SoxProspects News

August 3, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Magnificent start by Hernandez leads Salem Red Sox to shutout win

8/3 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox affiliates took 5 of 8 games on the Tuesday slate, most of which were decided by slim margins.

For the second straight day, Pawtucket’s 9th inning heroics helped them to victory, as they beat Louisville (CIN), 4-3. Lars Anderson’s 2-run bomb in the bottom of the 1st put them up by a score of 2-0. The Bats scrapped back to tie it at 2-2 in the 4th inning, and the score stayed that way until the 9th. Louisville took a 3-2 lead on a sac fly in the top of the frame, and looked poised to win after Carlos Fisher retired the first two batters in the bottom of the 9th. However, Che-Hsuan Lin drew a 2-out walk and Nate Spears then hit a walk-off 2-run homer, and just like that, Pawtucket stole the game. Offensively, the team was led by Anderson and Spears, as each had a walk, 2 hits, a home run and 2 RBI. Matt Fox started for Pawtucket and pitched pretty well over 5.2 innings. He allowed 5 hits, 2 runs, walked 2 and struck out 9. Jason Rice picked up the victory, retiring the only 2 batters he faced to close out the 9th inning after Hideki Okajima had surrendered the go-ahead run.

Portland was done in by similar heroics in the first game of their doubleheader, losing to Bowie (BAL), 7-6. The Sea Dogs were actually up 6-0 entering the bottom of the 3rd inning, but the Baysox scored the final 7 runs, including a walk-off RBI single in the 9th, to win in thrilling fashion. Offensively, the team was led by Mark Wagner, who went 2-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI. Wagner’s home runs were on his first two at-bats, as he hit a solo shot in the 1st inning and a 2-run homer in the 3rd. Mitch Dening also performed well, going 2-2 with 2 walks, a double and an RBI. Alex Wilson started for the Sea Dogs, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs over 4 innings. He walked 1 and struck out 2. Blake Maxwell entered in the 6th inning and recorded a blown save and took the loss. Maxwell went 2.2 innings and allowed just 1 hit and 1 run. He walked 4 and struck out 1.

Portland again narrowly lost in the game 2, this time by a score of 5-4. The Baysox held a 3-0 lead after 1 inning. The Sea Dogs clawed back and took a 4-3 lead after Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 5th. Bowie immediately scored 2 runs to retake the lead and held on to earn the win. Offensively, Portland was led by Hazelbaker, who went 1-3 with a walk and that 2-run shot. Mike Lee started for the Sea Dogs, and allowed 6 hits and 3 runs over 3 innings of work. He walked 3 and struck out 4. Eammon Portice pitched the final 3 innings and took the loss. Portice allowed 1 hit and 2 runs, while walking 2 and striking out 5.

Salem defeated Potomac (WAS), 3-0. The Red Sox scored 1 run in each of the first 3 innings, 2 of which came in the form of solo home runs by Bryce Brentz. Brentz went 2-3 with a walk and those two solo homers. That offensive output was more than enough for Salem’s starter, Chris Hernandez, who put in the best pitching performance of his young career. Hernandez went 7 innings and allowed just 1 hit, a 2nd inning single. He walked 1, struck out 5, and faced just 1 batter over the minimum. The win improves Hernandez to an impressive 10-5 record, with a 2.50 ERA. Mitch Herold pitched a perfect 8th to bridge the gap to Will Latimer, who allowed a single in a scoreless 9th to earn his 6th save.

Greenville defeated Rome (ATL), 5-3, in exciting fashion. This was not the prettiest game of all-time, as there were 8 errors and 10 walks between the two teams. The game was tied at 3-3 after 6 innings, and stayed that way until the top of the 10th. Henry Ramos and Michael Almanzar each drew bases-loaded walks to give the Drive a 5-3 lead that they did not relinquish. Offensively, the team was led by Almanzar, who went 1-4 with a walk and 2 RBI. Miguel Celestino started for Greenville and allowed 4 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) over 6 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 7. After considerable fanfare before the season, Celestino has enjoyed a stellar season that has seemingly gone unnoticed. For the season, the tall righty has an 8-4 record with a 3.93 ERA. Over his last 9 starts, he’s been even better. During that time, he’s 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 40:8 K:BB ratio. The Drive bullpen combined for 4 innings of hitless pitching. Jordan Flasher pitched 2 innings, surrendered 1 walk and struck out 1. Justin Erasmus pitched the final 2 innings in perfect fashion, recording 3 strikeouts, en route to his 3rd victory of the year.

Lowell squeaked out a victory against Aberdeen (BAL), 5-4. In a see-saw game, Lowell faced a 4-3 deficit entering the bottom of the 8th inning. The Spinners scored 2 runs in the frame, both on wild pitches, to take a 5-3 lead. Offensively, the team was led by Matt Gedman, who went 2-3 with an RBI, and Jose Garcia, who went 1-4 with a triple and an RBI. Madison Younginer drew the start and pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless, 1-hit baseball. Younginer did walk 5, but struck out 3 as he rebounded from a rough start in his last time out. Andrew Jones blew the save, but earned his first win for the Spinners. He allowed 2 hits, 1 run, did not walk a batter and struck out 1. In 12 professional appearances across 3 different levels, Jones has yet to walk a batter.

The GCL Red Sox tripled up the GCL Orioles, winning by a score of 6-2. After 3 innings, the game was scoreless. the Red Sox proceeded to score in 5 of their last 6 innings at-bat to take this game. Offensively, the team was led by Adalberto Ibarra, who went 3-5 with a double and an RBI, as well as Kendrick Perkins and Jose Vinicio, as each went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. William Cuevas started for the GCL Red Sox and pitched 6 innings of shutout baseball to earn the win. He allowed 5 hits, did not walk a batter and struck out 3.

The DSL Red Sox were shut out by the DSL Royals, 3-0. The Royals scored all 3 runs in the 3rd inning, 2 of which scored either via a wild pitch or passed ball. The team managed just 4 hits in the defeat, highlighted by Deiner Lopez’ 2-3 showing. Edwar Garcia toed the rubber and took his 3rd loss of the season. Garcia allowed 3 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) over 3.2 innings. He walked 3 and struck out 2.

Player of the Day: Chris Hernandez, who twirled 7 shutout innings of 1-hit ball in Salem’s victory over Potomac. He walked 1 and struck out 5.

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