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June 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Diaz' excellent outing leads Lowell to win

6/27 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates struggled on Sunday, losing 4 of 6 games.

Pawtucket faced a large early deficit, and their comeback attempt came up just short, as they lost to Indianapolis (PIT), 7-5. After 4 innings the PawSox were down 6-0. The team scored 5 runs later in the game, but it was not enough. Ryan Lavarnway went 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Lavarnway is positively murdering the ball since being called up to Pawtucket. He’s hitting .356 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. Che-Hsuan Lin went 2-5 with an RBI. Lars Anderson went 1-4 with 2 RBI, and Jose Iglesias went 3-4 with a double from the 9 hole in the order. Iglesias’ double was the only extra-base hit of the game for the team. Felix Doubront started for Pawtucket and took the loss. Doubront went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and 6 runs (4 earned). He walked 2 and struck out 3. Michael Bowden came on in relief and allowed a run on 4 hits over 2 innings. Bowden did not walk a batter and struck out 3.

Portland could not produce much offense on Sunday, as they lost to New Hampshire (TOR), 7-3. The team faced an early 6-0 deficit like the PawSox, but did not come as close to capping off a comeback as their AAA affiliate. Besides a 5th inning that saw them score all 3 runs, the Sea Dogs managed just 1 hit in the entire game, a 3rd inning single off the bat of Oscar Tejeda. Tejeda went 1-2 with a walk. Ryan Khoury went 1-3 with an RBI. Brock Huntzinger started for Portland and struggled yet again. Huntzinger allowed 7 hits and 6 runs over 4 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 4. One begins to wonder if there is something wrong with Huntzinger, as he has given up an astounding 84 hits and 44 earned runs in 56.1 innings this season.

Salem had just 3 hits in their game, as they lost to Myrtle Beach (ATL), 4-1. The lone offense came from Kolbrin Vitek (2-4) and Bryce Brentz (1-4, solo home run). Ryan Pressly started for Salem and pitched decently, despite taking the loss. Pressly allowed 8 hits and 3 runs over 6 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 3. In his first appearance for Salem since June 5, Anatanaer Batista gave up 2 hits and 1 run in 2 innings of work. He had been out with an undisclosed injury.

Greenville exercised the demons of the higher affiliates, as they mashed Lexington, 9-5. The game was actually a lot closer than the score would indicate, as Greenville scored 7 of its 9 runs in the 8th inning while Lexington scored all 5 of its runs in the 8th and 9th innings. Leading the way for the drive was Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs went 2-5 with a home run and 4 RBI. Christian Vazquez went 2-4 with a solo homer and a walk. Xander Bogaerts went 1-5 with a solo home run as well. All 3 of the Drive’s homers were hit in the monster 8th inning. Also contributing for Greenville were Heiker Meneses (3-5, RBI) and Miles Head (2-5, 2 doubles and an RBI). Manny Rivera started for the Drive and pitched superbly en route to earning his 5th win of the season. Rivera pitched 7 scoreless innings and allowed 5 hits (4 of which were singles). He did not walk a batter and struck out 6.

Lowell benefited from great pitching, as they beat Vermont (OAK), 4-1. Will Middlebrooks, DH’ing for Lowell as part of a rehab assignment, went 1-2 with a home run, 2 RBI and a steal. Jose Garcia went 2-4 with a double, while Matty Johnson went 1-2 with a walk. Johnson is 10-19 so far in Lowell, with 3 walks and has only struck out once. Luis Diaz started for the Spinners and twirled 5 shutout innings. Diaz surrendered only 2 hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 5. Luis Bastardo went 3 shutout innings in relief and allowed just 1 hit. He walked 2 and struck out 4. Chris Huseby came on in the 9th, and lost the shutout. He gave up a hit and a run, while walking 1 and striking out 1, in 1 inning of work.

The DSL Red Sox had only 3 hits, and generally that’s not going to get the job done against a team that puts up 8 runs on you, as they lost to the DSL Dodgers, 8-3. Deiner Lopez went 1-3 with an RBI and a walk. Jair Bogaerts went 1-3 with 2 runs scored. Edwar Garcia started for the DSL Sox and took the loss, though he did not get much help from his defense. Garcia went 3 innings and allowed 5 hits and 4 runs, none of which were earned runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out 5.

Player of the Day: Luis Diaz, whose 5 shutout innings led Lowell to a victory over Vermont. Diaz allowed just 2 hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 5.