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July 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz powers Portland to doubleheader sweep

7/14 Cup of Coffee: Portland was the story of the day as they swept a doubleheader against the rival New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). In other affiliate action, Pawtucket, Salem, Greenville and Lowell all took losses while the GCL and DSL Red Sox found the win column.
Billy Buckner's struggles continued as the Buffalo Bisons (NYM) stomped Pawtucket, 8-2. Buckner started off well, tossing 4.0 scoreless inning but ran into trouble in the middle innings, allowing two runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth. Junichi Tazawa relieved Bucker in the seventh and impressed by striking out all three batters he faced. Daniel Bard came out of the bullpen in the eighth and struggled with his control, allowing a run on two walks while striking out one. Carl Crawford continued his rehab by going 0 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Crawford is expected to be activated play one more game with Pawtucket today before being activated by the Red Sox on Monday. Lars Anderson led the PawSox offense with a 2 for 4 evening, both hits being doubles. Pawtucket was a dismal 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten men on base.
Game one of a doubleheader in Portland needed extra innings, but the Sea Dogs walked off with a 4-3 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Reynaldo Rodriguez had a huge night at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and an RBI. Bryce Brentz (pictured), who hit fifth and followed Rodriguez in the lineup, went 2 for 4 with a crucial home run in the seventh and a walk-off RBI single in the eighth. Chris Carpenter, who is continuing his rehab after having surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, tossed 2.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits while punching out three.

Game two of the doubleheader was led once again by the Sea Dogs power, both with the bats and on the mound as they fended off the Fisher Cats, 3-1. Jeremy Kehrt received the start and was outstanding in his 5.0 innings of work, allowing an unearned run on four hits while striking out two. Portland only mustered three hits but made the most of them, receiving a Jeremey Hazelbaker solo home run in the first and a Brentz two run home run in the third. By winning their past three contests, the Sea Dogs have moved out of the Eastern League cellar and find themselves ahead of New Hampshire by 2.5 games.
Salem had a rough evening at the plate and suffered a tough 1-0 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL). Leadoff man Heiker Meneses had the only two Red Sox hits as Hillcats pitcher Cody Martin pitched a gem, tossing a complete game, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out 14. Yeiper Castillo suffered the loss despite pitching well, allowing just one run on five hits over 7.0 innings. 
Greenville found itself in an early hole that it could not escape as they fell 3-1 to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF). Noe Ramirez suffered the loss, hurling 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks, punching out four. The Drive managed just four hits, with their lone run coming in the eighth on a Keury De La Cruz RBI double. De La Cruz's magnificent season has perhaps gotten even better in July, as the 21-year-old is hitting .333/.381/.641 with three home runs and six RBI.

Lowell's short two game winning streak came to an end as they dropped a 7-2 decision to the Mahoning Valley Scrapers (CLE). Mike Aguilera was knocked around in just 1.2 innings of work, allowing four runs on five hits, striking out three. Francisco Tavares relieved Aguilera and was a bright spot out of the bullpen, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings, striking out four. Deven Marrero, Kendrick Perkins and Oscar Perez each had an RBI double, comprising all of the Spinners offense.
A day after being washed away by rain, the GCL Red Sox shot down the GCL Orioles (BAL), 4-1. Ishea Conklin, a 19th round selection in this year's draft, laced his first professional home run in the eighth, bringing home two runs. Cleuluis Rondon added an RBI double and Shaq Green-Thompson finished the day 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk.
After not being able to comeback a day earlier against the Rangers, the DSL Red Sox claimed a 5-4 victory over the Rangers (TEX) in 12 innings. Raymel Flores and Junior Estrella led the Red Sox with three hits apiece, an integral part of a 13 hit Red Sox attack. With the game deadlocked in the 12th, Andres Garcia lined an RBI single that proved to be the game winner. The victory was made possible by outstanding bullpen work by the Red Sox. Yankory Pimentel, Leonel Vazquez, Edwin Osorio and Wildyn Florian combined to toss 8.0 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just five hits.
Player of the Day: Portland right fielder Bryce Brentz, who was 3 for 7 with two home runs, two runs scored, four RBI, a stolen base and a walk off RBI single in game one of a doubleheader against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Photo credit: Bryce Brentz by Dave Letizi

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