SoxProspects News

July 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Couch's complete game leads Salem to victory


7/26 Cup of Coffee: Keith Couch nearly pitched a complete game shutout, Jacob Dahlstrand had arguably his best start of the season, and Jose Vinicio stole home in a night where most of the Red Sox affiliates saw success.
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Major League veteran Nelson Figueroa collected a win in his Pawtucket debut, just one day after the Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract. The PawSox scored one run in each of their first four innings to defeat the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 4-2. Figueroa pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits before running into some trouble in the sixth inning, where he gave up the only two runs the Indians would score before recording an out. Alex Wilson, Clayton Mortensen, and Jose De La Torre combined for four innings of scoreless relief. Juan Carlos Linares had his third consecutive multi-hit game, going 3 for 4.
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It took until the sixth inning for either team to score a run, but the Sea Dogs couldn’t hold their one-run lead for more than an inning, and dropped the game to the Trenton Thunder (NYY) 4-2. Portland drew first blood in the bottom of the sixth, scoring a run on four consecutive singles to lead off the inning. The Thunder later responded with three runs off of Ryan Pressly in the top of the seventh, which the Sea Dogs ultimately could not match. Although the Sea Dogs threatened in the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff double from Kolbrin Vitek, who scored, the rally fell short. In his third game back from the disabled list, Vitek went 2 for 2 with two doubles.
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The Salem Red Sox defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX), 6-1, in what was almost a complete game shutout from Keith Couch. Couch threw a complete game, allowing one run on ten hits, and struck out four. The Pelicans’ sole run came in the top of the ninth on back-to-back hits, but Couch maintained his composure and retired his final three batters consecutively. The Red Sox jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in both the third and fourth innings. Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer in the third inning—his second homer in as many days. Michael Almanzar, who has at least a hit in each of his last ten games, went 3-4. Making an out in his final at-bat, Almanzar ended a streak of reaching base in 16 consecutive plate appearances, during which he went 11 for 11 with four walks and a hit-by pitch. He is 20 for 36 during his ten-game streak.

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Jason Garcia gave up three runs on two hits and struck out eight batters in 5.1 innings to lead the Greenville Drive to a 9-3 victory over the Asheville Tourists (COL). The Drive broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth inning on a three-run home run from Henry Ramos. The Tourists came within a run in the bottom of the sixth inning when they scored two runs thanks in part to an error and a wild pitch. But Greenville retaliated with three runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by Jose Vinicio stealing home. Garin Cecchini went 3 for 4 with a double to push his average over .300 for the season. 
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Jacob Dahlstrand pitched 5.2 solid innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out three in his best start of the season to lead the Spinners to a 3-1 victory over the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI). The Spinners answered the Crosscutters' only run in the top of the second inning immediately, scoring two runs in the bottom half on a two-run double from Aneury Tavarez. The Spinners maintained the lead the rest of the game, adding an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on a double from Deven Marrero
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Every GCL Red Sox hitter played a part in hammering the GCL Orioles (BAL), 13-4. Jeremias Pineda, who has at least a hit in each of his last ten games, once again led the charge going 4-5 with two RBIs. The Red Sox broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning when they scored five runs, aided by back-to-back throwing errors at the beginning of the inning. Jose Colorado capped the inning with a bases clearing, three-run double. The Red Sox buffered their 8-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning by scoring another five runs. Sergio Gomez threw 5.0 innings, giving up two runs, only one earned, on four hits with five strikeouts. 
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Keivin Heras gave up only two runs on three hits over 5.0 innings with three stikeouts, but the DSL Red Sox could not generate enough run support and lost a close one to the DSL Rangers (TEX) 3-2. The Red Sox made some noise in the bottom of the ninth when Aneudis Peralta hit a two-out double to score Manuel Margot, who led off the inning with a single, but the rally did not fully come to fruition. 
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Player of the Night: Keith Couch's complete game, almost-shutout stood out among a lot of impressive performances Wednesday night. Couch struck out four, but pitched primarily to contact, eliciting 11 ground balls, four of which were double plays. It was the second quality start in a row for the 2010 draftee, and the win brought him to a 7-8 record with a 3.89 ERA for the year.


Photo credit: Keith Couch by Dave Letizi 

 
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