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June 19, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Cup of Coffee: Taveras' strong outing propels Lowell to opening day win

Francisco Taveras (Kelly O'Connor)
6/19 Cup of Coffee: Lowell scraped out a victory on opening night as the DSL Red Sox walked off with a win in extra innings. Pawtucket and the GCL Red Sox fell as they were unable to master their opponents. 

Syracuse poured on the offense in the later innings as the Chiefs (WAS) raced past Pawtucket, 11-7. Aaron Cook received the start as he looks to work his way back into form, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. Tony Pena received the loss for his 2.0 innings of relief, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk, punching out three. Mark Prior added 1.1 innings out of the bullpen, allowing two runs on one hit and a walk, striking out four. Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the PawSox tied the game on Ryan Lavarnway's seventh home run of the year. Down 4-1 in the sixth, Pawtucket pulled to within one on Josh Kroeger's two run home run. Nate Spears' three run blast in the seventh gave the PawSox a temporary 6-4 advantage. Syracuse plated five runs in the bottom half of the seventh to reclaim the lead, 9-6 and added two more in the eighth. Pawtucket rallied for a run in the ninth on a Kroeger sacrifice fly, but could not come back from the large deficit. Lavarnway had a strong night at the plate, going 3 for 5 with a home run, two doubles, RBI and a run scored. 

Lowell's opening night was a victorious one as they pounced on the Connecticut Tigers (DET) late to claim a 2-1 victory. Francisco Taveras received the start and tossed 5.0 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits while punching out nine. William Cuevas added an inning of relief, allowing a hit and a walk. Yunior Ortega pitched the last 3.0 innings of the contest, striking out 2. Down 1-0 in the seventh, the Spinners grabbed the lead on an Oscar Perez RBI double and a Matthew Gedman RBI single. Every member of the Lowell lineup reached base at least once except for first baseman David Chester

The GCL Red Sox were nipped by the GCL Rays (TB), 3-2. Mario Alcantara received the start and tossed  3.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks, striking out three. Ellis Jimenez took the loss for his 4.0 innings of relief, allowing one run on six hits while punching out six. Down 2-0 in the second, the Red Sox cut the lead in half as Jake Davies came home on a costly error by the Rays first baseman. In the third, a Jose Colorado RBI single tied the contest, 2-2. The Rays would grab the lead back in the fourth as they plated the final run of the game. The Red Sox mustered just four hits and were 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. 

A late offensive showing allowed the DSL Red Sox to walk off with a extra inning victory over the DSL Marlins (FLA), 3-2. Randy Perez started for the Red Sox, tossing 3.2 innings, allowing on run on four hits and three walks, striking out one. Victor Ramirez provided solid relief out of the bullpen, hurling 4.1 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits, striking out three. William Abreu picked up his first victory of the season for his 2.0 innings of relief, allowing one hit and punching out one. Down 2-0 in the eighth, the Red Sox grabbed their first run of the contest as Manuel Margot came home as the Marlins center fielder muffed a fly ball. A Raymel Flores RBI single in the ninth tied the contest, 2-2. In the tenth, the Red Sox walked off with a victory as Flores drew a bases loaded walk. The Red Sox left 14 men on base, but took advantage of six Marlins errors. 

Player of the Night: Francisco Taveras, who made a stellar 2012 debut by hurling 5.0 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits while striking out nine in Lowell's 2-1 victory on opening day. 

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