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July 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Hazelbaker's homers propel Portland

7/12 Cup of Coffee: Jeremy Hazelbaker and Mark Wagner's efforts led Portland and Salem to victory, respectively. Lowell lost a close one, but Madison Younginer recovered from a shaky first inning. Raul Alcantara's solid effort fell short for the GCL Red Sox.

Hazelbaker's two home runs, as well as a three hit day from Oscar Tejeda led the way to Portland's 9-5 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Felix Doubront, who has spent his entire season with Pawtucket, made a spot start for the Sea Dogs to keep on schedule. He hurled 5.0 innings, allowing 4 hits, an earned run, 0 walks, and struck out 9. Michael Lee followed him out of the bullpen and was not as strong, allowing 3 runs on back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning. The Fisher Cats scored a run, and threatened a comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning when Cesar Cabral loaded the bases, but Kyle Fernandes struck out Mike McDade to end the game. The Sea Dogs scored four runs in the second inning and five in the sixth inning. Hazelbaker hit a three run home run in each of those innings. Reynaldo Rodriguez also contributed with a solo shot to lead off the sixth inning, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Wagner's 3 hits and 3 RBIs backed a solid start from Ryan Pressly to lead the Salem Red Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS). Salem jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly from Miles Head and a solo shot from Wagner. Salem scored three runs in innings four and six to buffer its lead on two-RBI singles from Alex Valdez and Shannon Wilkerson, respectively. Jorge Padron also had three hits. Pressly threw 6.1 innings of three-hit ball, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, and only 1 walk.

Lowell's persistent efforts fell short in a 6-5 loss to the Hudson Valley Renegades (TB). Madison Younginer had a particularly troublesome first inning, but ended up striking out 7 batters over his 5.0 innings. The game itself started off on a rough note, when the first batter reached on a fielding error by Travis Shaw. A double and a home run followed, allowing the Renegades to jump out to a three run lead in the first. The Spinners were able to get a run back in the bottom of the first when Jose Garcia stole third base and scored on an errant throw by the pitcher. Garin Cecchini's solo shot in the third inning, and Jayson Hernandez's single to score Jason Thompson in the fourth shaved Lowell's deficit to only one run before Shaw made up for his error with a home run to tie the game in the sixth. However, Boss Moanaroa's error in the seventh cost the Spinners two runs. The Spinners got back a run in the eighth on a RBI single from Moko Moanaroa, but the side was retired in order in the bottom of the ninth to end a close game.

The Gulf Coast League Red Sox were unable to recover from four Oriole runs in the seventh, and lost, 7-3. Raul Alcantara (ed.'s note: the milb.com box shows Mario Alcantara as the pitcher, but it was Raul's day to pitch and Mario had started just two days ago on his normal day, so we are assuming this is a mistake) had a solid start, but allowed his first runs of the season, hurling 5.0 innings, yielding 2 runs, 5 hits, walking none, and striking out 3. Alcantara had held opponents scoreless for his first 16.1 innings this year before giving up a one-out RBI single in the first. John Killen allowed a run in his inning of work and wound up with the loss. Jennell Hudson struggled , and walked three batters before allowing a grand slam. Yunior Ortega, however, pitched two scoreless innings of relief. David Chester went 2-4 with a double. Ryan Dent, who is on a rehab assignment, Nick Robinson, and Jeremias Pineda each had an RBI.

Player of the Night: Jeremy Hazelbaker, whose two, three-run homers were pivotal in Portland's victory.