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April 26, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Cup of Coffee: Britton picks up first win in Salem victory

4/26 Cup of Coffee: Drake Britton picked up his first win, pitching 5 scoreless innings for the Salem Red Sox after having a rocky start to his season.

Drake Britton (Kelly O'Connor)
The PawSox gave up 4 runs in the ninth inning for an 8-4 loss against the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees (NYY) at McCoy Stadium. Daniel Nava kickstarted Pawtucket's offense when he blasted a two run homer in the first. The PawSox increased their lead to 5-0 in the third inning with a solo shot by Pedro Ciriaco and a two run home run by Will Middlebrooks, his 9th of the season. Starting pitcher Doug Mathis was able to keep the Yankees scoreless through 3 innings, but ran into trouble when he allowed 3 runs in the fourth and 1 run in the fifth. Mathis pitched 5 innings for 4 hits, 4 runs, and 2 walks. He was replaced in the sixth inning by Andrew Miller who gave up no hits, no walks, and 1 walk. Rich Hill took the mound for Pawtucket in the seventh and was perfect through one inning. Will Inman came on for one inning in the eighth and allowed just one hit, no runs, and no walks. However, it was the ninth inning that would cause the PawSox trouble. Pitcher Garrett Mock gave up 2 hits for 4 runs and had 4 errors and 3 walks. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Mock was replaced by Chorye Spoon, who gave up 1 hit, no runs, and no walks. Pawtucket attempted a rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring 1 when Tony Thomas scored off of a Nava sacrifice fly. At the plate, just 6 batters had hits, 4 of whom recorded multiples. Nava was the only PawSox to have three hits on the night.

Portland rallied for 5 runs in the ninth inning to clinch a 7-3 road win over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). The Rock Cats drew first blood, scoring 2 in the first and 1 in the second. Portland righty Chris Balcom-Miller started on the mound and pitched for 5 innings, recording 4 hits, 4 runs, and 3 walks. Balcom-Miller was relieved in the sixth by Eammon Portice who pitched 2 innings, allowing just 1 hit, no runs, and 1 walk. Charle Rosario continued to shut down Rock Cats batters in the eighth and ninth, recording just 1 hit, no runs and no walks. Offensively, the Sea Dogs recorded 1 run in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Reynaldo Rodriguez scored after a New Britain wild pitch, and in the the fifth Dan Butler was driven in by a Derrik Gibson single. Facing a score of 3-2, Portland rallied in the ninth and drove in 5 runs. Jeremy Hazelbaker scored on a Butler single, Ronald Bermudez crossed the plate after a Heiker Meneses single, and Butler and Meneses both scored when Juan Carlos Linares singled. The last run of the evening came when Kolbrin Vitek scored off of a New Britain throwing error. Every member of the lineup for the Sea Dogs except Hazelbaker, who came on as a pinch runner in the ninth, recorded a hit. Gibson had 3, while Bermudez, Butler, and Meneses each had 2.

After a rough last outing, Britton came through for the Salem Red Sox and got his first win of the season in a 4-1 decision over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) at LewisGale Stadium. Britton, who has had a rocky start to the season, allowing 18 runs in 12.1 innings pitched before last night's outing, had a great outing for the Red Sox. He pitched 5 innings, with just 1 hit, no runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. At the plate, the Red Sox gained a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Shannon Wilkerson singled, scoring Michael Almanzar and Christian Vazquez. They recorded another run in the fifth when Travis Shaw crossed the plate after being advanced by a Wilkerson ground out. To start off the sixth, Andrew Jones came in to relieve Britton, and pitched 2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run, and 1 walk. The Red Sox recorded one more run in the sixth inning when Sean Coyle singled to score Jackie Bradley. Pitcher Ruben Flores took the mound for Salem in the eighth and threw 2 innings for only 1 hit, no runs, and no walks, striking out 3.

It was a hot night at the plate for the Drive in their 9-4 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) at Perdue Stadium. Greenville picked up their first runs of the game in the second inning when Keury De La Cruz reached home on a Delmarva fielding error and Jordan Weems singled to drive in Nick Natoli. The Shorebirds answered in the bottom of the second with two runs of their own off of Greenville starter Henry Owens. The Drive scored again in the third when Garin Checcini was driven in by a David Renfroe single. In the top of the fourth, the Drive tallied 3 more runs when Cody Koback tripled, scoring 2. Koback then crossed the plate after a Delmarva wild pitch. Owens ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning when he loaded the bases with 2 outs. Owens pitched 3.2 innings for the Drive with 5 hits, 2 runs, and 3 walks and was replaced by Yeiper Castillo. Castillo got them out of that inning, and pitched 3 more, recording 4 hits, no runs, and 1 walk. The Drive scored 3 more in the seventh inning when Renfroe blasted a 2 run shot and Henry Ramos scored after Weems grounded out. Nefi Ogando took the mound for the Drive in the eighth, and pitched 1 inning with no hits, no runs, and no walks. He was replaced by Justin Erasmus in the ninth, who recorded 1 hit, 2 runs, and 1walk. It was a multiple hit night for four members of the drive, including Renfroe who had three.

Player of the Night: Drake Britton, who started for Salem, pitching 5 innings with just 1 hit, no runs, and 2 walks. Britton recorded his first win after having a rocky start to his season.