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May 25, 2012 at 7:16 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ohlendorf sharp in victory; Barnes takes first loss

5/25 Cup of Coffee: Ross Ohlendorf pitched Pawtucket to victory, Portland was buried by New Hampshire. Matt Barnes turned in another strong performance for Salem but took a tough-luck loss, and Greenville lost a heart-breaker to Charleston in 13 innings. 

Ross Ohlendorf (Kelly O'Connor)
Pawtucket began its homestand with a 4-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (DET). Ross Ohlendorf - with his June 1 opt-out looming - turned in a very strong outing, going 6.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 6. Nate Spears got the PawSox on the board with a solo home run in the second. In the fourth, Ryan Lavarnway doubled and came in to score on a Mauro Gomez single, giving Pawtucket a 2-0 lead. With Ohlendorf out of the game Toledo picked up a single run in the seventh, but Pawtucket responded in the bottom of the inning when Tony Thomas singled, stole second, and scored on a Pedro Ciriaco single. Pawtucket added another insurance run in the eighth when Lavarnway and Lars Anderson led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Lavarnway scoring on a hit by Alex Hassan. Lavarnway was the offensive leader for Pawtucket, going 2 for 3 with a double, walk and scoring a pair of runs. Gomez also had two hits, a double, and an RBI.  Out of the bullpen, Clayton Mortensen gave up Toledo's only run in his inning of work, allowing 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 1. Will Inman was unscored upon in his six consecutive outing, as he pitched a hitless eighth inning, walking 1 and striking out 1. Mark Melancon picked up the save in a scoreless ninth, allowing 1 walk and striking out 1.

It was a tough evening for Portland, as they took an 8-2 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). The Sea Dogs actually got on the board first, as Juan Carlos Linares and Reynaldo Rodriguez hit consecutive doubles to give Portland the 1-0 lead. New Hampshire then went on to score eight unanswered runs, knocking starer Stolmy Pimentel around for one run in the first and two in the second. After a scoreless third, the first two batters reached in the fourth and Pimentel was replaced with Jeremy Kehrt. Kehrt didn't have any luck putting down the New Hampshire rally, allowing both inherited runners to score, and then three more, putting New Hampshire up 8-1. A Rodriguez solo homer in the sixth represented the rest of the scoring. Rodriguez went 3 for 4 on the night, driving in both Portland runs with the home run and a double. Pimentel's difficult outing, after consecutive quality starts, saw him give up 5 runs on 6 hits in 3.0 innings, walking 4 and striking out 2. Kehrt allowed those 3 runs in the fourth, but settled down to throw a scoreless fifth. He allowed 5 hits in his 2.0 innings of work, walking 2 without a strikeout. Wil Latimer pitched 3.0 strong shutout innings, allowing only 2 hits, striking out 3 without walking a batter. 

Matt Barnes took his first professional loss despite another excellent game, as the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW) took a 1-0 victory over Salem. Barnes and Winston-Salem's Matthew Heidenreich were engaged in a scoreless tie through five innings, when the Dash got to Barnes with back-to-back doubles to lead off the sixth inning. Barnes final line was the 1 run on 5 hits in 6.0 innings of work. He struck out 3 and did not walk anybody. Manuel Rivera pitched 3.0 shutout innings out of the bullpen, giving up 1 hit, walking 1 and striking out 2. Salem's offense could not get going against Heidenreich who went 7.0 innings, or the Dash bullpen, accumulating only 4 hits and failing to advance a runner past second base. Jackie Bradley, Jr. reached base twice, going 1 for 3 and getting hit by a pitch, and Drew Hedman went 2 for 4 with the Red Sox only double. 

Leading 6-2 in the eighth, Greenville could not hold on and fell to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 7-6 in 13 innings. Greenville got on the board early, scoring three runs in the first. A David Renfroe single scored Jose Garcia, who had led off with a double. After a Boss Moanaroa walk and a wild pitch gave the Drive second and third, Henry Ramos came through with the two-run single. Greenville added another in the second, as Jose Vinicio reached on an infield hit, stole second base, advanced to third on an error, and came around to score on a Garcia single. Given a 4-0 lead, Madison Younginer turned in a solid outing, shutting out Charleston through 4 and allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits in 5.1 innings on the night. Younginer struck out 6 and walked 1. Greenville added to its lead in the seventh as Garin Cecchini tripled to score Garcia, and then came in to score on a Renfroe sacrifice fly. However, Greenville was unable to hold onto its lead. Charleston rallied for three runs in the eighth, with the main blow a Gary Sanchez two-run home run off of Matty Ott. Ott pitched 2.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 1. Charleston then tied the game at 6-6 in the ninth, picking up a run against Nefi Ogando. Michael McCarthy came on in relief and pitched well, not allowing a run in his first three innings of work as Greenville and Charleston marched along until the thirteenth, when the RiverDogs walked off with the win on a Tyler Austin single. McCarthy took the loss, allowing only the 1 run on 3 hits in 3.1 innings, walking 1 and striking out 6. Garcia had another good night for Greenville, going 3 for 5 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored, raising his OBP to .459. Blake Swihart also took another step toward putting his slow start behind him, going 3 for 6. 

Player of the Night: With his opt-out date only a week away, Ross Ohlendorf gave perhaps his best start in a PawSox uniform, going 6.0 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out a season-high six batters.