May 7, 2012 at 6:44 AM
5/7 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket knocked around a rehabbing Andy Pettitte, Portland's pitching shut down New Britain, and a balanced attack led Greenville over Rome. Defensive miscues were Salem's downfall in the only loss of the afternoon.
|Lars Anderson (Kelly O'Connor)|
Pawtucket closed its ten-game road trip with a 7-5 victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY). Because of home stadium renovations, the Yankees are playing their home games across several ballparks in the region, and this game was moved from Batavia, NY to Rochester's larger Frontier Field to feature the returning left-hander Andy Pettitte. The PawSox got to Pettitte early, scoring two in the first. Pedro Ciriaco led off the game with a double to right, moving up to third on a Jose Iglesias single. Ryan Lavarnway then ended a 1 for 17 slump with an RBI double that scored Ciriaco, and Lars Anderson followed with a single that scored Iglesias. Pettitte pitched out of what could have been an even bigger inning, striking out the next two batters, then picking Anderson off of first base. Pawtucket took a 3-0 lead in the second when a bases loaded walk to Iglesias scored Alex Hassan. They continued their assault in the fourth when Che-Hsuan Lin singled up the middle and scored on a Tony Thomas double. As Lin beat the throw home, Thomas was able to move up to third, and he scored on a Ciriaco sacrifice fly, giving the PawSox a 5-0 edge. Scranton responded with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3. A Josh Kroger home run in the eighth extended Pawtucket's lead, and after another two-run rally by Scranton in the bottom of the inning, Pawtucket countered with an insurance run in the ninth as an Anderson double drove in Ciriaco to seal the 7-5 win. Starter Doug Mathis got the win, going 5.0 innings, allowing 3 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Justin Thomas threw a perfect sixth, striking out 1. He was followed by Junichi Tazawa, who gave up his first runs at any level in the 2012 season, going 2.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, walking one and striking out 3. Garrett Mock pitched the ninth and allowed a hit, getting the save. Anderson finished 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, and Ciriaco added 3 hits of his own with a double and a pair of runs scored. Iglesias continued to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 3 with a walk. It was the fifth consecutive 2-hit game for Igelsias, a run which has raised his batting average from .185 to .253.
Portland knocked off the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) by a score of 3-1 in the rubber match of their three-game series. The Sea Dogs were led by starting pitcher Billy Buckner, who threw 6.0 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. He struck out 8 and did not walk a batter in picking up his first win of the year. The Portland bullpen also was sharp. Aaron Kurcz threw 2.0 hitless innings, striking out 3 and walking 1, and Charle Rosario pitched around 2 hits in the ninth for his first save of the season. Portland grabbed the lead as Reynaldo Rodriguez led off the top of the second inning with a home run, number 3 on the year for Rodriguez. New Britain tied the store at 1-1 in the fourth, but Portland rallied for single runs in the sixth and seventh, as a Juan Carlos Linares sacrifice fly scored Jeremy Hazelbaker, and a Zach Gentile double plated Oscar Tejeda. Portland finished with only 6 hits, but it was enough to give the Sea Dogs their first series victory of the 2012 season.
Despite allowing only four hits, Salem fell to the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW) 5-2. Starting pitcher Drake Britton was sharp, striking out 8, walking 1 and allowing 3 hits in his 5.0 innings of work, but his defense abandoned him, leading to 4 unearned runs. Winston-Salem scored two runs apiece in the first two innings, rallies that started with errors by shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third basement Michael Almanzar, respectively, to lead off those innings. Britton showed poise, settling down after those first two to retire the final seven batters he faced. Salem cut the deficit to 4-1 in the sixth as Sean Coyle singled, moved up to second on a groundout, stole third and then scored on a Bogaerts single. Winston-Salem added a run in the seventh with a solo home run off of reliever Manny Rivera, the only hit allowed by Rivera in 3.0 innings of work. Travis Shaw tripled to lead off the eighth and scored on a Brandon Jacobs ground out, but that would be all for Salem. Shaw led Salem's offense finishing 2 for 5 with a run scored. Salem finishes their road trip with a 3-4 record. The Red Sox will return home to face Potomac tomorrow after an off day.
A 15-hit barrage led Greenville to an 11-3 win over the Rome Braves (ATL). The Drive had 22 baserunners on the afternoon, as every starter reached base at least twice. Not to be lost in the offensive explosion was the second consecutive solid start turned in by lefty Henry Owens, who went 5.0 shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits while walking 4 and striking out 3. After an uneven start to the season, Owens has now thrown 11.0 consecutive scoreless innings. Recently activated Tyler Wilson made his 2012 debut out of the bullpen, going 2.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. Matty Ott pitched the final 2.0 innings for the Drive, giving up a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Among the many offensive standouts for Greenville, the scorching-hot Keury De Le Cruz made the biggest impact, going 2 for 5 with a home run, a double, and 3 runs scored. De La Cruz is riding a nine-game hitting streak, during which he is 16 for 38 with 2 home runs, 7 RBI and 7 runs scored. Second baseman Nick Natoli also had a big game, going 2 for 4, and launching a two-run home run as part of Greenville's six-run sixth inning.
Player of the Day: On a day where several players had standout performances, Lars Anderson led the way, going 3 for 5 with two doubles and a pair of RBI as the PawSox defeated the Yankees.