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July 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Germano dominant as opt-out date arrives

7/1 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox ended June on a high note, Portland walked-off against Trenton, and Greenville was the only lower-level team to come away with a victory on Saturday. 

Justin Germano
 (Kelly O'Connor)
The bottom half of the Pawtucket order did some serious damage, as the PawSox defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 14-1. With his July 1st opt-out date looming, Justin Germano tossed an absolute gem, striking out 10 over 8.0 shutout innings. There is more on Germano at the end of the article. Even though Germano did not need much run support, he got plenty, as five PawSox collected at least three hits. Mauro Gomez, Jason Repko, and Mike Rivera each had three hits while Lars Anderson and Andy LaRoche had four hits apiece. LaRoche had three doubles and a home run, while Repko and Rivera each contributed a home run as well. 

Facing the recently demoted Dellin Betances, the Sea Dogs came-from-behind to beat the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 4-3. Sea Dogs pitchers allowed 13 base runners, but were able to limit the damage, as the Thunder left nine men on base. Chris Hernandez allowed eight of the base runners over 5.0 innings, but gave up only two runs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 0 for 2 with two walks, Jeremy Hazelbaker went 2 for 4 with a three-run double in the eighth to tie the game, and Drew Hedman hit a walk-off home run to send the Portland fans home happy. 

Salem was pummeled by Potomac (WAS), losing 13-4. Every Potomac batter collected at least one hit, as the Salem staff was hit around early and often. Miguel Celestino allowed six runs, while Ruben Flores and Michael Gleason allowed three earned runs each. The Salem offense was able to keep pace for the first few innings, but were held hitless by the Potomac bullpen over the final four innings. Brandon Jacobs went 2 for 4, Xander Bogaerts went 1 for 3 with his 16th double of the season, and Christian Vazquez had two hits, including his fourth home run. 

Greenville continued its dominance of Charleston (NYY), beating the RiverDogs 5-3. Miguel Pena continued his solid season, throwing 6.0 innings allowing one run on five hits, walking three and striking out four. His ERA now sits at 2.61. Greenville's four-run second inning proved to be the difference, with Bryan Johns and Cody Koback each delivering run-scoring singles. Boss Moanaroa led the offense, going 2 for 3 with two walks and a double. 

Lowell dropped a 13 inning marathon to the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK), 4-3. Vermont got to Jacob Dahlstrand for three runs in the second, but that was the last time they would score until inning 13. Dahlstrand settled down to throw 6.0 innings, and Yunior Ortega threw 5.0 scoreless innings of relief, allowing only two hits and striking out five. Lowell was not able to get a timely hit, leaving runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings. Deven Marrero had his worst day as a pro, going 0 for 6 with a strikeout, while Nathan Minnich had his best day, going 3 for 6 with an RBI. 

Despite having two All-Stars in the outfield, the GCL Red Sox were defeated by the GCL Twins (MIN), 4-3.   Carl Crawford went 1 for 3 with an infield single as the left fielder, while Jacoby Ellsbury played center field and walked in his only two plate appearances. Oddly enough, Jesus Loya was the outfielder with the best statistical game for the Red Sox, going 2 for 4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Ricardo Betancourt and Robby Scott threw the final 3.1 innings of relief, allowing three base runners while striking out four. 

The DSL Red Sox played one of the sloppiest games you will ever see, losing to the DSL Rangers, 16-3. The pitching was not as bad as the score indicates, as only six of the runs were earned due to the eight errors committed by the defense. Andres Garcia, Roberto Duncan, and Kevin Segovia all had two hits, while Manuel Margot went 1 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. 

Player of the Night: In what may have been his last start in the Red Sox organization, Justin Germano was dominant. Quietly, Germano has been terrific this season. He is now 9-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 105.0 innings. His 0.90 WHIP is lower than Matt Barnes' 0.91, and he has no platoon splits to speak of. The 29-year-old is a great asset to have, but there is unlikely to be any room on the Red Sox for him. He should receive at least one better offer.