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July 22, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Cup of Coffee: Britton dominates the Fisher Cats

7/22 Cup of Coffee: Drake Britton dazzled in Portland on an overall rough night for the affiliates.

Despite out-hitting the Louisville Bats (CIN) 8-7, the PawSox lost 4-0. Tony Pena, Jr. pitched well, but fell apart in the sixth inning, allowing four runs. Those were the only runs allowed over his 6.0 innings of work, and he walked none and struck out five. Mark Prior pitched 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to keep the PawSox in the game, but they could not capitalize. Lars Anderson went 3 for 4, and Che-Hsuan Lin went 2 for 3, but was thrown out at home trying to put the PawSox on the board.
Portland used a great performance from Drake Britton and an offensive outburst to beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 9-1. Britton led the way, pitching 7.0 innings allowing one run on six hits, walking only two and striking out eight. Marquez Smith continued his scorching July, going 4 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Reynaldo Rodriguez followed him with three hits, including a double and a home run. The Sea Dogs scored their runs in bunches, plating three guys in three different innings.
Despite leading for most of the game, Salem fell to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), 7-4Brandon Workman pitched very well until the seventh inning, when he gave up three runs on four hits as Wilmington took a 4-2 lead. In all, Workman pitched 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, walking none and striking out 3. Michael Gleason came in and could not cool down the Wilmington bats either, allowing three runs over the final 2.1 innings. Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle each went 3 for 4, with Shaw adding a walk, a double, and a home run, and Coyle adding a double of his own. 
After giving up five runs in the second, the Drive could not quite complete a comeback, falling to Lexington (HOU), 7-5. Luis Diaz gave up three triples and two doubles in the second, and all five runs scored with two outs. The Drive chipped away at the deficit, scoring three times in the third on RBI singles from Jose Vinicio and Keury De La Cruz and once in the fourth when Blake Swihart scored from third on a ground out after tripling to lead-off the inning. Lexington added two insurance runs late, and it was enough to hold off the Drive. Vinicio and Swihart led the team with two hits.
The Spinners blew a ninth-inning lead, and eventually fell to the Connecticut Tigers (DET) 5-4 in 13 innings. Lowell took advantage of three early walks to take a quick 2-0 lead. After the Tigers tied the score, David Chester laced a two-run single in the top of the seventh to put the Spinners back on top. Spinner starter Raynel Velette pitched well, tossing 6.0 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out four. Yunior Ortega came on in relief and pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, but was touched for two runs in the ninth for his first blown save of the season.

Lowell only had two batters reach base in extra-innings, with neither runner making it into scoring position. The Tigers eventually won the game on an RBI single. Chester and Dreily Guerrero each had two hits and a walk for the Spinners.
Mario Alcantara threw 5.0 shutout innings to lead the GCL Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the GCL Twins (MIN). Alcantara scattered two hits and two walks while inducing seven ground outs and striking out three to earn his second victory of the season. Leading 2-1 in the ninth, the Red Sox used triples from Keaton Briscoe and Jeremias Pineda to push three more runs across the board, and Gerardo Olivares struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Pineda went 2 for 5 with a triple, and Nick Moore went 2 for 3 with a walk. 
The DSL Red Sox took a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, but the Mets2 (NYM) scored twice in the bottom of the inning to walk-off with a win. The Red Sox got on the board in the top of the sixth, when Manuel Margot roped a two-run double to tie the game. The Red Sox added three more in the seventh, with the big hit being a two-run, two-out single from Margot. The Mets answered back with two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to tie the game. In the top of the ninth, Roberto Duncan singled and came in to score on a Andres Garcia double. German Taveras came on for the save and gave up two runs on three hits, including a walk-off infield single. Margot and Garcia paced the offense with two hits apiece, and drove in all six runs.

Player of the Night: Five days after allowing eight runs in 3.2 innings, Drake Britton allowed only one run over 7.0 innings. His eight strikeouts was the most he has had in Double-A, and tied his season high. The most promising stat may be the two walks, as he has been plagued by control problems for the better part of two seasons.

Photo Credit: Drake Britton by Dave Letizi