July 6, 2012 at 7:21 AM
7/6 Cup of Coffee: Affiliates continued to struggle, as only the GCL and DSL Red Sox managed victories on the day.
A six-run fifth inning carried the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) to a 6-4 win over Pawtucket. After cruising through four shutout innings, Tony Pena took the loss to fall to 0-7 on the year, despite leaving the game with a 1-0 lead. Pena gave up a walk and a pair of singles to lead off the fifth, and was lifted for Daniel Bard. Coming off of a very sharp outing on Tuesday, Bard struggled mightily, failing to retire any of the four batters he faced, hitting two of them. He threw only eight of twenty pitches for strikes, often missing the plate by several inches. Alex Wilson came on and was able to put out the fire, going 2.1 shutout innings, giving up only one hit while striking out four and walking two. A ninth-inning rally fell short, as the PawSox scraped a pair of runs and loaded the bases, but the Red Wings got out of the jam to close out the win.
Jose Iglesias had his first multi-hit game since his return from the disabled list, going 2 for 5, ending a 3 for 25 slide. After a very difficult June, Che-hsuan Lin also is showing signs of breaking out with a 3 for 5 night, and he is now riding a modest three-game hitting streak. Andy LaRoche and Alex Hassan both went 2 for 3 with two walks on the night.
Portland fell to 0-6 in July, giving up 11 runs for the second consecutive night in a 11-4 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Eastern League All-Star Chris Hernandez took the loss for Portland. He allowed all four of his runs in the fifth, going 6.0 innings, allowing five hits, striking out four and walking two. Carl Crawford continued his rehab, going 1 for 4 with a triple. Ryan Sweeney also began his rehab assignment with the Sea Dogs last night with a 1 for 4 effort. Jackie Bradley extended his hitting streak to six games and his on-base streak to 11 with his fifth-inning RBI single.
A 4-3 loss to the Carolina Mudcats (CLE) dropped Salem for the sixth time in seven games. Miguel Celestino went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, two of which left the yard. One of those home runs allowed was to Bo Greenwell, son of longtime Red Sox left fielder and SoxProspects.com banner representative Mike Greenwell. Ryan Pressly and Michael Olmstead were sharp in relief, combining for 2.1 scoreless innings. Michael Almanzar continued his hot hitting, going 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, extending his on-base streak to eleven games. Travis Shaw drove in his 60th run, remaining second in the Carolina League, and Brandon Jacobs drove in a pair during a 1 for 3 night that also included a walk and a stolen base.
Greenville's game against the Rome Braves (ATL) was postponed by rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader today at 5:05.
Lowell's bats could not get going, managing only two hits in a 10-1 loss to the Auburn Doubledays (WAS). A pair of Auburn pitchers carried a no-hitter into the seventh, which was broken up on a double by Kendrick Perkins. Three batters later, Mookie Betts drove Perkins home to end the shutout bid. That was far too little to stop Auburn, as it battered Lowell's pitching. Yunel Ortega got the start and allowed three runs on five hits in 5.0 innings, taking his first loss of the year. Jadd Schmeltzer, who went to school just down the highway from Auburn at Cornell, received a rude homecoming, as he retired only one batter while giving up seven runs on five hits and two walks.
The GCL Red Sox beat the GCL Rays 6-4. A pair of rehabbing pitchers took the mound for the GCL team, as Pete Ruiz got the start, allowing 3 runs in 2.0 innings, followed by Chris Carpenter, who gave up one run in his 1.0 inning of work. Ricardo Betancourt (pictured), who came on in the fourth inning, stole the show, tossing 6.0 shutout innings to pick up the win. He allowed six hits and struck out four without walking a batter, lowering his ERA to 1.35 since his promotion from the DSL. On offense, shortstop Cleuluis Rondon continued to impress, going 1 for 4 with a double and a pair of RBI. Jeremias Pineda extended his hitting streak to five games, as he went 2 for 4 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored.
In a preview of this weekend's series at the major league level, the DSL Red Sox knocked off the DSL Yankees2, 7-3. Manuel Margot delivered the big hit, a three run blast in the third inning that gave the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish. Raymel Flores also had a big night, going 2 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored. Randy Perez earned the with to move to 3-0 on the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in 5.0 innings, striking out 5 and walking two. Victor Ramirez tossed 4.0 shutout innings to get the save. He gave up two hits and a walk, while striking out three.
Player of the Day: Ricardo Betancourt is off to a promising start in 2012. The tall lefty out of Venezuela originally signed with the Red Sox in 2009, spending the past two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He again began 2012 at that level, but was promoted to the GCL Red Sox when their season began. In six outings across the two levels, he is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, striking out 14 in 19.1 innings pitched while walking only 1.
Photo credit: Ricardo Betancourt by William Parmeter