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August 3, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Cup of Coffee: Killer B's: Bradley, Brentz, and Britton lead Portland

8/3 Cup of Coffee: Portland highlighted the night with their shutout victory. Salem took a win in the completion of Wednesday's matchup before dropping its regularly-scheduled game, and the GCL Red Sox erased a six-run deficit to emerge with the victory.
Chris Hernandez finished on the losing end of a pitcher's duel, as Pawtucket fell 2-1 to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (PHI). Hernandez carried a shutout through five innings, but Lehigh Valley touched him up for a pair of runs in the sixth, handing Hernandez his first loss since his promotion to Triple-A last month. He finished with the two runs on four hits in his 5.2 innings pitched, striking out four and walking a pair. A solo home run in the second off the bat of Andy LaRoche was all the PawSox could manage on offense against Tyler Cloud and a pair of Lehigh Valley relievers.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. (pictured) led off the bottom of the first with a home run, and Portland never looked back, defeating the Akron Aeros (CLE), 3-0. It was the fifth home run since Bradley was promoted to Portland, which highlighted a 2 for 4 afternoon for the center fielder. Staked to the early lead, Drake Britton was sharp, scattering six hits in 5.0 shutout innings while striking out six to earn the win. Ryan Pressly struck out three in 2.0 shutout innings in relief, and Josh Fields followed with 2.0 scoreless innings of his own, recording his eighth save. Bryce Brentz reached base three times, going 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI.
Salem resumed its game that was suspended with a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, and came away with a 5-3 victory over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). Xander Bogaerts broke the deadlock with a tenth-inning double that scored Heiker Meneses and Brandon Jacobs. Will Latimer tossed a pair of scoreless innings and was credited with the win.

After completing Wednesday's game, the Red Sox fell to an 8-0 defeat against Potomac in the regularly scheduled contest. Michael Celestino took the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings, striking out four and walking two. Bogaerts had another two hits, including a double, and Christian Vazquez added a double of his own. Michael Almanzar left the game in the third inning with an apparent wrist injury.
Greenville withstood a late rally to knock off the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 4-3. Starter Mike McCarthy was fantastic, dealing 7.0 shutout innings, scattering five hits and striking out one without walking a batter. Garin Cecchini had a pair of hits and stole his 38th base of the season. Cody Koback and Boss Moanaroa also had two hits for the Drive. In the ninth inning, Charleston scored three and put a runner on third with only one out, but Nathan Striz struck out the final two batters to slam the door and earn his sixth save.
William Cuevas continued his string of excellent pitching for Lowell, leading the Spinners to a 4-2 win over the Jamestown Jammers (MIA). It was the fourth consecutive quality start for the right-hander, who gave up a run on seven hits in 6.0 innings. Cuevas struck out four and walked only one, running his record to 5-1 on the season. Top pick Deven Marrero went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
After falling into a 6-0 hole, the GCL Red Sox scored seven unanswered runs to top the GCL Rays, 7-6. Jeremias Pineda continued to collect hits at an amazing rate, going 2 for 4 with a triple and a run scored, extending his on-base streak to 19 games. The triple was Pineda's third of the year, as he raised his league-leading batting average to .417. Tzu-Wei Lin returned to the lineup after a 12-day absence with an RBI double. Relievers Willie Ethington, Luis Bastardo, and Gerardo Olivares combined for four innings of shutout relief to enable the comeback. Bastardo was credited with his second win in as many appearances, and Olivares earned his fifth save.
The DSL Red Sox lost to the DSL Mets in a 6-3 decision. Luis Ortega had another solid start, tossing 5.0 shutout innings and striking out four to lower his ERA to 2.27. Ortega departed with a 2-0 advantage, but the bullpen could not hold Ortega's lead, as Carlos Garcia allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits in 2.0 innings of work to take the loss. The Mets scored another pair off of Edwin Osorio in his 2.0 innings. Aneudis Peralta led the offense, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. The third baseman is now riding an eight-game hitting streak, during which he has raised his average from .190 to .231. Pablo Urena also chipped in with a pair of hits.
Player of the Day: On the third pitch of the game, Jackie Bradley, Jr. showed one of the reasons why he has become one of the most dynamic players in the Red Sox system. The center fielder, who drew plaudits for his excellent defense and advanced on-base skills during the first half with Salem, hit his fifth home run in 42 games since his promotion to Double-A. Across two levels, Bradley is hitting .331/.440/.511.

Photo credit: Jackie Bradley, Jr. by Kelly O'Connor