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July 10, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Well-balanced attack breeds success for Salem on Saturday

7/10 Cup of Coffee: Three games went into extra innings on Saturday, while the organization's highest top affiliate pitched its way to a victory.

Three Pawtucket pitchers combined to give up just two hits as the PawSox dispatched of the Buffalo Bisons (NYM), 2-0. The win went to Tony Pena, Jr., who yielded the only two Bisons hits of the game, but was stellar nonetheless. In his 5.0+ innings of work, he walked just one batter while striking out four in addition to the two hits allowed. After Pena walked the first batter of the sixth, Tommy Hottovy came on and immediately induced a double play. After a pair of Lars Anderson errors in the seventh, Hottovy bailed out the PawSox once again thanks to another twin killing. He then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and gave way to Randy Williams, who picked up his fourth save of the season. Both of Pawtucket's runs came in the second after an Alex Valdez groundball was booted, allowing a pair of runs to score.

The Sea Dogs went to extra frames against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), but lost in walk-off fashion, 7-6 in 12 innings. Chris Balcom-Miller pitched into the sixth for Portland, but gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 9 hits in 5.0+ innings while walking 3 and fanning 1. After the Fisher Cats scored three runs in the second, the Sea Dogs exploded for five of their own in the fourth. Oscar Tejeda doubled in two runs, while Matt Spring, Jonathan Hee, and Mitch Dening also collected RBIs in the inning. New Hampshire tied the game with two runs in the fifth, and the two teams traded single runs in the sixth with Portland's run coming on another RBI from Dening. The score remained tied 6-6 through nine innings thanks in part to a fine relief outing from Caleb Clay, who pitched 3.2 scoreless innins, allowing just one hit. Blake Maxwell came on with two outs in the ninth and pitched into the decisive 12th inning, but allowed a walk-off home run to Moises Sierra, the first batter of the inning.

Salem scored five runs in the first four innings against the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) and coasted to a 9-1 victory. Six starters and one replacement knocked in runs for the Red Sox in the victory. The outing from Pete Ruiz didn't hurt either, as the right hander allowed just 1 run on 3 hits in 6.0 innings of work with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. After David Mailman opened the scoring in the second with an RBI single, the Red Sox got two more in the third on sacrifice flies from both Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz. Zach Gentile and Shannon Wilkerson joined the party in the fourth with run-scoring singles of their own to give Salem a 5-0 lead. After the Dash scored its only run in the fifth, Salem extended the lead in the seventh on RBIs from Brentz, Josue Peley (who took over for Jorge Padron in the fourth) and Daniel Butler. For good measure, Brentz tacked on another run in the eighth with an RBI single. William Latimer and Chris Martin both tossed scoreless outings in relief.

Greenville's pitchers allowed only four hits against the Rome Braves (ATL), but the bats did not hold up their end of the bargain as the Braves came away with a 1-0 victory. Though Tyler Wilson gave up just two hits in his outing, control was an issue for the 22 year old, as he issued five walks in 3.2 innings of work. Rome scored the only run of the game off of Wilson in the fourth and the Drive did not answer back. Greenville had their chances, however, but was unable to cash in, going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Michael Almanzar was the only Greenville player with multiple hits, while Brandon Jacobs and Carson Blair also notched base knocks.

Though it was close in the hit column (10-9), Lowell was blown out by the Hudson Valley Renegades (TB), 10-3. Hunter Cervenka dropped to 0-3 with the Spinners this season after giving up 5 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits in 3.0 innings of work. He also walked 3 and struck out 5. With Lowell already trailing 2-0 in the third, Garin Cecchini committed an error on what would have been the third out of the inning. However, three runs ended up scoring to give the Renegades a 5-0 cushion. After three more runs in the sixth off of Swen Huijer, Lowell finally got on the board in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Leonel Escobar. The two other Spinners runs came in the eighth courtesy of RB singles from both Seth Schwindenhammer and Drew Turocy.

Both Rookie League affiliates went to extras yesterday. First, in the Gulf Coast League, the GCL Red Sox were edged by the GCL Twins (MIN), 2-1 in 11 innings. Much like Greenville, the Red Sox were done in by missed opportunities. They had nine hits, but went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position and failed to cash in until the ninth when, with his team trailing 1-0, Jose Colorado drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. Jadd Smelzter was saddled with the loss after walking the first batter of the 11th. Though he was replaced by Alexander Mateo, Smeltzer's runner came around to score the eventual game-winning run. Starting pitcher Mario Alcantara went 4.0 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits with 2 walks and no strikeouts.

The DSL Red Sox were more fortunate in its extra inning affair, however, squeaking past the DSL Brewers (MIL), 3-2 in 10 innings. Scoreless through three innings, the Red Sox got on the board in the fourth on an RBI triple from Ynoel Aguero. The Brewers answered back in the fifth with two runs off of starter Jeffry Fernandez. Fernandez finished his outing with 5.0 innings pitched with 2 runs and 2 hits allowed, in addition to 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. In the bottom of the fifth, another triple brought in a run, this time off the bat of Anthony Amaya. Both bullpens pitched well and kept the game 2-2 through nine. After Carlos Pinales tossed his second scoreless inning in the top of the 10th, Aneudis Peralta knocked in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to give the Red Sox the win.

Player of the Night: Bryce Brentz, who went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI in Salem's 9-1 victory over Winston-Salem.