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May 8, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rodriguez homers twice to lead Portland

Reynaldo Rodriguez (Kelly O'Connor)
5/8 Cup of Coffee: Affiliates went 3-0 on the night, as Daisuke Matsuzaka started a combined 6-hit shutout for Pawtucket, Portland dominated in a victory over New Hampshire, and Greenville outdid Sunday's offensive explosion, getting 17 hits in their win. Salem had a scheduled day off.

Pawtucket used four pitchers to combine for a shutout, beating the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) by a score of 4-0. Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first rehab start at the Triple-A level, and third overall. He went 4.2 innings, allowing only 2 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 4. However, efficiency was a problem for Matsuzaka, as he needed 87 pitches to get through only 20 batters. Alex Wilson was the first out of the pen, pitching 2.1 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks and striking out 3. He was credited with the win, his first victory out of the bullpen. Will Inman and Mark Melancon allowed one hit apiece in their inning of work. Inman struck out 1 batter, and Melancon had 3 punch outs. Pawtucket's bats were held silent until the fifth inning, when Daniel Nava led off with a long home run to right-center, his third of the season. The PawSox opened the game up with a three run sixth. Ryan Lavarnway singled, followed by a Lars Anderson walk, bringing Nava to the plate. He came through again, ripping a single into right field that scored Lavarnway. Alex Hassan followed with a two-run double, putting the PawSox up 4-0. Nava finished the night 2 for 4, his fourth multi-hit performance in his last five games. Lavarnway also had a good night for Pawtucket, going 3 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Portland never trailed in an 8-1 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. (TOR). After a couple of rocky starts, Chris Balcom-Miller got himself back on track, throwing 7.0 solid innings, allowing only 1 run on only 3 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 3. He had plenty of an offensive cushion to work with. Portland got it started in the first, when a Juan Carlos Linares single was followed by a two-run homer by Reynaldo Rodriguez. After New Hampshire got one back in the second, Rodriguez went deep again in the third inning, this time following a Linares double, to give the Sea Dogs a 4-1 lead. Portland added two in the fourth, as a Zach Gentile single scored Derrik Gibson, followed by a Ronald Bermudez sacrifice fly that brought in Ryan Dent. Portland capped its scoring in the fifth with its third two-run homer of the night, this one by Bryce Brentz, following a Rodriguez double. Josh Fields closed out the game, throwing 2.0 hitless innings, walking 1 and striking out 4. Rodriguez finished the night 3 for 4, totaling 10 total bases and 4 RBI, and he now has 3 home runs in his last two games. Linares and Brentz both went 2 for 4.

Unsatisfied with their 15-hit barrage on Sunday, Greenville had 17 on Monday night in an 11-6 victory over the Rome Braves (ATL). Down 1-0 in the first, Keury De La Cruz got things started for Greenville by extending his hitting streak to ten games with a single in the bottom of the inning, followed by a Garin Cecchini double. A Boss Moanaroa single to center drove in both, giving the Drive a 2-1 advantage. The Braves struck back with three runs of their own in the top of the second, but Greenville broke the game open, sending ten batters to the plate in a seven-hit, five-run inning. The big hits were a bases-loaded Cecchini double that scored Jordan Weems and Bryan Johns. It was followed by a David Renfroe single that scored Cecchini and De La Cruz. A two-run home run by Cody Koback in the fourth gave Greenville a 9-5 lead. Madison Younginer was the beneficiary of the offensive onslaught, settling down and getting the his first win of 2012, going 5.0 innings, allowing 5 runs (only 2 earned) on 7 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4. Scott Swinson threw 3.0 shutout frames out of the bullpen, allowing 2 hits and striking out 5 without walking a batter. Nefi Ogando allowed an unearned run on 2 hits in his 1.0 inning of work. De La Cruz had another big night for the Drive, finished 4 for 5 with a pair of runs scored. He is now 20 for 43 during his ten-game hitting streak. Cecchini ended the night 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, a triple, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Johns, Renfroe, Koback and Henry Ramos also had two-hit games for Greenville, which looks to complete the four-game sweep of Rome this afternoon. 

Player of the Night: Reynaldo Rodriguez had 10 total bases, powering Portland to an 8-1 victory over New Hampshire. Rodriguez went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs, a double, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI.