, but gave up 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7 and walking 3. Clevelan Santeliz came on to replace Weiland in the sixth and struggled, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) in his 0.2 innings pitched. Jason Rice pitched the final two innings for the PawSox and yielded 1 run on 3 hits. The only Pawtucket run came in the top of the ninth on a Nate Spears single. Lars Anderson was a bright spot for the PawSox with a 2-for-4 day. He's hit at a .349 clip over the last 10 games. Pawtucket now sits at 15-13, 2.5 games behind the first-place Yankees.

Portland allowed a big ninth inning and although they started strong, fell to the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) 10-7. Trailing 2-0 in the first, Jorge Padron smacked a grand slam to right field, giving the Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead. Will Middlebrooks picked up an RBI single in the second to extend the Portland lead to 5-2. He tallied another RBI single in the fourth, while Ryan Lavarnway scored on a wild pitch to give the Sea Dogs a 7-2 lead. Starter Michael Lee allowed one more run in the fifth, finishing with a line of 5.0 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed. He also struck out 3 batters and walked 2. Jeremy Kehrt was next on the mound and pitched into the eighth inning, giving up a pair of runs in his final inning of work to cut Portland's lead to 7-5. Seth Garrison came on to replace him, and though he managed to hold the lead in the eighth, the right hander was knocked around in the ninth, yielding 5 runs and was saddled with the loss.

Salem took advantage of an outstanding outing from its starting pitcher and held off the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) 2-1. Chris Hernandez got the start and pitched brilliantly, hurling 6.0 innings of shutout ball, while striking out 4 batters and walking just 1. A solo home run from Peter Hissey in the top of the first gave Salem an early 1-0 lead . The 21 year old is now hitting .315/.343/.478 on the season. Mitch Herold replaced Hernandez in the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings to hold the lead. Salem tacked on another run in the eighth on a Michael Almanzar single to extend the lead to 2-0. Cesar Cabral came on in the ninth, and though he allowed an unearned run, pitched well enough to earn his league-leading 7th save as Salem held on for the win.

Greenville also cashed in on solid efforts on the mound as they squeaked out a 1-0 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS). 2010 first-round draft pick Anthony Ranaudo started for the Drive, and pitched 6.0 outstanding shutout innings, allowing just 1 hit while striking out 6 and walking just 1. The lone run of the game came in the third, when Heiker Meneses launched a solo home run to left-center field. The one single given up by Ranaudo was the only Intimidators hit of the game, as Juan Rodriguez and Dennis Neuman combined for a perfect final three innings to give the Drive the win.

Player of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, who tossed 6.0 innings of 1-hit ball, striking out 6 and walking 1 in a Greenville victory over Kannapolis. Ranuado's record now stands at 2-1. He's also posted a 2.30 ERA in his first professional season, while striking out 30 and walking 11 in 27.1 innings pitched.