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April 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Cup of Coffee: Middlebrooks, Hassan power PawSox

4/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket ended its swing through New York State on a high note, but Portland, Salem and Greenville each fell short on Thursday.

Will Middlebrooks (Kelly O'Connor)
Pawtucket's road trip ended in a slugfest, as they took an 11-7 win over the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) to sweep their four-game series. Every PawSox starter recorded a hit in the victory. Alex Hassan and the scorching-hot Will Middlebrooks were the brightest of many offensive stars. Hassan finished 3 for 5 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI, while Middlebrooks had his fifth multi-hit game in six days, going 2 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBI. The offense overcame a tough start by Alex Wilson, who lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits, walking 2 and striking out six. The bullpen was able to put out the fire, however. Chorye Spoone got the win in relief, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk and 1 strikeout in his inning of work. Andrew Miller continued his rehab assignment with a scoreless 1.1 innings, but his control was shaky, as he walked 4 while striking out three. Will Inman picked up his second save of the year by going the final three strong innings, allowing only one hit - a solo home run - while striking out 5 and walking 1. Pawtucket finishes their road trip 7-2, and returns home tonight to host the Durham Bulls.

Portland's offense was shut down, losing 6-0 to the Binghamton Mets. The Sea Dogs managed only three hits against Binghamton pitching in their first night of a seven-game road swing. After seeing hitting streaks of eight and nine games, respectively, end the previous night, Juan Carlos Linares and Kolbrin Vitek both got back into the hit column. Vitek's eighth inning double extended his streak to 15 consecutive games reaching base to begin his Sea Dogs career. Ronald Bermudez added the third hit for Portland. Billy Buckner got the start and fell to 0-2 on the year, going 5 innings, and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 5. Michael Lee followed, giving up 3 runs in 2 innings, allowing 5 hits, striking out 2 and hitting a batter. Eammon Portice finished, as he pitched a perfect eighth inning and added a strikeout.

Salem banged out 11 hits, but fell to the Potomac Nationals 10-4. Salem picked up a 1-0 lead in the third inning, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a double and stolen base and came in to score on a Travis Shaw single. Potomac came back for two in the bottom of the inning, but Salem responded with a run to even the score in the top of the fourth. Adalberto Ibarra was hit by a pitch, and stole second base. He advanced to third on a Shannon Wilkerson single and scored on Bradley's Carolina League-leading fourth sacrifice fly of the season. Salem starter Miguel Celestino left after 5 with the score tied 2-2. His final line showed 2 runs on 2 hits, as he walked 4 and struck out 7. Potomac added five in the sixth and three more in the seventh to take a 10-2 lead with Jermaine Bayer on the mound. In his 1.1 innings of work, he allowed the 8 runs on 7 hits, a walk, and a hit batter while striking out 3. Ruben Flores came on for 1.2 scoreless innings allowing a hit and getting 3 strikeouts. Salem rallied for two in the ninth. Bradley doubled and James Kang walked to bring up Shaw, who doubled to score both. Shaw's excellent April continued, as he went 4 for 5 on the night to raise his average to .420. Bradley and Xander Bogaerts both added two hits for Salem.

In a back and forth game Greenville fell 9-8 to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF). Augusta scored three in the first and one in the second off of starter Madison Younginer. In three innings of work, Younginer allowed 4 runs on 3 hits, walking 4 and striking out 2. In a three-run fourth inning, Greenville used five singles and a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one. They then grabbed the lead in the fifth with another 3 runs. Garin Cecchini led off with a double, and scored on a Boss Moanaroa single. A double by Keury De La Cruz and walk by Bryan Johns loaded the bases for Jose Vinicio. Vinicio came up with the big hit, a solid single to centerfield that scored Moanaroa and De La Cruz, giving Greenville a 6-4 lead. Meanwhile, Yeiper Castillo went three scoreless innings before allowing a run in the seventh and another in the eighth, leaving with the score tied at 6-6. In total, Castillo allowed the 2 runs on 3 hits over 4.2 innings, striking out 7 and walking 2. Augusta scored three in the ninth off of Tyler Lockwood, who took the loss for the Drive. Greenville's ninth inning rally fell short. De La Cruz hit a two-run triple to bring the deficit to one, but he was left at third to end the game. De La Cruz was the offensive star for the Drive, finishing 3 for 5 with a double, triple, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Cecchini also had a 3 for 5 night, adding a double, his organization-leading 8th stolen base, and 2 runs scored.

Player of the Day: Will Middlebrooks finished an incredible road trip with a 2 for 5 night, adding a home run and 4 RBI. Appearing in 8 games on the trip, Middlebrooks went 13 for 35, with 4 home runs, 14 RBI, and 8 runs scored.

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