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June 26, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Vazquez in driver's seat as Greenville remains hot

6/26 Cup of Coffee: With a full slate of minor league action on Saturday, Pawtucket, Portland, Salem and Lowell each found itself on the losing end of their games. Greenville remained red hot while the GCL and DSL Red Sox pulled out victories in close games.

Despite outhitting their opponents 11-6, the PawSox were chopped by the Indianapolis Indians (CLE), 6-5. Matt Fox got the starting nod for Pawtucket, going 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks. Jason Rice followed Fox out of the bullpen, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and striking out 4. Franklin Morales threw a scoreless inning of relief while striking out 2. Randy Williams picked up the loss for his 0.1 innings of work, allowing the winning run to score in the bottom of the ninth, allowing 2 walks and striking out 1. The PawSox wasted no time getting on the board in this one, as the first four runners reached base. The team plated three runs on a Hector Luna RBI single, Ryan Lavarnway RBI ground out, and a Nate Spears sacrifice fly. Lavarnway struck again in his next at-bat in the third, smashing a solo home run to give Pawtucket a 4-0 lead. Unfortunately for the PawSox, the Indians came right back and plated four runs of their own in the bottom half of the third to tie the contest. Down 5-4 in the ninth, Luna drove home his second run of the game on an RBI single to tie the game 5-5. In the bottom of the ninth, the Indians were aided by a hit by pitch, two walks and a wild pitch as they scored the winning run without the benefit of a hit. Brent Dlugach was 3 for 4 to lead the PawSox offense.

Portland continued to have issues with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) as they fell, 9-5. The rehabbing Bobby Jenks tossed a scoreless inning to start off the game, allowing 1 hit and striking out 1. Stephen Fife piggybacked Jenks, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks, striking out 4. Eammon Portice relieved Fife and did not fare much better, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 1. Oscar Tejeda’s RBI single in the second gave the Sea Dogs an early 1-0 advantage. With the game tied in the fifth, Portland broke through for 4 runs on a Chih-Hsien Chiang grand slam. The 5-1 lead was quickly erased by the Fisher Cats, as they scored eight runs over the final three innings to move to 7-2 against the Sea Dogs this season.

In a game where offense was at a premium and pitching ruled the day, Salem was edged 2-1 by the Kinston Indians (CLE). Chris Hernandez was the tough luck loser, dropping to 5-5 after his 6.0 inning outing during which he allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walks, striking out 3. Will Latimer added 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5. The game’s only scoring action came in the fourth, as Kinston struck in the top half of the inning for the 2 and Salem in the bottom half for 1 on a James Kang bases loaded walk. Salem only mustered four hits, with Kang and Kolbrin Vitek collecting 2 each.

Greenville’s offense remained in high gear as they beat back the Lexington Legends (HOU), 5-2. With the victory, Greenville is 9-1 in its last ten games, outscoring their opponents 58-21. Miguel Celestino moved to 6-4 on the year after a stellar 6.0 inning performance in which he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk, striking out 2. With the game scoreless in the third, Heiker Meneses laced a two out RBI single to commence the contest’s scoring. Christian Vazquez added a two run home run in the fourth to give Greenville a 3-0 lead. Lexington broke through for their only two runs of the game in the fifth. David Renfroe roped an RBI double in the sixth to give the Drive some breathing room, 4-2. Vazquez added an RBI double in the eighth to bring home an insurance run and give Greenville a 5-2 advantage. Vazquez was once again the star for the Drive, going 3 for 4 with a double, a home run and 3 RBI and is now hitting .306/.348/.661 in the month of June.

The Spinners continued to struggle as they were swept by the Tri-City Valley Cats (HOU), 6-4. Madison Younginer took the mound for Lowell, going 3.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3. Nefi Ogando picked up the loss, hurling 4.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, striking out 3. Michael McCarthy added an inning of relief, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 2. The Spinners offense got off to a quick start in this one, plating two runs in the first on bases loaded walks to Matty Johnson and Jayson Hernandez. A fielding error by the Tri-City second baseman in the second and a Joantoni Garcia RBI single in the third gave Lowell a 4-2 advantage after 3. The Valley Cats struck for 3 runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead and added an insurance run in the eighth to secure the 6-4 victory. Johnson was the offensive star for the Spinners, going 2 for 3 with a run scored, RBI and 2 stolen bases in the loss.

Solid bullpen work and some late offense pushed the GCL Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the GCL Twins (MIN). Francisco Taveras received the start for the Red Sox, going 6.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 2. Renny Parthemore followed Taveras with an inning of scoreless relief, striking out 1. Michael Olmsted picked up his first professional victory since 2008 as he tossed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, allowing a hit and a walk, striking out 2. In the fourth, the Red Sox struck first as Kendrick Perkins laced a two out, 2 RBI single to give the GCL squad a 2-0 lead. Down 4-2 in the seventh, the Red Sox would tie the game on a Nick Robinson RBI ground out and a Matthew Gedman RBI single. In the eighth, Robinson lofted a sacrifice fly to bring home what would turn out to be the winning run. Perkins was the leader of the GCL offense, going 3 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI.

A four run sixth inning gave the DSL Red Sox a 4-2 victory over the DSL Royals (KC). Jeffry Hernandez took the mound for the DSL squad, going 5.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 2. Ricardo Betancourt picked up his fifth win of the early season by tossing 4.0 innings of relief, allowing just 2 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Down 2-0 in the sixth, the Red Sox offense got into gear by plating 4 runs on an RBI single by Robert Del Rosario, an Aly Gonzalez bases loaded walk and a 2 RBI single by Jair Bogaerts.

Player of the Night: Christian Vazquez, who went 3 for 4 with a double, home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI in Greenville’s 5-2 victory over Lexington.