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August 6, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Brentz, Smith lead Sea Dogs to victory in Wright's debut

8/6 Cup of Coffee: After struggling in the beginning of their seasons, the Sea Dogs and the Spinners have come on strong in recent weeks, and continued their winning ways on Sunday.
Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a walk-off sacrifice fly, as the PawSox beat the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 6-5 in 10 innings. Daisuke Matsuzaka started, and threw 3.0 innings allowing four runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out three. Jose Iglesias' eleventh error of the season caused three of the runs to be unearned. Down 5-0 in the fifth, the PawSox put three runs on the board as Juan Carlos Linares homered and Mike Rivera hit a two-run double. Still down by two in the ninth, Linares scored on a Rodriguez double, and Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. In the tenth, Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to score Jason Repko to win the game for the PawSox. Alex Wilson allowed only one hit over 2.0 innings, and Josh Fields earned his first win as a member of the PawSox, pitching a scoreless tenth inning. 
The middle of the Portland lineup was unstoppable, as the Sea Dogs pummeled the Erie SeaWolves (DET), 11-2. Of Portland's 17 hits, 10 of them came from the two through four hitters. Marquez Smith (pictured) went 4 for 4 with a walk, Jeremy Hazelbaker went 3 for 3 with a stolen base, and Bryce Brentz went 3 for 5 with a double, home run, and a career-high five RBI. 

That was more than enough for Steven Wright, who pitched well in his Red Sox debut. Wright scattered five hits over 6.0 innings, allowing only one run, using his knuckleball to induce weak contact. Andrew Bailey made his first Double-A appearance on his rehab assignment, allowing one run on three hits in 1.0 inning. Travis Shaw went 2 for 4 with a double, while Matt Spring went 3 for 5 with two doubles, and did not have any passed balls catching the knuckleball.
Despite a late comeback, Salem was not able to get past the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), losing 5-4 in 10 innings. Keith Couch was hit around in his 5.0 innings of work, allowing three runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out four. Salem was able to bail him out, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. Michael Almanzar hit an RBI single, and Carson Blair hit the game-tying double. The Blue Rocks scored an unearned run in the top of the tenth that proved to be the game-winner. A day after reaching base six times, Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 4 with a walk, and Adalberto Ibarra went 4 for 5 also with a walk.
Keury De La Cruz continued his terrific season, but Greenville could not keep up with Hickory's (TEX) bats, losing 7-4. Henry Ramos put Greenville up 2-1 in the fourth with a two-run home run, and Boss Moanaroa extended the lead with a two-run single in the fifth. The Crawdads came back, scoring six unanswered runs to coast to victory. De La Cruz went 2 for 5 with a double and a triple, and now has 52 extra-base hits on the season.
Lowell kept on rolling, beating the Staten Island Yankees (NYY) 10-3. Lowell scored in the top of the first after Mike Miller led off with a double and scored on a Dreily Guerrero single. The Yankees got the run back in the second on a Pat Light wild pitch; however, that was all they would get off Light who allowed only two hits in 3.0 innings. After three walks and a hit by pitch, Jake Davies hit a two-run double to give the Spinners an early lead that they would not relinquish. Davies led the offense, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, while Matt Gedman hit a solo home run. 

Player of the Day: Marquez Smith reached base five times in Portland's rout of Erie. The 27-year-old third baseman is now batting .306 in his 48 games with Portland, with 21 extra-base-hits. He hit only .250 in 23 games before the All-Star break, but is now hitting .362 in 25 games post All-Star break.

Photo Credit: Marquez Smith by Kelly O'Connor