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July 24, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sea Dogs win on Hissey 11th-inning walk-off bomb, as Sox afflilates sweep


7/24 Cup of Coffee: The only thing that could stop Boston's affiliates on Monday night was the weather, as Lowell was rained out on an otherwise perfect night. The victories included a thrilling walk off win for Portland, shutouts for Greenville and the GCL Red Sox, and huge offensive performances by Pawtucket and Salem.
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Pawtucket got an outstanding outing from Billy Buckner while their offense pounded out 16 hits in an 8-1 win over the Louisville Bats (CIN). Buckner allowed only an unearned run on four hits in his 7.0 innings of work, while striking out five and walking one. Daniel Bard had his third consecutive scoreless outing in relief, throwing a perfect eighth inning and striking out one. Alex Hassan reached base five times, going 3 for 3 with a walk and a hit batsman, scoring once and driving in a run, pushing his on-base percentage up to .390 on the year. Andy LaRoche went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk, three RBI, and a stolen base. Jose Iglesias reached base three times, going 1 for 4 with a pair of walks.
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Portland had three home runs in a 7-4 victory over the Trenton Thunder (NYY). Two were by the first two batters they sent to the plate, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Jeremy Hazelbaker went back to back to lead off the bottom of the first. The third was by the very last player they sent to the plate, as Peter Hissey (pictured) launched a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning. Following a Bryce Brentz single and a Dan Butler walk, Hissey hit the first pitch he saw over the wall in center to take home the victory. 

Overall on the night, Hissey went 2 for 5, his third consecutive two-hit game. Bradley's home run was the third since his promotion to Portland - he also walked three times, raising his on-base percentage to .395 since joining the Sea Dogs, as well as stealing a base. Hazelbaker's blast was his 16th of the year, and number seven in only 80 at bats in July. Brentz hit his 22nd double of the year as part of a 3 for 5 night. Three days after a disastrous performance when he allowed seven runs in only 0.2 innings, Will Latimer picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief.
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A thirteen-hit attack led Salem to an 11-5 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX). Michael Almanzar continued his scorching hot July, going 3 for 3 with a double, home run and a hit batsman, scoring three times and stealing a base. On the month, Almanzar is hitting .313/.402/.600, and his 28 doubles are fourth most in the Eastern League. Heiker Meneses had big night at the top of the lineup, driving in five runs as part of a 2 for 5 night that included a double and a triple. Brandon Jacobs went 3 for 5 with a home run. Strangly, on such a big offensive evening, Salem's top hitters Travis Shaw and Xander Bogaerts were not at the center - both had rare 0 for 5 games. The offensive outburst supported Yeiper Castillo, who moved to 2-1 since his promotion to Salem. Castillo threw 5.0 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out one while walking three. Manuel Rivera tossed 4.0 scoreless innings to notch his second save.
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Mike McCarthy turned in a gem for Greenville, as the Drive shut down the Asheville Tourists (COL), 5-0. McCarthy, regularly a reliever making just his second start of the year, tossed 6.0 shutout innings, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out three. He earned the win, his second of the season. Nefi Ogando and Nathan Striz combined to throw 3.0 scoreless innings in relief, with Striz getting the save. Blake Swihart hit a solo home run, his sixth of the year. Swihart, a 2011 first round pick, was given an aggressive placement in Greenville to start his first full professional season. After a difficult adjustment in April he has improved steadily each month and is having an outstanding July, hitting 298/.355/.561.
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Lowell's game against the Vermont Lake Monsters was postponed by rain. They will make up the game today as part of a doubleheader in Burlington. 
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The GCL Red Sox played the first of two night games on their schedule, and responded with a 3-0 shutout victory over the GCL Rays. Matt Spalding got the start and turned in 3.0 strong innings, giving up only one hit and hitting a batter while striking out three. Ellis Jimenez picked up the victory with a fantastic performance out of the 'pen, throwing 6.0 scoreless frames, giving up only three hits and striking out seven without walking a batter. Jeremias Pineda led the offense, going 2 for 4 with a pair of runs batted in.
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The pitching of Randy Perez paced the DSL Red Sox to a 3-1 victory against the DSL Marlins. Perez allowed only one run on three hits in 6.0 innings of work to move to 4-0 on the season. The 18-year-old lefthander struck out four and walked only one in the longest outing of his career. Victor Ramirez threw 3.0 shutout innings to earn the save. The strong pitching enabled the Red Sox to emerge victorious on a night when they had only three hits. The big blow on offense was an RBI triple by catcher Alixon Suarez.
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Player of the Day: On a perfect night with several outstanding performances, no play was bigger than the walk-off home run by Peter Hissey. The 22-year-old outfielder impressed in spring training, but got off to a tough 1 for 13 start to the season and went on the disabled list after only five games with a broken hand. Since his activation on June 10, he has hit .308/.354/.433, adding nine stolen bases.

Photo credit: Peter Hissey by Kelly O'Connor

 
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