August 27, 2011 at 8:42 AM
8/27 Cup of Coffee: Friday night was full of stellar pitching performances, J.D. Drew began his rehab assignment with Lowell, Jose Iglesias hit his first HR since signing with the Sox, but the professional debut of two top 2011 draft picks was the big story of the night.
First round pick Blake Swihart went 0 for 2 and toolsy SS Mookie Betts went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI's as the GCL Red Sox defeated the GCL Twins (MIN) 6-1. Betts also stole a base but committed 3 errors at shortstop. With tomorrow the last game of the season for the GCL Sox, Swihart and Betts are getting their feet wet professionally as a primer for next season. Starter Zachary Good pitched well, throwing 4.0 innings of 1 hit ball, allowing 1 run while walking 1 and striking out 2. Renny Parthemore earned the victory hurling 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Matt Kramer followed with 2.0 shutout innings of his own, allowing 2 hits with no walks and 3 strikeouts. Yunior Ortega finished the game with 1.0 inning of relief, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1. Jesus Loya led the offense going 3 for 5 with 1 RBI, 3 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. Cody Koback added a 2 run single, contributing to a 10 hit Red Sox attack.
Pawtucket was busy yesterday as they swept a double-header against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY). In game one, Jose Iglesias went deep for the first time in his US professional career, blasting a 2 run shot to left field. That proved to be enough as the Paw Sox easily beat the Yankees 6-1. Daniel Nava homered, doubled, and drove in 2 runs, and Hector Luna added a 2 run double. The struggles for top prospect Will Middlebrooks continued as he went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. Starter Matt Fox finished off his great August by picking up the victory, tossing 5.0 shutout innings. He allowed only 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 5. Randy Williams finished the final 2.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking none and striking out 2.
In game 2, Pawtucket used its bullpen to piece together 7.0 innings and came away with a 7-3 victory. Jason Rice went the first 3.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2. Hideki Okajima followed with 2.0 scoreless innings allowing only 1 hit and striking out 3. Tommy Hottovy closed out the game with 2.0 innings of one run ball. Luna led the offense with another good performance, going 3 for 4 with a 2B and 3 RBI's. Iglesias added a double and an RBI and Middlebrooks showed signs of life, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base.
In Reading, a 2 run 9th inning for the Sea Dogs proved to be the difference as they squeaked by the Phillies (PHI) 4-3. The Phillies scored 3 in the first inning off of Brock Huntzinger, but the Sea Dogs scored 4 unanswered runs the rest of the way, highlighted by a Mark Wagner solo home run to tie the game at 3 in the top of the ninth. Alex Valdez then singled home Ryan Dent to give the Sea Dogs their first lead of the game. Wagner was 2 for 4 on the day while Valdez went 3 for 4. Jeremy Hazelbaker also added a solo home run. Huntzinger settled down nicely after the 3 run 1st, going 6.0 innings, allowing only the 3 runs, walking 1 and striking out 8. Josh Fields earned the win in relief throwing 2.0 scoreless innings, walking 2 and striking out 3.
Salem finished a suspended game from July 8th, defeating the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) 7-4. Back in July, Drake Britton went 2.0 innings giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits. In what is technically his first relief appearance with Salem this year, Stolmy Pimentel continued to make progress after a terrible start to the year, hurling 5.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits. The main reason why he was able to limit the damage is because he walked none and struck out 6. Stolmy has been a completely different pitcher since the end of the July and these starts are giving him a much needed boost as the season winds down. Offensively, Salem was led by David Mailman and Josue Peley who each had a single, double, and an RBI. Mailman also added a walk. Derrik Gibson displayed some power, roping an RBI double to right field. Bryce Brentz had a tough day going 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts.
Salem was not so lucky in the regularly scheduled game, falling 6-5 in 7 innings. Pete Hissey was thrown out at the plate to end the game as he tried to score on a sac fly from Gibson. Starter Ryan Pressly was unlucky as two key errors by Gibson and Kolbrin Vitek allowed 4 unearned runs to score. Pressly only allowed 2 earned runs in 6.0 innings, walked 2, and struck out 4. Vitek did his best to atone for his error by going 1 for 2 with 2 walks, a strikeout, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Brentz went 0 for 3 with a walk, but threw out a runner at second base. Shannon Wilkerson and Leonel Escobar added 2 hits apiece.
The most impressive pitching performance of the night came from Greenville starter Brandon Workman, who threw 7.0 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 2 men to reach base, while striking out 5. Andrew Jones threw the final 2 innings to complete the shutout and lead the Drive to a 3-0 victory. With Workman dominating, 18 year old Xander Bogaerts provided him all the support he would need going 2 for 4 with a solo homer to left field. That was his 14th home run in only 64 games. Bogaerts continues to shoot up prospect rankings with his jaw dropping power performance in Greenville. Not to be outdone, Brandon Jacobs went 2 for 4 with a triple and added an outfield assist. Sean Coyle went 0 for 3 with a walk, but did add a stolen base.
In Lowell, Jackie Bradley Jr. picked up his first professional hit, but the Spinners fell to the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) 8-4. Bradley Jr. went 2 for 3 with a walk, strikeout, caught stealing, outfield assist, and 2 runs scored. J.D. Drew began his rehab assignment and went 0 for 2 with a walk as the designated hitter. The defense was very poor for the Spinners, committing 4 errors on the day, which allowed 5 unearned runs to score. Jason Garcia threw 6.0 innings allowing 4 runs with only 1 of them being earned. Hunter Cervenka suffered a similar fate, allowing 4 runs in 3.0 innings, but only 2 were earned. Garcia walked 4 and struck out 5, while Cervenka walked 2 and struck out 3.
Prospect Hitter of the Day: Hector Luna, who went 4 for 7 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI in the PawSox doubleheader.
Prospect Pitcher of the Day: Brandon Workman, who pitched 7.0 innings allowing 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, while striking out 5.