May 15, 2012 at 6:35 AM
|Bryce Brentz (Kelly O'Connor)|
5/15 Cup of Coffee: Portland pitchers stepped up in place of an injury to scheduled starter Stolmy Pimentel to get the win, defensive lapses led to a big inning in Pawtucket's loss, Greenville's arms could not quiet Asheville, and rain kept Jackie Bradley hitless for the second consecutive day.
Consecutive errors doomed Pawtucket in a 5-3 loss to the Columbus Clippers (CLE). Starting pitcher Justin Germano, who entered the contest with a 2.29 ERA, again looked sharp to start the evening. He allowed only 2 singles through his first five innings, and had faced only one batter over the minimum, as one of those hits was erased on a caught stealing. Germano had been given a 1-0 lead in the third when newly-acquired Scott Podsednik singled to score Pedro Ciriaco. However, things fell apart in the sixth. Columbus led off the inning with a double followed by a single, giving them a first and third situation with nobody out. Germano then got a ground ball back to him, looked the runner back to third and got the out at first. Another ground ball to Ciriaco looked like it would cut down a run at the plate, but Ciriaco's throw went wild, allowing the first run to score, and giving Columbus another second and third opportunity. Germano induced yet another ground ball, but Nate Spears was unable to field it cleanly, and Pawtucket's second consecutive error gave Columbus a 2-1 lead. Given an extra out, Matt LaPorta hit a three-run home run to left. All 5 runs allowed by Germano were unearned, as he finished 6.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, striking out 1 without walking a batter. The PawSox picked up a run in the sixth on a Lars Anderson solo home run, and another in the eighth when Anderson singled following a Podsednik triple to cut the deficit to 5-3. Junichi Tazawa was once again excellent out of the bullpen, throwing 2.0 perfect innings, striking out 3. Tazawa has been unscored upon in 13 of his 14 appearances between Triple-A and the majors. Will Inman threw a scoreless ninth inning, allowing 1 hit and striking out 1. Podsednik finished his second game in a Pawtucket uniform 2 for 3 at the plate, with a triple, run scored and a sacrifice.
Portland was able to hold off the Reading Phillies (PHI) in a 2-1 victory. Chris Martin was put into emergency starting duty following the news earlier in the day that scheduled starter Stolmy Pimentel would be placed on the disabled list with a blister on his index finger. Martin was excellent, allowing only 1 unearned run on 4 hits in 5.0 innings, striking out 6 without walking a batter in picking up the win. The bullpen came through as well, with Aaron Kurcz throwing 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 1. Josh Fields followed with 2.0 scoreless of his own, also allowing a pair of hits while striking out 2 to pick up the save. The Sea Dogs took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Derrik Gibson led off the inning with a single and stole second base. He moved up to third on a Heiker Meneses single to center, and came in to score when Jeremy Hazelbaker grounded into a double play. Portland added a second run in the fourth when Oscar Tejeda doubled and was driven in by the streaking Bryce Brentz. Brentz followed his five-hit performance on Sunday with a 3 for 4 night with a double and an RBI. His strikeout in the ninth ended an 8-for-8 roll. His two-day surge has raised his average from .248 to .294. Going in the other direction, Kolbrin Vitek ended an 0 for 22 slide with an eighth inning triple.
Salem's game against the Carolina Mudcats was rained out, and will be made up today as part of a doubleheader.
Despite several rallies to keep the game close, Greenville never led in an 11-6 loss to the Asheville Tourists (COL). Asheville got out to an early lead, scoring a pair of runs in both the first and second innings. Greenville cut the deficit to 4-1 in the second when David Renfroe led off with a double, moved up to third on a Boss Moanaroa ground ball, and scored on a Henry Ramos grounder. The lead was cut to 1 in the fourth, as a Ramos single scored Moanaroa. Drew Turocy, making his 2012 debut, reached on an error that also moved Ramos to third, and Ramos scored on a Jordan Weems single. Asheville scored 3 in the seventh to take a 7-3 lead, but Greenville responded of 3 of its own in the bottom of the inning. Jose Vinicio led off the inning with a single, followed by a Jose Garcia walk. Garin Cecchini's team-leading 12th double of the season scored Vinicio. An Asheville error on a Renfroe grounder then allowed both Garcia and Cecchini to score, once again cutting the lead to 1. However, Asheville would blow the game open with two runs apiece in the eighth and ninth. Starter Madison Younginer allowed 4 runs on 6 hits in 6.0 innings pitched, striking out 5 while walking 1. Matty Ott threw 1.0 inning out of the bullpen, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, 1 walk and 1 strike out. Michael McCarthy pitched the final 2.0 innings, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2. Garcia and Vinicio both went 2 for 4 on the evening.
Player of the Night: After a rough April, Bryce Brentz seems to be making the transition to Double-A. A 3 for 4 night brings his line through ten games in May to .474/.500/.737.