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June 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Solid bullpen efforts lift Pawtucket and Salem to wins

6/29 Cup of Coffee: Only three of the seven Red Sox affiliates notched victories, but the Greenville Drive and the GCL Red Sox fell short by only a run.

The Pawtucket Red Sox were able to overcome an early five-run deficit to beat the Rochester Red Wings (MIN), 8-6, in the first game of the series. Major league veteran Kevin Millwood struggled in his 4.0 innings of work, yielding 9 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, and striking out 6. The bullpen, on the other hand, was flawless. Jason Rice, Scott Atchison, and Randy Williams combined for 5.0 scoreless innings. Che-Hsuan Lin, Daniel Nava, Ryan Lavarnway, and Lars Anderson started off the fourth inning with consecutive singles en route to a key four-run inning. Lin, Nava, Anderson, Hector Luna, and Brent Dlugach each had two hits.

Kyle Fernandes yielded a first-pitch home run to Deibinson Romero to start the top of the ninth inning, technically in extra innings, as Portland fell to the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 2-1, in the first game of the teams' doubleheader. The late home run spoiled Sea Dogs ace Alex Wilson's excellent outing. Wilson scattered 5 hits over 5.2 innings and struck out 5 batters, though he struggled with his command as he also walked 5. The Sea Dogs scored their lone run in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Alex Hassan to take a 1-0 lead, but the Rock Cats got one back in the sixth to chase Wilson and tie the game. Hassan and Mitch Dening each had two hits in the game.

The Sea Dogs came back with a vengeance in the nightcap, beating the Rock Cats, 12-5. In his first start since his rehab stint with the Lowell Spinners,
Michael Lee struggled, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits in 3.2 innings. Portland rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a 5-5 tie. Dening, Ryan Khoury, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Matt Spring, and Jonathan Hee each had extra base hits. Caleb Clay notched the victory, allowing one run on two hits and striking out three over 3.1 innings.

Salem's Tom Ebert, Jeremiah Bayer, and Will Latimer combined to shut out the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX), 7-0. Ebert allowed only three baserunners over his 5.0 innings of work (1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 hit batter), and struck out 2 to get the win. Salem scored four runs in a wild bottom of the fifth inning in which a hit batter, a passed ball, and three errors contributed. David Mailman went 3-for-5, and Wilfred Pichardo had 2 RBI. In his Carolina League debut, first baseman Miles Head hit a double. Outfielder Pete Hissey left the game with an injured ankle.

The Greenville Drive scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come within a run of the Asheville Tourists (COL) before falling, 8-7. Henry Ramos brought in the first two runs of the frame with a double, followed by a walk to
Xander Bogaerts. However, the rally, and game, ended when Bogaerts was thrown out trying to reach third on David Renfroe's single to center, which brought in Ramos. After giving up a two-run home run in the second, Drive starter Keith Couch retired 10 of the next 13 batters he faced before running into trouble in the sixth. Couch gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits over 5.1 innings. He walked none and struck out 4. Greenville scored three runs in both the sixth and ninth innings, but ended up stranding a runner in scoring position in both innings. Brandon Jacobs, Renfroe, and Lucas LeBlanc each had multi-hit games.

The Lowell Spinners were only able to plate just one run in the game's first eight innings, bowing to the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK), 7-3. The sole run before the Spinners brought in a pair i the ninth came on a home run from third baseman
Travis Shaw. Will Middlebrooks hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, his third home run in as many games on his rehab assignment. Lowell starter Hunter Cervenka's recent struggles continued, as he gave up 5 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and failed to record a strikeout. Swen Huijer had considerably more success in relief, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing just an unearned run. He scattered four hits, walked three, and struck out two. An unlikely candidate to record the only scoreless line for the Spinners, outfielder Moko Moanaroa threw a scoreless ninth, allowing only 1 hit.

The GCL Red Sox lost a close one to the Rays in Port Charlotte, 4-3. Starter
Mario Alcantara allowed 2 unearned runs over 5.0 innings, yielding 4 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 2. The Rays broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the seventh, scoring on a fielder's choice and a wild pitch from John Killen, who took the loss. Despite going hitless, Kendrick Perkins and Jose Vinicio each had an RBI on a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly, respectively. Jose Colorado went 2-3 with an RBI, and Matt Gedman scored two runs, while the Sox' five through nine hitters went 0-for-17 with a walk.

In the Dominican, the DSL Sox scored first on an RBI single from
Aneudis Peralta, but that would end up being their only run of the day as they lost to the A's, 7-1. Sully Bonnelly was unable to escape the second inning, allowing 2 runs in the first and 5 in the second on 4 hits and 3 walks. However, after the second inning, Oscar Melendez, Carlos Pinales, and Ellis Jimenez combined for 6.2 scoreless innings. Robert Del Rosario paced the Sox offense, going 2-for-5 with a double.

Player of the Day: Tom Ebert, who pitched 5.0 shutout innings, allowing only 3 baserunners, striking out two.