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May 19, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Cup of Coffee: Portland pitching combines for shutout

5/19 Cup of Coffee: The Portland Sea Dogs had three pitchers combine for a shutout, while the Drive put up a flurry of 5 runs in the first inning to help pick up their fourth win in a row.

Pawtucket pitching couldn't stop a late rally by the Durham Bulls (TB) as the PawSox fell 6-5. The Bulls put up 2 runs in the bottom of the first against pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, but weren't able to score any more runs until the eighth inning. Ohlendorf pitched 6 innings with 6 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks. Pawtucket scored 3 runs to take the lead in the fourth inning. Che-Hsuan Lin grounded into a force out to score Josh Kroeger, Mike Rivera singled to drive in Alex Hassan, and the runners advanced on a wild pitch, allowing Lin to score. The PawSox picked up another run in the fifth when Lin singled to drive in Lars Anderson. They increased their lead in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a Rivera single that drove in Lin. Ohlendorf was replaced in the seventh inning by Junichi Tazawa, who got into a lot of trouble in the bottom of the eighth, allowing 4 runs to score on 4 hits and a pair of fielding errors from Kroeger and Jose Iglesias. Tazawa pitched 1.2 innings for 4 hits, 4 runs, and 1 walk before being replaced with 2 outs by Will Inman who pitched 0.1 innings with 1 strikeout. Pawtucket was unable to answer the rally, and ultimately came up short. Iglesias had 4 hits in the game, Rivera had 2, and Kevin Youkilis went 1 for 3 in his second game with the PawSox.

Billy Buckner (Kelly O'Connor)
Pitchers Billy Buckner, Aaron Kurcz, and Josh Fields combined to help Portland shutout the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 4-0. The trio of pitchers allowed just 4 hits in the game. Buckner pitched 6 innings with 3 hits, no runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He was replaced to begin the seventh inning by Kurcz who went 2 innings with 1 hit, no runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. Fields came on in the ninth to close out the game and struck out all three batters he faced. The Sea Dogs offense gave some run support in the second when Jeremy Hazelbaker doubled to drive in Ronald Bermudez and Derrik Gibson. They put up 2 more runs to take a 4-0 lead in the seventh when Juan Carlos Linares doubled to score Kolbrin Vitek  and Reynaldo Rodriguez tripled to drive in Linares. Portland batters recorded 9 hits on the night, Hazelbacker was the only one with multiple.

The Red Sox just couldn't keep up with the Frederick Keys (BAL) in a 6-3 loss at LewisGale Field. Pitcher Drake Britton helped to keep the Keys scoreless through 5 innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth when he gave up 4 runs. He let in two runs and had men on second and third base with 2 outs when he was replaced by Manuel Rivera. Rivera walked the next batter and gave up a single to let in 2 more of Britton's runs. Britton pitched 5.2 innings for 5 hits, 4 runs, 4 errors, and 1 walk. Rivera gave up 2 more runs in the eighth inning when he gave up a two run homer. He pitched 2.1 innings for 3 hits, 2 runs, and 2 walks. Marco Duarte came out in the ninth for the Red Sox and put the Keys batters down in order with a strikeout and two ground outs. Salem got their only runs of the game in the seventh inning when Shannon Wilkerson tripled to drive in Adalberto Ibarra, Michael Almanzar, and Drew Hedman. Red Sox batters had only 6 hits on the night, Wilkerson and Ibarra each with 2.

A 5 run first inning helped to lead the Drive to victory in a 7-5 win over the West Virginia Power (PIT). The inning started with a Bryan Johns single, followed by a double from Keury De La Cruz and a single from Garin Cecchini to score Johns. A wild pitch caused the runners to advance, scoring De La Cruz and moving Cecchini to third. David Renfroe drew a walk followed by a Drew Turocy single to score Cecchini. Blake Swihart singled to drive in Renfroe, and then West Virginia changed their pitcher with 2 outs. Jose Vinicio drove in the fifth run of the inning with a double that scored Turocy. The Drive put up another run in the third inning thanks to a Swihart home run. The Power answered with a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings against pitcher Henry Owens. Owens went 5 innings with 7 hits, 4 runs, and 1 walk in his fourth win of the season. He was replaced in the sixth by Scott Swinson who pitched 2 innings for Greenville with 1 hit, no runs, and 1 walk. In the bottom of the sixth, the Drive put up one last run when a fielding error caused Vinicio to score. Vinicio originally singled to start off the inning and then stole second and third bases. Nefi Ogando took the mound in the eighth and finished out the last two innings of the game with no hits, 1 run, and 2 walks. His only run of the game came in the ninth inning when he walked the leadoff batter, who was advanced by two ground outs and eventually scored on a passed ball by catcher Jordan Weems. The Drive had 11 hits in the game, with De La Cruz butting up 3.

Player of the Night: Billy Buckner who set the tone for Portland's shutout against the Binghamton Mets. Buckner pitched 6 innings with only 3 hits before giving up the mound to Kurcz and Fields who continued the shutout.