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April 10, 2012 at 6:22 AM

Cup of Coffee: Affiliates afflicted with a case of the Mondays

4/10 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough night down on the farm, as Pawtucket, Portland, and Greenville each lost in their Monday games.

Dan Butler (Kelly O'Connor)
It was a frustrating night for Pawtucket, as they left nine on base in a 1-0 loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). Doug Mathis had some control troubles in his first start for the PawSox, walking three and hitting two batters in five innings, but he allowed only thee hits and one run. He was aided by the arm of catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who caught leadoff man Kevin Frandsen stealing second base in the first inning, and picked Domonic Brown off of second base in the fourth after his RBI double had put the IronPigs up 1-0. Pawtucket squandered numerous opportunities to break even, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, runners at first and third in the eighth, and men at first and second in the ninth. Clayton Mortensen and Junichi Tazawa were both sharp in relief, tossing two scoreless innings apiece. The PawSox will look to salvage a split of their four game series with Lehigh Valley this afternoon before embarking on a nine-game road trip.

Portland is still searching for its first win of the season after losing 8-3 to the Trenton Thunder (NYY). Starting pitcher Billy Buckner was touched for four runs on six hits in the first inning before settling in, finishing with 5 runs allowed over 5 innings pitched, giving up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 0 strikeouts. The Sea Dogs rallied for two runs in the top of the second as catcher Dan Butler hit a solo home run to left field with one out, followed by a double for Jonathan Hee and RBI single for Heiker Meneses, bringing the score to 4-2. The Thunder struck back with a solo home run in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. Butler's RBI single in the sixth brought the deficit back to two, but Trenton added one in the sixth and two in the eighth off reliever Eammon Portice to seal the victory. Despite the loss, all nine Portland starters reached base.

Greenville was unable to hold a late lead as they fell 4-3 in their series opener with the Hickory Crawdads (TEX). Rehabbing lefty Andrew Miller drew the start for the Drive, throwing a one-two-three first inning and striking out one before giving way to Madison Younginer. Younginer, who grew up twenty minutes away from Greenville in Simpsonville, SC, had three solid innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3. Down 1-0, Greenville picked up a run in the fifth when Jose Garcia doubled and scored on a Cody Koback sacrifice fly, and another in the sixth when David Renfroe doubled and scored on a single by Matt Marquis. Meanwhile, reliever Charle Rosario was shutting down the Crawdads, spinning three perfect innings while striking out 3, leaving after the seventh with a 2-1 lead. Hickory grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth when Christopher Grayson hit a three run home run off of Hunter Cervenka. The Drive's two hottest hitters tried to lead a rally in the bottom of the eighth, as Blake Swihart led off with a triple and scored on Renfroe's second double of the day. However, that was the last of the offense of the night for Greenville, as Crawdad pitching retired the final five batters to hold on for the win. Renfroe finished the game 2 for 4, and is now batting .412 with four doubles and an .824 slugging percentage through his first five games. 

Player of the Night: Portland catcher Dan Butler led the Sea Dog offense, going 2 for 4 with a home run.