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June 3, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Weiland dazzles in Pawtucket's shutout victory

6/3 Cup of Coffee: After a day filled with offense on Wednesday, pitching was the name of the game on Thursday. Pawtucket and Portland hurlers provided shutout victories while Salem pitchers locked down a close 3-2 decision. Greenville found itself mired in another back-and-forth offensive battle, losing the game in extras to one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Looking to take three out of four in the series, Pawtucket rolled the Norfolk Tide (BAL) 8-0. Starter Kyle Weiland was outstanding, tossing 6.0 shutout innings, allowing just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. Randy Williams, Tony Pena and Michael Bowden each contributed an inning of scoreless relief. With the game scoreless in the third, Pawtucket received RBI singles from Darnell McDonald and Hector Luna as well as a Brent Dlugach RBI double to take a 4-0 lead. The PawSox would go on to score singular runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings on a McDonald RBI single, as well as Tony Thomas and Daniel Nava solo home runs. In the eighth, Jose Iglesias poked an RBI single to give Pawtucket its eighth and final run. Nava, McDonald and Iglesias each had two hits to lead the Pawtucket offense.

Locked in a pitcher’s duel, the Sea Dogs shut out the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) 1-0. Brock Huntzinger made his return from the disabled list and hurled 6.0 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. Caleb Clay contributed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, walking 2 and striking out 2. Blake Maxwell picked up his fourth save for his 1.1 innings of relief, allowing 2 walks and punching out 2. The contest was scoreless until the seventh inning, when Will Middlebrooks smacked a solo home run to give Portland the 1-0 advantage.

Trying to gain a split of their four game series, Salem received solid mound work to nip the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) 3-2. Ryan Pressly moved to 4-4 on the year for his 6.0 stellar innings of work, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 1. Michael Gleason picked up the save in his Salem debut, tossing 3.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 4. In the third, the Red Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to an RBI double from Reynaldo Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly from Mark Wagner. Lynchburg would cut the lead in half in the fifth, but Salem responded with a David Mailman RBI double in the sixth to extend their lead to 3-1. The Hillcats rallied in the ninth, plating a run, but left a runner on second to end the contest. Michael Almanzar had 2 hits to lead the Red Sox offense.

A day after winning a slugfest, the Greenville Drive were burned by the Hagerstown Suns (WAS) 9-8 in 10 innings. Greenville starter Keith Couch was torched for 6 runs on 10 hits and a walk in his 5.0 innings of work, despite striking out 5. Juan Rodriguez relieved Couch and hurled 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, allowing 3 hits and a walk, striking out 4. Tyler Lockwood picked up the loss for his 2.0 innings of work, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Down 1-0 in the fourth, Greenville plated three runs in the top of the inning on a Henry Ramos sacrifice fly and a David Renfroe RBI single. Hagerstown matched the Drive’s fourth inning output and added two runs in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Christian Vazquez’s two run home run in the eighth brought Greenville to within one at 6-5. A wild pitch from Lockwood allowed the Suns to bring home another run in the bottom half of the eighth to give them a 7-5 advantage. In the ninth, the Drive rallied to tie the game at 7-7, thanks to a throwing error by the Hagerstown shortstop that allowed both runs to scamper home. The game went to extra frames and Greenville received a Ramos RBI single to take an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth. However, Hagerstown super prospect Bryce Harper smashed a two run walk off home run in the bottom half of the inning to sink the Drive.

Player of the Night: Kyle Weiland, who tossed 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 in Pawtucket’s 8-0 blanking of the Norfolk Tides.