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April 25, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barnes, Tejeda shine in losing efforts

4/25 Cup of Coffee: With many eyes on the marquee pitching matchup in Delmarva, Pawtucket grabbed the lone victory of the evening as the remaining affiliates lost close battles. 

Oscar Tejeda (Kelly O'Connor)
A four run fourth inning and solid relief pitching propelled Pawtucket to a 4-3 victory over the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY). Brandon Duckworth received the start for the PawSox and tossed 4.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 3. Clayton Mortenson picked up the victory for his 2.0 innings of flawless relief, punching out 3. Alex Wilson added an inning of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits in his first professional appearance out of the bullpen. Rich Hill added a scoreless inning out of the bullpen and Mark Melancon struck out the side in the ninth to earn the save. Down 2-0 in the fourth, Pawtucket struck for four runs on a Daniel Nava solo home run, a Mauro Gomez two run blast and a Josh Kroeger RBI double. Despite the Yankees chipping away for a run in the seventh, the Pawtucket bullpen stifled the remainder of Scranton’s rallies to earn the victory. Gomez’s home run was his sixth of the season, good enough for third in the international league behind teammate Will Middlebrooks and Toledo’s (DET) Brad Eldred

Despite a solid start on the mound and a quick five run lead, Portland fell to the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 7-6. Billy Buckner had a tremendous night on the mound for the Sea Dogs, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 11. Jeremy Kehrt followed Bucker but was unable to duplicate his success, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in just 0.2 innings. Will Latimer received the loss for his 1.1 innings of relief, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk, striking out 3. A run scoring double play and an Oscar Tejeda RBI double in the first inning gave the Sea Dogs a quick 2-0 lead. After New Britain responded with a run in the bottom half of the first, Ronald Bermudez led off the second inning with a solo home run to give Portland back its two run advantage. In the third, a Tejeda two run home run and a Jeremy Hazelbaker RBI single widened the Sea Dogs lead to 6-1. The Rock Cats staged a two out rally in the seventh, tying the game 6-6 as seven straight hitters reached base. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, New Britain walked off with a victory as Nathan Hanson doubled in the winning run. Tejeda was 3 for 4 a double, home run, run scored and 3 RBI to pace the Sea Dogs offense. 

A back-and-forth contest did not break the Red Sox way as Salem was clipped by the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), 4-3. Keith Couch received the start for the Red Sox, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits while punching out 4. Pete Ruiz received the loss as he allowed 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 6 in his 4.0 innings of relief. Down 3-0 in the fifth, Salem cut Wilmington’s lead to one as Brandon Jacobs laced an RBI single and Xander Bogaerts smacked an RBI double. Jackie Bradley’s RBI double in the sixth tied the game, 3-3. The Blue Rocks plated a run in top of the ninth to reclaim the lead while the Red Sox left a runner on third in the bottom half of the inning to secure their second loss in a row. Travis Shaw, Bogaerts and Michael Almanzar each had two hits to lead the Salem offense. 

A special match up on the mound lived up to its billing, but the Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) ultimately flew away with a 4-2 victory over Greenville. Two 2011 first round selections squared off on the mound as Dylan Bundy and Matt Barnes went toe-to-toe in the early portion of the contest. Bundy tossed 4.0 perfect innings for the Shorebirds, striking out 6 and extending his hitless innings streak to 13.0. Barnes was equally impressive for the Drive, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks while punching out 9. Jason Garcia followed Barnes out of the Greenville bullpen, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk while punching out 3 in his 2.0 innings of relief. Tyler Lockwood picked up the loss for Greenville as he allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in his lone inning of relief. Down 2-0 in the seventh, Bryan Johns’ RBI single cut the Shorebirds lead in half, 2-1. Greenville would tie the game up the next inning as Henry Ramos laced an RBI single. The knotted affair did not last long, as the Shorebirds plated two runs in the bottom half of the eighth to take home the victory. 

Players of the Night: Matt Barnes and Oscar Tejeda, who both provided stellar efforts for their teams in losing efforts. Barnes tossed 5.0 shutout innings against Delmarva, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. Tejeda went 3 for 4 with a double, home run, run scored and 3 RBI in Portland’s 7-6 loss to New Britain.