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June 6, 2011 at 6:50 AM

Balcom-Miller dazzles in Portland's convincing victory

6/6 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates lost a few very close games yesterday, with several impressive individual efforts highlighting the day.

Pawtucket lost a tough one against Durham (TB), 5-4. The two teams went back and forth all game. Pawtucket entered the bottom of the 7th with a 4-3 lead before allowing the tying run in that frame and the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. Lars Anderson went 1-5 with a double and 2 RBI. Hector Luna was the only member of the lineup to collect multiple hits, as he went 2-5 with a double. Jose Iglesias went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Iglesias has been having great at-bats recently. In his last 6 games, he has earned 4 walks versus only 1 strikeout. Matt Fox started for the Pawtucket. The righty went 5 innings and allowed 6 hits and 3 runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out 5. Jason Rice went 3 innings and allowed 2 hits and a run. He did not walk a batter and struck out 3. The recently-demoted Michael Bowden took the loss as he had one of his worst outings of an otherwise solid season. Bowden did not retire a batter in the 9th inning, and allowed 1 hit, 1 run and 2 walks.

Portland throttled Altoona (PIT) by a score of 12-4. Chi-Hsien Chang went 2-5 with a home run and 4 RBI. It is Chiang’s 3rd straight game with a home run. The decision by the Red Sox to have him repeat AA this year has proved to be a solid one. After hitting just .260 last season with a .732 OPS, Chiang is hitting .313 this year, with 9 home runs and a .980 OPS. Tim Federowicz went 3-4 with a walk, a home run and 2 RBI. Alex Hassan went 2-5 with a homer and 2 RBI. Though he has cooled off considerably recently, Hassan still leads the Eastern League in OBP (.460) and ranks 2nd in batting average (.340). Will Middlebrooks contributed a 3-5 performance with 2 RBI. Middlebrooks has been scorching recently, as he is 13 for his last 27 at the plate. Chris Balcom-Miller got the start for the Sea Dogs, and though he did not need to be superb with all the run support, he was anyways. Balcom-Miller went 5 innings and allowed just 3 hits and a run. He walked 1 and struck out 7. The victory was Balcom-Miller’s first since being promoted to Portland.

Salem managed just 5 hits as they were doubled up by Frederick, 6-3. Dan Butler and Kolbrin Vitek were the only members of the team to collect hits. Butler went 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI. Vitek went 3-4 with a double. Drake Britton toed the rubber for Salem and was on his way to a solid outing before imploding in the 5th. Britton entered the inning with just 1 run allowed, but gave up 4 hits and 4 runs in the inning without retiring a batter. His final line was 4 innings pitched, 7 hits and 5 runs allowed. The Drake walked 1 and struck out 4. Anatanaer Batista relieved Britton. He went 2.1 innings and allowed a hit and a run, while walking 1 and striking out 2. Kendal Volz pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.

Greenville didn’t score until the 8th inning, and it was a case of too little, too late as they lost to Lexington (HOU), 3-1. Miles Head went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Head is 11-21 (.524) over his last 5 games. David Renfroe went 2-3 with a double and a walk. Manny Rivera started for the Drive and was the tough luck loser. Rivera threw 6 great innings, allowing just 4 hits and 2 runs. He walked 1 and struck out 5.

The DSL Red Sox won a marathon, beating the DSL Mets, 4-3, in 13 innings. Alixon Suarez went 2-5 with an RBI and a walk. Cleuluis Rondon went 2-6 with an RBI and a walk. Andres Garcia went 1-5 with 2 walks, and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th on a wild pitch. Sully Bonnelly started for the DSL Sox. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 hits and a run. He walked 2 and struck out 5. Ellis Jimenez went 3.2 scoreless innings to earn the victory. He allowed just 1 hit, did not walk a batter and struck out 3.

Player of the Day: Chris Balcom-Miller, who threw 5 stellar innings in Portland's 12-4 win over Altoona. Balcom-Miller allowed just 3 hits and a run in his 2nd start for Portland, and recorded 7 strikeouts.