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June 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Lowell's opener ends in loss

6/18 Cup of Coffee: Lowell was defeated in its first game of the season, but it didn't damper what was a fairly successful day throughout the organization.

A four-run sixth inning was the difference in Pawtucket's 8-3 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). Though Brandon Duckworth allowed just two runs in the second, he did not make it out of the fourth inning. He finished with 3.2 innings pitched, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, the PawSox got one back thanks to Ryan Lavarnway's first home run at the Triple-A level. Lavarnway went deep again in the sixth-- this time a three-run bomb-- on the front end of back-to-back homers from he and Josh Reddick. Reddick also hit a three-run home run of his own in the eighth. Tony Pena, Jr. collected the win for Pawtucket while Scott Atchison earned the save.

With a run in the sixth inning, Portland went ahead of the Akron Aeros (CLE) by one and held on for the 4-3 win. The Sea Dogs grabbed two runs in the first inning on a single from Chih-Hsien Chiang. The Aeros responded with one of their own in the bottom half off of Chris Balcom-Miller and tied it in the second. Balcom-Miller was plagued by control issues, walking 5 in his 3.2 innings of work. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and fanned 4. With the score still tied in the fourth, Reynaldo Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch to take the lead for the Sea Dogs. With Seth Garrison on the mound in the fifth, Akron tied it again. But a sixth-inning RBI double from Jorge Padron proved the be the deciding factor.

Salem's game with the Potomac Nationals (WAS) was rained out. The two times will play a twi-night doubleheader today, with the first pitch of game one scheduled for 5:35 p.m.

Three pitchers combined for a shutout in Greenville, as the Drive blanked the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 5-0. Miguel Celestino fired 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. Juan Rogriguez and Justin Erasmus combined to throw the final three innings. Greenville got a run in each of the first two innings on a Brandon Jacobs groundout and a Lucas LeBlanc triple. The power showed up in the middle innings as a solo shot from Henry Ramos and a two-run blast from Jacobs gave Greenville their 5-0 victory.

It was opening day for Lowell yesterday, but they could not ring in the 2011 season with a victory, falling to the Connecticut Tigers (DET), 7-2. Michael Lee, who began the season with Portland, started on the mound for the Spinners, but only went 2.2 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits while walking 3 and striking out 2. With the Spinners trailing by two in the second, Seth Schwindenhammer got them on the board with a solo home run. After the Tigers scored two more runs, he picked up another RBI in the fourth on a sacrifice fly. Hunter Cervenka gave up three runs in his 3.1 innings of relief, while Swen Huijer allowed 1 run over the final 3.0 innings.

The DSL Red Sox went to extras, but eventually fell to the DSL Mariners (SEA), 4-2. The game was scoreless headed into the sixth as Sully Bonnelly delivered 5.0 innings of four-hit ball. He pitched to three batters in the sixth and loaded the bases with nobody out, but Oscar Melendez came on and got out of the jam. The Red Sox got the first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI groundout from Aly Gonzalez. They scored again the next inning thanks to an RBI single from Alixon Suarez. But the Mariners tied it in the eighth with a pair of runs, then scored two more in the 11th to win it.

Player of the Night: Ryan Lavarnway, who had a perfect night at the plate and also hit his first two Triple-A home runs. He went 3 for 3 with a walk, 2 homers and 4 RBI.