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July 9, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Hassan helps Portland pounce all over Fisher Cats

7/9 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket, Portland and Lowell all found the winner’s column Friday as Greenville was edged; Salem was interrupted by rain and the GCL Sox stumbled in the latter innings.

Pawtucket took two out of three from the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) by winning a 5-4 contest. Kevin Millwood received the start, going 5.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Hideki Okajima moved to 5-0 as he pitched 2.0 flawless innings of relief, striking out 2. Michael Bowden also added 2.0 perfect innings, picking up his ninth save. The PawSox got on the board quickly in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a Lars Anderson RBI single. In the fifth, Alex Valdez led off the inning with a solo home run to put Pawtucket up 2-0. Syracuse responded in the bottom half of the inning with 4 runs and took a 4-2 advantage. Che-Hsuan Lin’s RBI ground out in the seventh helped Pawtucket chip away and pull within one, 4-3. In the eighth, an error by the Chiefs third baseman and a Ryan Khoury RBI triple vaulted Pawtucket to a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. Anderson was 3 for 5 with a double to lead the PawSox offense.

Portland clawed away at the rival New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), claiming an 8-3 victory. Alex Wilson improved to 8-4, hurling 5.0 innings while allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5. Kyle Fernandes tossed 3.0 innings of scoreless relief, allowing a hit and a walk while punching out 4. Cesar Cabral also notched a scoreless innings of relief, striking out 1. The red hot Chih-Hsien Chiang laced an RBI single in the first to put Portland up 1-0. In the third, the Sea Dogs took a 3-0 lead on an Alex Hassan RBI double and a run scoring double play. A Heiker Meneses RBI single, Hassan RBI double and an error by the Fisher Cat third baseman allowed Portland to grab a 7-0 lead in the fourth. Leading 7-3 in the sixth, the Sea Dogs grabbed their final run of the game on a Chiang RBI double. Chiang was 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI to lead the Portland offense.

Salem’s contest against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) was suspended in the second inning with Wilmington leading 2-0. The game will continue on August 26 as part of a doubleheader between the two squads.

Greenville lost its fourth in a row as they fell to the Rome Braves (ATL), 4-3. Keith Couch went 6.0 innings for the Drive, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 4. Juan Rodriguez picked up the loss for his 2.0 innings of work, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on a hit and a walk while striking out 2. Down 1-0 in the sixth, Greenville got on the board as Brandon Jacobs smacked an RBI double to tie the game, 1-1. With Rome leading 2-1 in the eighth, Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to knot up the score, 2-2. The Braves plated two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-2 lead. In the ninth, Greenville rallied for a run on a Michael Almanzar RBI ground out, but left a runner at second to end the game. Jacobs was the only member of the Drive to have a multi-hit contest.

Lowell’s offense remained in high gear as they chased away the Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL), 9-4. Jason Garcia pitched 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5. Braden Kapteyn added an inning of scoreless relief, walking 1 and striking out 2. Miguel Pena picked up the victory for his 3.0 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and a walk while striking out 2. Down 1-0 in the third, the Spinners plated three runs on a Seth Schwindenhammer solo home run, Keury De La Cruz RBI single, and a fielding error by the Ironbirds third baseman. Aberdeen would tie the game in the fourth and take a 4-3 lead after seven. Lowell wrestled the lead back in the eighth, scoring on a Travis Shaw RBI single and a costly Aberdeen error to take a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, the Spinners pulled away, scoring four runs on a Jose Garcia sacrifice fly, a two run home run by Garin Cecchini and a solo home run by Shaw. The home run by Cecchini was his first as a professional.

A day after being rained out, the GCL Red Sox could not find an answer for the GCL Twins (MIN) as they fell, 5-1. Sergio Gomez tossed 5.0 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 1. Francisco Tavares picked up the loss for his 3.0 innings of work, allowing 5 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 1. The Red Sox lone run of the game came in the fifth, when they took a 1-0 lead on a David Chester RBI double. Ryan Dent was 0 for 2 with a walk in the first game of his rehab assignment.

Player of the Night: Alex Hassan, who was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles, 3 runs scored, 3 RBI, a walk and an outfield assist in Portland’s 8-3 throttling of the Fisher Cats.