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June 3, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL season begins on busy night for affiliates

6/3 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Portland split doubleheaders, Salem lost two to Myrtle Beach, Greenville pummeled Charleston, and the DSL Red Sox kicked off their season with a thrilling win. 

Despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead, the PawSox fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 5-4. Back-to-back doubles from Darnell McDonald and Ryan Lavarnway put the PawSox ahead in the top of the first. Che-Hsuan Lin singled to lead off the second, and advanced to third on a Nate Spears double. Lin came in on a Tony Thomas single, and Spears scored on a passed ball to put the PawSox up by three. In the fourth, Thomas, who went 3 for 3, doubled and came in to score on a McDonald single, and it looked like the PawSox were going to cruise to victory. The IronPigs had other ideas as they scored two in the fourth and two in the fifth to knock PawSox starter Brandon Duckworth out of the game. In the bottom of the seventh, the last inning of the game due to the doubleheader, the IronPigs walked off on a bases loaded single off of Junichi Tazawa

Lars Anderson
(Dave Letizi)
Pawtucket turned the tables on the IronPigs, coming from behind to win Game 2, 7-6. McDonald led off the game with a double and came in to score on a Lars Anderson home run. Lehigh Valley came storming back to score four runs in the second and two in the third off of Tony Pena, Jr. Down 6-4 in the fourth, the PawSox began chipping away. A Pedro Ciriaco home run in the fourth brought them within one, and a Mike Rivera single tied the game in the fifth. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Anderson singled home Ronald Bermudez to give the PawSox the lead. Mark Prior, who made his PawSox debut, Clayton Mortensen, and Mark Melancon combined to pitch 4.0 innings of scoreless relief to help secure the victory. 

Thanks to some timely hitting, the Sea Dogs beat the Altoona Curve (PIT), 5-3. With the bases loaded and two outs in the first, Dan Butler singled to score Jeremy Hazelbaker and Shannon Wilkerson. After the Curve took a 3-2 lead in the second, Reynaldo Rodriguez led off the third inning with a walk, and was driven in on a Bryce Brentz home run. That would prove to be enough for the Sea Dogs, as starter Anthony Ranaudo settled down to throw 5.0 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 4. After giving up three runs in the first two innings, Ranaudo would allow only two more Altoona batters to reach over his final three innings. Ranaudo's first two starts after coming off the disabled list were rough, but he has shown some improvements over his last two starts. Butler added an RBI double in the seventh to provide the Sea Dogs with some insurance. 

Game 2 was not as kind to the Sea Dogs, as they gave up two runs in the seventh to fall to the Curve, 3-2. Hazelbaker led off the game with a home run, but that was the last run the Sea Dogs would score until the fifth inning. Starter Jeremy Kehrt pitched well, going 4.0 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits. The Sea Dogs took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Wilkerson singled home Zach Gentile, but Nick Natoli was thrown out at the plate. That play proved to be crucial as the Curve scored two times in the seventh off of Josh Fields to win the game. 

Despite out-hitting the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) 8-3, Salem was defeated in Game 1, 5-2. The Pelicans scored three runs in the first while only collecting one hit, a two-run double with two-outs. Three walks, a steal, and a wild pitch doomed Salem starter Ryan Pressly. Salem got two runs back in the bottom of the first. Jackie Bradley, Jr. reached on an error and came in to score on a Matty Johnson double. Johnson scored on a Travis Shaw single, but Shaw was stranded at third base. It would be the closest Salem would come all game. Bradley finished the game 1 for 2 with a double and walk, while Christian Vazquez and Michael Almanzar each collected two hits. 

The rough night continued for Salem as the Pelicans were victorious again, winning 6-4 in nine innings. The Pelicans jumped on Salem starter Manny Rivera for two runs on three hits in the first. Salem got a run back as Bradley doubled to lead off the bottom of the first and came in to score on an error. Myrtle Beach tacked on another run in the third, but Salem tied the game as Sean CoyleBrandon Jacobs, and Xander Bogaerts all doubled to plate two runs. The back-and-forth game continued as the Pelicans scored a run in the fifth, but Salem tied it in the sixth on a RBI triple from James Kang. The game went to extras where reliever Andrew Jones kept Salem in the game. Jones threw three no-hit innings in the game, but Salem failed to capitalize on its chances. Jones was relieved by Michael Olmsted in the ninth, who gave up two runs, which proved to be the difference in the game. 
Blake Swiahrt
(William Parmeter)

The Drive offense stayed hot, defeating the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 10-4. Greenville picked up right where they left off on Friday night, scoring four runs in the first. Triples from Keury De La Cruz and Drew Turocy, and a single from David Renfroe were the big hits in the inning. In the third, Garin Cecchini singled, and Turocy and Henry Ramos walked, and they all came in to score on a Blake Swihart triple to give the Drive a commanding lead. Swihart finished the game going 2 for 2 with 5 RBI and 2 sacrifice flies.  That was more than enough for Henry Owens who went 5.0 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, walking none and striking out 5. As has been the case for most of his starts, all of the runs he allowed came after the third inning. 

The DSL Red Sox started out their season on the right foot, coming from behind to defeat the DSL Mets2 (NYM), 8-7. The Red Sox got four runs in the third on triples from Osvaldo Almengo and Manuel Margot, and a single from Raymel Flores. Flores and Margot, who were two of the Red Sox biggest international free agent signings in 2011, each had impressive debuts. Flores, a shortstop, went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, while Margot, a good defensive center fielder, went 3 for 5 with a triple and a home run. Down 7-5 going into the top of the ninth, the Red Sox mounted a comeback. A Flores single and Andres Garcia walk put the go-ahead run at the plate, and Margot connected on a three-run home run to give the Red Sox the lead, and ultimately the victory. 

Player of the Night: Manuel Margot had quite an impressive professional debut. He went 3 for 5 and was a double shy of the cycle. His ninth inning, three-run home run won the game and made this day one he would never forget. The 17-year-old Dominican was signed to an $800,000 contract on July 2nd, and scouting reports said that his defense was ahead of his offense. While this may still be true, his showing yesterday proves that he is no slouch with the bat.