SoxProspects News

July 20, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Cup of Coffee: Garcia is driving force as Greenville wins 15-inning thriller


7/20 Cup of Coffee: While the big club was pulling out one of their most exciting wins of the year, it was a fruitful night on the farm. Comebacks and some great pitching performances were the story as only Lowell and the DSL Red Sox failed to emerge victorious on the night. The most thrilling victory belonged to Greenville, which twice tied the game in their final at-bat before walking off with the win in the bottom of the 15th.
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Juan Carlos Linares provided the offense for Pawtucket in a 4-3 win over the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS). Linares hit two solo home runs, one in the fourth and another in the eighth. During his current seven-game hitting streak, Linares is 13 for 28 with four home runs. Zach Stewart was effective, allowing only three runs in 6.2 innings. After cruising through the first six, two of those runs came on a two-run home run in the seventh, when Stewart appeared to tire some. Daniel Bard picked up the win in relief, his second since his demotion to Pawtucket. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two. Chris Carpenter pitched a hitless ninth, striking out two and walking one to earn the save.
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Portland took advantage of a pair of errors to score two runs in the top of the ninth to defeat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 3-2. Stolmy Pimentel had one of his strongest starts of the year, giving up only one run on six hits in 7.0 innings, striking out six without walking a batter. Ryan Pressly took the win in relief, giving up one run in his 2.0 innings of work. Jeremy Hazelbaker went deep again for Portland, a day after hitting two home runs.
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Matt Barnes got the start as Salem decimated the Frederick Keys (BAL) by an 11-1 score. SoxProspects.com Senior Columnist Jon Meoli was in attendance to give a full scouting report on Barnes' outing, who allowed one unearned run in 3.0 innings of work, but was lifted after throwing 73 pitches to only 13 batters. The offense did more than its share to pick up Barnes. Brandon Jacobs led the way, with a 4 for 5 afternoon that included a two-run home run. In all, Jacobs scored two runs and drove in four. Sean Coyle continued his second half rebound. After going two months without a home run, Coyle hit his second in as many games as part of a 3 for 5 performance. After a miserable .211/.285/.343 first half, Coyle has turned his season around, hitting .308/.333/.473 in 24 games since the break. Michael Almanzar also homered for the Red Sox. Out of the bullpen, Andrew Jones and Pete Ruiz had nearly identical outings to pick up the win and save, both throwing 3.0 shutout innings with a walk and four strikouts.
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In the game of the night, Greenville won an 11-10 thriller in 15 innings over the Lexington Legends (HOU). Down 8-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Garcia (pictured) led off with a walk, followed by a Keury De La Cruz double and a Garin Cecchini walk to load the bases. David Refroe singled to plate Garcia, and a bases loaded walk to Blake Swihart brought the game within one run. Cody Koback then ripped a liner to right, bringing in Cecchini to even the game at 8-8. After giving up a pair to Lexington in the top of the 12th, Greenville had yet another comeback in them. Swihart led off with a double and moved to third on a Koback single. Swihart came in to score on a groundball by Jordan Weems that forced Koback at second. After Jose Vinicio forced Weems at second, Garcia knocked a base hit to right, moving Vinicio to third. De La Cruz then tied the game on a slow ground ball to the third baseman that everyone beat out. After matching zeroes for the next two innings, Greenville walked off in the bottom of the 15th, with Garcia again at the center of the action. The Drive second baseman led off the inning with a double, then stole third, putting him into position to easily score on Cecchini's single to end the marathon.
Garcia was on base six times, going 4 for 6 with two walks, a double and three runs scored. Every Greenville starter had at least two hits, including Swihart, who hit his fifth home run of the year and also added a pair of walks. Not to be lost in the extra innings commotion was another excellent start by Noe Ramirez, who went 6.0 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits, striking out four without walking a batter. Tyler Lockwood earned the win in relief, striking out the only two batters he faced in the fiftheenth to move to 4-2 on the season.
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None of the magic going through the Red Sox system rubbed off on Lowell, which dropped a 6-1 decision to the Connecticut Tigers (DET). Kolbrin Vitek's rehab assignment was transferred to Lowell, as the thrid baseman continues to work his way back from an intercostal strain. Vitek went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Pat Light made his second start for Lowell, throwing 2.0 hitless innings, walking two and striking out three. Zach Good took the loss in relief, falling to 0-5 on the year.
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The GCL Red Sox reached base 23 times in an 11-3 win over the GCL Orioles. Third baseman Nick Moore starred on offense, going 3 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored, and an RBI. Undrafted free agent left fielder Kevin Mager added a pair of doubles as part of his 2 for 3 afternoon. Sergio Gomez earned the win, allowing three runs on four hits in 5.0 innings, walking one and striking out two. 
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The DSL Red Sox could not hold a late 7-3 lead and fell 8-7 in a walkoff loss to the DSL Yankees2. Dioscar Romero drew the start, allowing two unearned runs on five hits in 4.0 innings, striking out four and walking one. Leonel Vazquez took the loss in relief. After coming into a bases loaded jam with nobody out in the eight, Vazquez allowed only one of the inherited runners to score, inducing a double play and then getting a key strikeout to preserve the lead. However, the Yankees got to Vazquez in the ninth as his control deserted him. Four consecutive walks and a single sealed the loss. On offense, Alixon Suarez continued to produce. The GCL All-Star Game co-MVP hit a third inning two-run home run as part of a 2 for 4 outing. It was his third multi-hit game in his last four. Aneudis Peralta also had a big game, going 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a walk. 
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Player of the Day: Jose Garcia reached base six times in Greenville's thrilling 15-inning victory. The 21-year-old Dominican stole his 20th base of the year, ranking second on Greenville. He has impressed with his improved plate discipline in 2012, already setting a career high with 35 walks, leading to a solid .366 on-base percentage. Garcia is now riding a modest five-game hitting streak.
Photo credit: Jose Garcia by Kelly O'Connor

 
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