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July 6, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Middlebrooks' heroic efforts lead Portland to sweep in doubleheader

7/6 Cup of Coffee: With an incredible 9 games played on Tuesday, the Red Sox affiliates took 5 of them with some great individual performances.

Pawtucket lost the first game of a doubleheader to Rochester (MIN), 13-3, in 7 innings. Offensively, Ryan Khoury went 2-3 with 2 RBI and a walk, while James Kang went 1-2 with an RBI. Matt Fox started for Pawtucket, and the all-star had his worst outing of an otherwise great season. Fox was tagged for 10 hits and 11 runs in 2.2 innings of work, including serving up 5 home runs. He walked 2 and struck out 3.

Pawtucket got revenge in the 2nd game, defeating Rochester, 4-2, in 7 innings. Ryan Lavarnway and Ronald Bermudez each went 3-4 with an RBI. Lars Anderson went 3-4 with a double, while Che-Hsuan Lin went 2-3 with a triple and 2 walks. Jeremy Kehrt started for Pawtucket and gave up 5 hits and 2 runs in 3.1 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 3. Hideki Okajima pitched 2 hitless innings in relief of Kehrt. He walked 1 and struck out 2. Michael Bowden pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn his 8th save. He allowed 1 hit, no runs, walked 1 and struck out 2.

Portland doubled up Binghamton (NYM) in the first game of their doubleheader, 6-3, in 7 innings. Will Middlebrooks led the way for the Sea Dogs, as he went 2-4 with 3 RBI. His 2-run single was part of a 4-run 5th inning for Portland that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead. Also contributing were Jon Hee (1-2, RBI, walk) and Oscar Tejeda (2-2, double, walk). Stephen Fife started for Portland and pitched 6 solid innings en route to his 10th win, which ties him for the Eastern League lead. He allowed 7 hits, 3 runs, walked 2 and struck out 9. Blake Maxwell pitched a scoreless 7th to earn his 8th save. He allowed 1 hit, did not walk a batter and struck out 1.

Portland mashed 19 hits in only 7 innings in the 2nd game, tripling up Binghamton 15-5. The Sea Dogs were actually down 5-3 entering the 5th inning, but put up an incredible 12 runs in the final 3 innings. Will Middlebrooks went 5-5 with a home run and 3 RBI. Jon Hee went 3-5 with a double, a home run and 5 RBI. Reynaldo Rodriguez went 2-5 with a double, a home run and 3 RBI. Chih-Hsien Chiang went 4-5 with a double and 2 RBI. Mike Lee started for Portland and allowed 4 hits and 4 runs in 1.2 innings. He walked 4 and struck out 2. Eammon Portice picked up the win by throwing 3.1 innings of 1-run ball in relief. He allowed 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 3. Kyle Fernandes pitched the final 2 innings and allowed 1 hit and no runs. He did not walk a batter and struck out 2.

Salem won a low scoring affair against Winston-Salem (CWS), 3-2. Dan Butler went 2-4 with an RBI, while Shannon Wilkerson went 2-5 with a double and an RBI. Wilkerson’s double was the only extra base hit of the night for Salem. Chris Hernandez started the game and picked up his 7th win of the season. Hernandez allowed 3 hits and a run in 5 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 4. Jeremiah Bayer pitched a perfect 9th inning to earn the save.

Greenville lost to Asheville (COL) in scintillating fashion, 8-7. Entering the 7th inning, Greenville was down 6-1 and looked well on its way to a loss. But the Drive roared back with 6 runs in the final 3 innings to take an improbable 7-6 lead entering the bottom of the 9th inning. Unfortunately, Tyler Lockwood blew the save to deprive Greenville of what would’ve been an incredible comeback. Christian Vazquez went 1-4 with a home run, 3 RBI and a walk. David Renfroe went 1-5 with a home run and 2 RBI. Sean Coyle went 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Coyle is quietly hitting .364 over his last 8 games. Miguel Celestino started for Greenville and pitched 3 innings. He allowed 5 hits, 3 runs, did not walk a batter and struck out 3. Juan Rodriguez pitched 2 innings of scoreless ball with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. For the season, Rodriguez has an incredible 79 strikeouts in just 47.2 innings pitched.

Lowell outslugged Connecticut (DET) in the first game of their doubleheader, 11-7. Seth Schwindenhammer went 2-4 with a home run and 4 RBI. Keury De La Cruz went 2-4 with a triple and a solo shot. Garin Cecchini went 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Raynel Velette started for Lowell and pitched the first 4.1 innings. He allowed 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), walked 2 and struck out 3. Matty Ott picked up his first career win by throwing 2.2 scoreless innings in relief. He allowed 1 hit, walked 1 and struck out 1.

Lowell would’ve been wise to spread that offensive outburst into 2 games, as they got 1-hit in the second game, losing by a score of 2-0. Nick Natoli picked up the lone hit for Lowell, a single. Nefi Ogando started for Lowell and took the loss. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, walked 4 and struck out 3. Kevin Brahney and Chris Huseby combined for 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.

The GCL Red Sox squandered a late lead to the GCL Orioles and could not come back, losing 5-3. The Sox were up 2-0 entering the 7th, but gave up 5 runs in the next 2 innings. Jose Vinicio went 2-4 with a home run and 2 RBI, while Roberto Reyes went 1-4 and hit a solo homer in the 9th. Raul Alcantara started for the GCL Sox and turned in his best start of the season, which was no easy feat considering how well he's been throwing. Alcantara pitched 6 no-hit innings, walking just 1 and striking out 5. Through 3 starts this year, Alcantara has given up 2 hits and no runs.

The game between the DSL Red Sox and the DSL Dodgers was postponed.

Player of the Day: Will Middlebrooks, who went 7-9 with a home run and 6 RBI in Portland’s doubleheader sweep of Binghamton, including a 5-5 performance in the 2nd game.