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July 16, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Chiang powers Sea Dogs to victory over Rock Cats

7/16 Cup of Coffee: Red Sox affiliates went 2-5 on Friday, but a huge inning for Portland led the Sea Dogs to a come-from-behind win.

Carl Crawford was in the lineup on rehab for Pawtucket, and his presence helped lead to a PawSox victory, as they edged the Durham Bulls (TB), 3-2. Crawford played five innings and picked up an RBI single in his first at bat to give the PawSox a 1-0 lead. Durham tied the game in the third off of Kevin Millwood, who allowed just that run on 5 hits in 6.0 innings pitched. The right hander also walked 3 and fanned 5. With the score still tied in the fifth, Ryan Lavarnway broke the deadlock with a two-run home run to left. The Bulls managed to push one across against Jeremy Kehrt, but Randy Williams shut the door to earn his sixth save of the season.

Portland looked like it was on its way to second straight loss, but an eight-run eighth inning gave the Sea Dogs a 10-6 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). New Britain picked up single runs in both the third and fourth innings against Brock Huntzinger, but a two-run blast by Chih-Hsien Chiang in the bottom of the fourth tied the score at two. After allowing three more runs in the fifth, Huntzinger's day was done after 4.2 innings pitched and 5 runs allowed on 6 hits with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. With the Rock Cats still leading 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Portland's offense exploded. The big blows came on a two-RBI double from Mitch Dening as well as Chiang's second home run of the game, this one a three-run bomb. Leading comfortably, a run allowed in the ninth by Blake Maxwell did no real damage and Portland earned the victory.

Salem led early but could not hold on, falling to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX), 4-3 in 10 innings. The Red Sox got on the board early with a pair of runs in the first. Jorge Padron singled in the first run while the second RBI went to Daniel Butler on a sacrifice fly. Salem extended their lead to 3-0 on another RBI single from Padron. Anthony Ranaudo was stellar through the first six innings, shutting out the Pelicans. But it was a different story for the 21 year old in the seventh after allowing doubles to the first three batters of the inning. With the score now 3-2, Ranaudo was replaced by Jeremiah Bayer, who allowed Ranaudo's inherited runner to score and tie the game 3-3. Ranaudo finished the game with 6.0+ innings pitched, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 4 strikeouts. The game remained tied through nine and after Salem went down in order in the top of the 10th, the Pelicans won in walk-off fashion on a single from Zach Zaneski.

The bats were cold in Greenville as the Drive were unable to muster a run against the Lakewood BlueClaws in a 4-0 loss. Starter Scott Swinson did not allow a run in his outing. tossing 5.0 innings of shut out ball, with 4 hits allowed and 4 strikeouts. Lakewood got to the Greenville bullpen in the sixth, however, with a pair of runs off of Tyler Wilson. Wilson gave up another two runs in the eighth, though only one of those was earned. Felix Sanchez had the only extra-base hit and multi-hit game for the Drive, who totaled just five hits off of the four BlueClaws pitchers.

Lowell dropped its second straight contest in a 7-3 loss to the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI). Matty Johnson opened the scoring in the bottom of the third on an RBI single. But Williamsport took the lead thanks to runs in both the fourth and fifth. Johnson's fellow 2011 draft pick Miguel Pena gave up 1 run on 1 hit in a 4.0 inning start, striking out 5 in the outing. Swen Huijer was saddled with the loss after giving up 3 runs in his 3.0 innings of work out of the bullpen. The Spinners cut the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the seventh on a two-RBI double from Garin Cecchini. Williamsport got three more runs off of Corey Vogt, however, who went just 0.2 innings to put the game out of reach.

The struggles continued for the GCL Red Sox, as they dropped to 9-13 after a 5-0 shut out loss to the GCL Orioles (BAL). Mario Alcantara fell to 1-2 after allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 5.0 innings. He also walked 2 and struck out 1 in his outing. The Orioles also picked up two runs in the sixth against Jennell Hudson. Jesus Loya had two hits out of the leadoff spot, but the Red Sox offense managed just two more hits from the eight other batters in the lineup.

A late onslaught from the DSL Red Sox was not enough, as the DSL Pirates (PIT) hung on in a wild one, 9-7. Starter Edwar Garcia allowed just 1 run on 4 hits in his 4.0 innings, but the Pirates got to Jonathan Aro, who gave up 8 runs (7 earned) in 4.0 innings out of the bullpen. The game seemed out of reach with the Pirates leading 9-0, but RBIs from Aly Gonzalez and Cleuluis Rondon made it 9-2. The Red Sox scored five more runs on just one hit in the eighth to make it 9-7, but were unable to make it any closer.

Player of the Night: Chih-Hsien Chiang, who went 3 for 5 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI in Portland's 10-6 comeback win over New Britian.