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May 22, 2012 at 6:58 AM

Cup of Coffee: Portland no-hit by New Hampshire

5/22 Cup of Coffee: The big news on the farm came as Portland was no-hit by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the first thrown in the Eastern League this year. Meanwhile, Pawtucket pitchers threw a combined two-hitter, and Greenville's comeback fell short.

Portland was punchless in a 6-0 loss as three New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) pitchers combined on the no-hitter. The story entering the evening was the second start of the year for Anthony Ranaudo. The 2010 first rounder out of LSU was not sharp, however, lasting just 4.2 innings, allowing 5 runs on 3 hits while walking 5 and striking out 3. Chris Martin came out to relieve Ranaudo, allowing 1 run on 2 hits in 0.2 innings, striking out 1. Aaron Kurcz and Josh Fields followed, and both continued their excellent pitching out of the pen. Kurcz threw 1.2 scoreless innings giving up 2 hits and a walk and striking out 2 in his seventh consecutive scoreless outing, while Fields struck out 2 in a perfect inning of work to extend his own scoreless outing streak to five. The story of the night was Portland pitching. Brett Cecil, trying to work his way back up to the Blue Jays rotation, was excellent, going the first 5.2 and striking out 8 Sea Dogs, walking 3. Danny Farquhar relieved Cecil, going 2.1 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1, and Ronald Uviedo walked 1 in the ninth. Despite the five walks, Portland never had a baserunner reach second. Heiker Meneses drew two of the walks, and Reynaldo Rodriguez's streak of driving in a run in five consecutive games came to an end. 

Doug Mathis (Kelly O'Connor)
Pawtucket got a pitching gem of its own as three pitchers combined on a two-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the Norfolk Tides (BAL). Spotted a lead with a 4-run second inning, Doug Mathis took a perfect game into the fifth when he allowed a two-out triple to Ronny Paulino. Mathis got out of the inning by induce a groundout, and that hit was the only baserunner Mathis would allow in 7.0 innings. He also struck out 3 and recorded 13 groundball outs. Will Inman came on for the eighth, allowing 1 hit and striking out 2, and Garrett Mock pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. All of the PawSox scoring came in the second. Mauro Gomez, back from a recent stint with the major league club, started things off with a single, and moved up to second when Scott Podsednik walked. Alex Hassan knocked a single to left field to score Gomez, and Pedro Ciriaco followed with a single to score Podsednik. A throw home allowed Hassan and Ciriaco to advance, and Hassan came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Jose Iglesias, and Ciriaco came around on a Kevin Youkilis double, giving Pawtucket the 4-0 advantage. Youkilis went 1 for 2 with the double and two walks as part of his rehab assignment, and has a hit in all four games during his rehab. Gomez went 2 for 4 in his first game back with the PawSox, and Ciriaco had a 2 for 5 night and added a stolen base. Iglesias singled in his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He finished 1 for 4 with a stolen base.

After the start was delayed 2 hours, 19 minutes by rain, Greenville fell behind early and lost to the Asheville Tourists (COL) by a score of 7-5. Asheville scored once in the third, twice in the fourth and three times in fifth, all off of starter Jason Garcia, to take a 6-0 lead. Garcia allowed the 6 runs on 11 hits in 4.0 innings of work. He struck out 6 and walked 1. Charle Rosario came in with a man on second and nobody out in the fifth, and pitched out of that jam, throwing 3.0 scoreless innings, giving up only 1 hit while striking out 4 and allowing the Drive offense to claw its way back into the game. A three-run rally in the sixth began as Garin Cecchini singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Boss Moanaroa walked and was followed by Drew Turocy single that scored Cecchini. Jordan Weems drew the second free pass of the inning, loading the bases for Jose Vinicio, who came through with a single that scored Moanaroa. With the bases still loaded, Bryan Johns drew a walk to score Turocy and cut the Asheville lead to 6-3. Greenville then added single runs in the seventh, as David Renfroe doubled and scored on a Henry Ramos single, and the eighth, when Vinicio doubled and came home on a Cecchini single, bringing Greenville within 1. This was as close as Greenville would get, however, as Asheville picked up a run in the bottom of the eighth off of reliever Nefi Ogando. Johns was on base four times for Greenville, going 1 for 2 with a double and 3 walks. Turocy went 3 for 5, and Ramos finished 2 for 4 with a walk. 

Player of the night: Doug Mathis was superb for Pawtucket. Taking a perfect game into the fifth, he settled for allowing only one baserunner in seven innings in his third win of the season, lowering his ERA nearly a full run from 5.02 to 4.23 in the process.