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April 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Almanzar's big day helps Portland brush away Thunder

4/29 Cup of Coffee: Portland's offense proved to be thunderous in their contest against Trenton, while Pawtucket's power display was unable to propel them to victory on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Down  South, Salem and Greenville both saw their games postponed by rain. 


Despite a late offensive push, Pawtucket fell in their series finale against the Columbus Clippers (CLE), 6-5. Terry Doyle picked up his first loss of the season, hurling 3 1/3 innings and allowing five runs on eight hits and six walks, while striking out five. The rehabbing Craig Breslow allowed the eventual winning run, as he tossed 2/3 innings and allowed a run on a hit and two walks. Joel Hanrahan, also on a rehab assignment, pitched a scoreless eighth inning, surrendering just a walk. Hanrahan is expected to be activated by Boston before Tuesday's game with Toronto after Daniel Bard was optioned to Portland after yesterday's game. 

Down 6-0 in the seventh, the PawSox put on a power display, as they received a two-run home run from Mark Hamilton, and back-to-back solo shots from Bryce Brentz and Dan Butler. Hamilton's RBI single in the eighth pulled Pawtucket to within one, but the team was unable to muster any further offensive output. The PawSox were stymied in the early going by former Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who tossed three perfect innings, striking out two. 


A very nice day at the plate for the Sea Dogs allowed Portland to strike down the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 9-5. Drake Britton moved to 2-2, as he allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in six innings of work. Britton also punched out seven, matching his season high from April 16 against Binghamton. Down 3-0 after one inning, the Sea Dogs plated two in the second inning on a Ryan Dent RBI single. The runs were made possible earlier in the inning by a double steal, pulled off by Michael Almanzar (pictured) and Christian Vazquez. A Shannon Wilkerson RBI double in the fourth inning tied the score, 4-4.

Portland took the lead for good in the fifth on an Almanzar two-run home run, his fifth of the season. Wilkerson would add a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and Matt Spring brought home two on an RBI single in the ninth, completing the scoring for the Sea Dogs. Almanzar was 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBI, three runs scored and two walks.


Salem's game against the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) was postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the game on June 13 as part of a doubleheader.


Greenville's contest against the Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL) was also postponed due to rain. The two teams will square off in a doubleheader on Monday. 


Player of the Day: Michael Almanzar, who was 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBI, three runs scored and two walks in Portland's 9-5 victory over Trenton. The 22-year-old third baseman has had a blistering start to the 2013 campaign, hitting .322/.372/.575 with five home runs, seven doubles, and 17 RBI in 21 games. After disappointing seasons from 2009-2011, Almanzar had a stellar 2012 season with Salem, hitting .300/.353/.458 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI. Opponents entering Hadlock Field this season have had a difficult time getting Almanzar out, as he has hit .404/.451/.745 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 12 home games. 

Photo Credit: Michael Almanzar by Kelly O'Connor

John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.