June 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM
6/24 Cup of Coffee: Despite getting starts from some of the system's top pitching prospects, it was a rough night for pitching, as every affiliate except the GCL Red Sox gave up at least seven runs.
Pawtucket continued to struggle, dropping its sixth consecutive game in a 7-5 loss to the Louisville Bats (CIN). Mauro Gomez launched a three-run home run in the top of the first to put the PawSox ahead, but the lead did not last long. Jeremy Kehrt allowed two runs in the second and Louisville tied the game in the third when old friend Kris Negron scored on a sacrifice fly. Kehrt allowed four runs in as many innings in what was the definition of a spot start. Aaron Cook was scheduled to start the game, but found out a couple hours before the game that he was starting for Boston on Sunday. Pawtucket tied the game at five in the sixth inning when Pedro Ciriaco, who went 3 for 4 with a double, scored on a Ryan Lavarnway sacrifice fly. Louisville answered back with three runs in the eighth to secure the victory and continue Pawtucket's skid.
Portland was pummeled by the long-ball in Game One of its doubleheader, falling to the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 8-3. After not allowing a home run over his first nine starts of the season, Stolmy Pimentel gave up a solo home run in the fourth inning, and was then tattooed for back-back-back home runs in the fifth. He finished throwing 4.1 innings, giving up seven runs on 11 hits. Oscar Tejeda led the Portland offense, going 3 for 4. Jackie Bradley, Jr. picked up where he left off in Salem, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Mike Ashmore posted a video of Bradley collecting his first Double-A RBI. Check out his YouTube account for more video from the game.
A late comeback fell just short, as the Sea Dogs fell to Thunder 7-6 in Game Two. Bradley led off the game with a double and came in to score on a Marquez Smith single. After a perfect first inning, Anthony Ranaudo struggled in the second. He allowed two runs on two hits and three walks. With the bases loaded and one out, Ranaudo got a strikeout and a fly out to limit the damage. He was pulled after the second, as he threw almost 50 pitches in the inning. A Bryce Brentz single in the third put the Sea Dogs back on top, but the Thunder got a bases-clearing double in the fifth and an infield RBI single in the sixth to take a 6-3 lead. The Sea Dogs were down to their last out in the top of the seventh, but mounted a comeback. With the bases loaded, Tejeda hit a two-run single, and Matt Spring followed with a single of his own to tie the game. Unfortunately, the Thunder got to Aaron Kurcz in the bottom of the seventh and walked off with a sweep of the doubleheader.
Matt Barnes has dominated every team in his professional career, except for one. The Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) have gotten to Barnes for eight of the 12 runs he has allowed in High-A, and they finished off a sweep of Salem, winning 8-5. Barnes gave up a first-inning home run to his former UConn teammate Nick Ahmed, and was chased from the game after allowing three runs in the fourth inning. In what was the shortest outing of his career, Barnes threw 3.2 innings allowing five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out three. The Salem offense did its best to bail him out, scoring a run in the fourth on Xander Bogaerts' tenth home run of the season, and three in the fifth, but it was not enough to avoid the sweep. Bogaerts went 2 for 4, Christian Vazquez went 2 for 3 with a double and a home run, and Sean Coyle went 3 for 4 with a double.
Greenville slugged its way to a victory, beating the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 13-8. Henry Owens started for Greenville and threw 5.0 innings allowing five runs on six hits. As has been the case in many of his starts, he still had great peripheral stats despite his poor ERA. In this outing, he struck out seven and walked one. The game was back and forth until the fifth, when Greenville scored seven times. Jose Garcia and Cody Koback each had two-run singles in the inning as Greenville extended its lead to five. Garcia went 2 for 3 with three walks while Koback went 2 for 4 with two walks. Blake Swihart added a two-run single in the seventh to give the Drive some breathing room. Six Drive hitters had at least two hits, including Garin Cecchini who went 2 for 3 with three walks. He was removed from the game with leg cramps after grounding out in the eighth. Matthew Marquis also had a great day, going 3 for 4 with a home run.
Lowell lost a heartbreaker, as the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) edged out the Spinners, 8-7. Vermont jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but the Spinners got all four runs back in the third. RBI singles from Mookie Betts, David Chester, and Matt Gedman pulled Lowell back into the game. After taking a one-run lead in the fifth, sloppy play doomed Lowell in the seventh. Jadd Schmeltzer surrendered a leadoff walk, allowed an RBI double to tie the game, and then the go-ahead run scored on a Jason Thomson throwing error. Vermont added an important insurance run in the ninth, as a double steal allowed the runner from third to score as Lowell catcher Oscar Perez threw through to second base for a caught stealing. Nathan Minnich brought the Spinners within a run in the ninth, but that was as close as they would get. Gedman, Chester, Betts, and Aneury Tavarez all had multi-hit games for the Spinners.
The GCL Red Sox only had six hits, but scored nine times to defeat the GCL Twins (MIN), 9-1. The story of the game was the Red Sox pitching, as they carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Mario Alcantara started, and threw 4.0 hitless innings, although he did allow a run due to two walks and a hit-by-pitch. He was followed by Ellis Jimenez, who threw 4.0 perfect innings, striking out four. Oscar Melendez came in to start the eighth and allowed a leadoff single, but settled down to finish off the final 2.0 innings. Carl Crawford continued his rehab, going 0 for 3 with two walks, one of them being intentional. Jake Davies went 1 for 3 with a home run and a walk, and Iseha Conklin went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts in his professional debut.
(Photo courtesy of player)
The Dominican Summer League is known for having crazy games, and yesterday's game did not disappoint, as the DSL Red Sox defeated the DSL Yankees2 (NYY), 11-10. The Red Sox scored 10 times in the first inning on six hits. Raymel Flores and Andres Garcia each scored twice in the inning, with Flores reaching on a walk and a hit-by-pitch, and Garcia collecting two walks. Manuel Margot had two hits and four RBI in the first, connecting on a triple and a single. The Yankees did not go down easily, continuously chipping away at the deficit. After going down in order in the fifth, the Yankees scored in every remaining inning, including two runs in the ninth to bring the game within a run. With the tying run on second, German Taveras got a ground out to end the game. In all, the Red Sox had 11 hits, drew 10 walks, were hit by three pitches, and reached on three errors, but went only 5 for 23 with runners in scoring position. Flores reached base six times without recording a hit, walking four times and getting hit by two pitches.
Player of the Night: Normally Matt Barnes is a lock for Player of the Night when he pitches, but his poor performance opened the door for someone else to take the honors. Despite not collecting a hit, Raymel Flores reached base in all six of his plate appearances. He is likely the first position player to ever win Player of the Night honors without collecting a hit.