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September 6, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: PawSox take first game of International League semi-finals

9/6 Cup of Coffee: Bryce Brentz hit his first home run for the PawSox, who won the first game of the International League semi-finals, and the Spinners found victory in their final game of the season.

The PawSox recovered from a four-run deficit to take the first game of the International League semi-finals against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 7-4. Tony Thomas (pictured) catalyzed the PawSox charge with his first double of the day and Juan Carlos Linares followed with a two-run blast to trim the deficit to two runs. Andy LaRoche hit a solo shot to put the PawSox within a run. LaRoche came through again in the fifth inning with a two-run double to give the PawSox the lead that they would maintain for the rest of the game. Bryce Brentz hit a two-run homerun, his first at the Triple-A level to give the PawSox some extra insurance runs. Zack Stewart started the game, allowing four runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings. Alex Wilson, Pedro Beato, and Jose De La Torre combined for four scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Pat Light allowed only a hit over his 3.0 scoreless innings of work, and the Spinners defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM), 5-3. The Spinners jumped out to a two-run lead in the third inning when Mike Miller and Mookie Betts pulled off a double steal and Miller ultimately scored on a wild pitch. Deven Marrero hit a sacrifice fly to score Betts. Kevin Heller hit a solo shot in the fifth, but the Cyclones managed to take advantage of Raynel Velette’s control issues in the fifth to tie the game. Jake Davies hit a RBI single to break the tie in the eighth inning, and Heller hit his second home run of the game to give the Spinners an insurance run. The three-run fifth inning was the only hiccup for Velette. All of his hits and earned runs were given up in the fifth; otherwise, he pitched three scoreless innings that would have been perfect had he not hit a batter. Yunior Ortega also pitched 2.0 scoreless innings. The Spinners did not have the pleasure of spoiling the Cyclones' playoff chances as the Batavia Muckdogs (STL) lost their game to secure the Cyclones’ wildcard spot.
Player of the night: Tony Thomas was 3 for 4 on the night, scored two runs, and hit two doubles. Thomas’ doubles paved the way for important innings for the PawSox. Thomas batted .242 on the season in 68 games with 10 home runs and 30 RBI.

Photo credit: Tony Thomas by Dave Letizi