May 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM
5/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket dropped its third game in-a-row, Portland suffered a tough loss in extra innings, Salem could not provide any offensive support for its strong pitching, and Greenville came from behind to defeat the Power.
Pawtucket was doubled up by the Norfolk Tide (BAL), 8-4. Norfolk got right to work in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs off of PawSox starter Justin Germano. Germano threw only 3.0 innings, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits. Pawtucket started to chip away at the lead in the fifth. Josh Kroeger, who went 3 for 4, singled and came in to score on a Scott Podsednik single. Podsednik then scored on a Pedro Ciriaco single. The Kroeger-Podsednik duo struck again in the seventh when Kroeger doubled and was singled in by Podsednik. After the PawSox scored again in the eighth to get within two runs, the Tide put the game out of reach with two more runs in their half of the eighth.
Despite a great start from Stolmy Pimentel, the Sea Dogs fell to the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 6-5 in 10 innings. The Sea Dogs jumped out to an early lead as Jeremy Hazelbaker led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second, and came in to score on a double from JC Linares, who reached base four times on the day. That seemed to be enough for Pimentel, who cruised through 6.0 shutout innings, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. Unfortunately, the bullpen could not hold the lead, as the Mets scored five times in the top of the eighth to take a commanding four run lead. The Sea Dogs fought back, scoring three times in their half of the eighth. A two-run home run by Reynaldo Rodriguez was followed by a solo shot from Bryce Brentz. Still down one in the ninth, Derrik Gibson, who went 2 for 3 with a walk, singled to lead off the inning and came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Hazelbaker to tie the game. The Sea Dog bullpen struggled again in the tenth, allowing a go-ahead home run which proved to be the game winner.
Salem struggled to get its offense going, falling to the Frederick Keys (BAL), 1-0. Salem received another solid start from Keith Couch, who lowered his ERA to 3.77. Couch threw 6.0 innings allowing only 1 run on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. Pete Ruiz threw the final 3.0 innings, allowing only 1 hit while striking out 2. Salem could only muster four hits on the day, with two coming from Xander Bogaerts, while Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Drive exploded for five runs in the eighth to defeat the West Virginia Power (PIT), 7-3. The Power got to Drive starter Madison Younginer for two runs in the first on two walks and two doubles. Younginer would settle down and throw 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, walking 3 and striking out 3. The Drive were held scoreless until the sixth when Drew Turocy scored from third on a ground out from Jose Garcia. They tacked another run on in the seventh when Garin Cecchini singled, swiped second for his sixteenth steal of the season, and scored on a Boss Moanaroa single. Still down one run entering the eighth, the Drive put together one of their best innings of the year. A single by Turocy and walks from Jose Vinicio and Garcia loaded the bases. Turocy scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, Vinicio scored on a ground out from David Renfroe, and Garcia scored on another wild pitch. Moanaroa hit a two-run home run later in the inning to put the Drive up 7-3. Tyler Lockwood pitched the final 2.1 innings without allowing a hit or a run.
Player of the Day: After missing a start with a blister on his right index finger, Stolmy Pimentel returned to throw six shutout innings on Saturday. He has now thrown 21.1 innings with a 2.95 ERA on the season allowing 22 hits, walking 5, and striking out 17. After a disastrous season in Double-A last year that saw him get demoted to High-A, it looks like the 22-year-old right hander is beginning to harness his electric stuff, and is becoming a more well-rounded pitcher.