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July 23, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lavarnway's four hits lead PawSox

7/23 Cup of Coffee: On a night when Jon Hee threw more scoreless innings than Henry Owens, Pawtucket and Lowell were the only affiliates to come away with a victory.

The PawSox exploded for six runs in the 12th to defeat the Louisville Bats (CIN), 9-3. Making his Triple-A debut, Chris Hernandez pitched well, allowing two runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. Pawtucket got on the board in the sixth when Ryan Lavarnway hit an RBI double to score Jose Iglesias. Down 3-1 in the top of the eighth, Iglesias walked, moved to third on a Lavarnway single, and scored on a Lars Anderson sacrifice fly. The PawSox tied the game in the ninth on a Nate Spears single and the game went to extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Mauro Gomez singled in Lavarnway to give the PawSox the lead, and they did not stop scoring. Juan Carlos Linares and Jon Hee each added two-run doubles to pad the lead. Before hitting his double, Hee was warming up in the bullpen, and he came out to pitch the 12th. He pitched a perfect inning to end the game. Lavarnway went 4 for 7 with two doubles, and Gomez went 2 for 4 with two walks. Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing two hits without walking or striking out a batter. 
After an early offensive outburst, the Sea Dogs bats went silent, losing to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 6-5 in 10 innings. In the top of the first inning, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Marquez Smith hit back-to-back home runs, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. hit an RBI single in the second to give the Sea Dogs an early three-run lead. The Fisher Cats responded by scoring five times in the second off of Maine native Mike MacDonald, but the Sea Dogs answered right back with two runs in the third to tie the game. After that, both bats went silent, with the next run scoring in the bottom of the tenth. Chris Balcom-Miller threw 3.2 innings of hitless relief, striking out four. Kolbrin Vitek returned to the Sea Dogs lineup, going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts as the third baseman. Smith once again paced the offense, going 2 for 5 with a double and a home run to raise his July OPS to 1.027. 
The Salem staff collected 12 strikeouts, but it was not enough as the Blue Rocks (KC) pulled out a 4-3 victory. After allowing a leadoff home run, Miguel Celestino struck out seven of the next nine batters. The fourth inning was a different story, as three runs scored after the first four batters all reached base. Salem got a run in the third on a Felix Sanchez single and another in the fourth on a Michael Almanzar double. Down two in the eighth, Salem got a run when Sean Coyle drew a bases-loaded walk, but Adalberto Ibarra struck out to end the threat. Almanzar went 2 for 2 with a double and two walks, while Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. 
Henry Owens was rocked for six runs in 2.0 innings, as the Lexington Legends (HOU) defeated the Drive, 13-7. Owens allowed three hits, walked four, and struck out four. Down 8-0 in the fourth, the Drive pushed three runs across on a home run from Cody Koback. The Drive kept their foot on the gas, pushing four more runs across in the fifth to get within a run. David Renfroe and Boss Moanaroa each hit a run-scoring double in the inning. Unfortunately, the Drive bullpen could not hold the Legends, as they scored five more times to put the game out of reach. Koback went 2 for 4 with a home run and a walk, and Garin Cecchini went 1 for 3 with two walks. 
Lowell used a good pitching performance to defeat the Connecticut Tigers (DET), 4-3. Justin Haley started and allowed only an unearned run over 3.0 innings of work. His ERA now sits at 0.79 on the season. William Cuevas followed him and allowed two runs over 6.0 innings, walking none and striking out three. The game was tied at three in the seventh, when Deven Marrero laced a triple to right field, and came in to score the go-ahead run on a Dreily Guerrero ground out. Marrero went 2 for 5 with a double and a triple, and Mookie Betts went 2 for 2 with a double and a walk. 

Player of the Night: Ryan Lavarnway went 4 for 7 with two doubles in the PawSox 12-inning victory. After hitting .405 in June, Lavarnway has slipped to .234 in July. This is his first season where he is catching every day, so it is not surprising to see him struggle in the warm July weather. 

Photo Credit: Ryan Lavarnway by Dave Letizi