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August 5, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bogaerts reaches base six times in Salem walk-off win

8/5 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Salem each notched walk-off wins, while Xander Bogaerts proved why he is the top prospect in the system.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) scored four unanswered runs and beat the PawSox 7-3. Jose Iglesias manufactured a run in the first inning after he singled, stole second, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on a wild pitch. The IronPigs scored three runs off of Nelson Figueroa, but the PawSox tied the game in the fifth after Jason Repko hit an RBI triple and scored on an Iglesias single. Daniel Bard came on in relief and after pitching a scoreless seventh, walked the final two batters he faced in the eighth. Mark Prior came in and allowed a two-run double before striking out the next two batters. Bard's Triple-A ERA rose to 6.57. Iglesias led the offense, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Portland used a two-out ninth inning rally to beat the Erie SeaWolves (DET), 2-1. Stolmy Pimentel had an up-and-down start, allowing only one run in six innings, but also walking five. He allowed five hits and struck out two. Portland tied the game in the fifth when Ryan Dent scored on a Jeremy Hazelbaker infield single, which was all the offense they would get until the ninth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Gentile singled, Jackie Bradley, Jr. walked, and Marquez Smith smacked a game-winning single to send the Portland fans homes happy. Gentile and Bryce Brentz each went 2 for 4, with Brentz adding a double.
Xander Bogaerts (pictured) reached base six times as Salem pulled out a walk-off victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC). Matt Barnes started and threw 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. After allowing a leadoff double, Barnes retired 11 straight before running into trouble in the fifth. His control escaped him, as he walked three in the inning and also allowed two hits. Bogaerts scored a run in the second, and drove in a run in the third with a double.

Down by two in the sixth, Salem tied the game on a two-run double from Adalberto Ibarra. The Blue Rocks took back the lead in the eighth, but Salem tied it again as Shannon Wilkerson singled home Bogaerts in the bottom of the eighth. The game went to extra innings when Sean Coyle drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th to win the game. Bogaerts went 4 for 4 with two walks and two doubles, and Heiker Meneses went 3 for 6 with a single, double and triple. Michael Gleason earned the win, throwing 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Greenville was doubled up by the Hickory Crawdads (TEX), falling 8-4. Jason Garcia only lasted 2.0 innings, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. Greenville tried to keep pace, scoring three times in the bottom of the third on a Jose Garcia home run, but the Crawdads added three runs in the seventh and one in the ninth off of Justin Erasmus to seal the victory. Jose Garcia went 2 for 4 with a home run, while Boss Moanaroa went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Lowell scored in each of its first six innings, easily defeating the Staten Island Yankees (NYY), 7-3. Making his second start, Brian Johnson threw 2.0 scoreless innings, striking out one. Lowell was able to score early and often, with several players making key contributions. Dreily Guerrero went 4 for 5, David Chester went 2 for 5 with a double and a home run, Tim Roberson went 3 for 4 with a home run, and Aneury Tavarez went 2 for 4 with a triple.
Despite scoring four runs in the first, the GCL Red Sox fell to the GCL Twins (MIN), 7-5. After Nick Moore singled to give the Red Sox their first run, Deiner Lopez roped a two-run double, and Miguel Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to give the Sox a four-run cushion. Unfortunately, Sergio Gomez could not hold the lead, allowing seven runs, five earned, in 4.1 innings. A home run and triple from Byron Buxton were the big hits for the Twins. Jeffery Wendelken and Robby Scott combined to throw the final 3.2 innings, allowing only two hits. Lopez went 3 for 4 with a double, while Jose Colorado went 2 for 4.

Player of the Night: Xander Bogaerts has started to pull away from the pack as the unanimous number one prospect in the system. After reaching base six times on Saturday, Bogaerts is now batting .447 with a 1.323 OPS in his past 10 games. His season line of .301/.377/.504 would be great for anyone in the Carolina League, let alone a 19-year-old who is still developing his approach. A call up to Portland is not likely this season, but if he keeps up his current pace, he may force the move.

Photo Credit: Xander Bogaerts by Dave Letizi