April 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM
4/18 Cup of Coffee: Not every Red Sox affiliate was victorious Wednesday, but all four games had a pretty clear theme: Strong outings from starting pitchers, including left-hander Franklin Morales, who was making a rehab appearance with the Greenville Drive.
The PawSox (10-3) continued their torrid start, utilizing a seven-inning outing from right-handed pitcher Terry Doyle and a big seventh inning to top the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 6-1, at McCoy Stadium.
In the seventh, with Pawtucket holding onto a 2-1 lead, first baseman Brandon Snyder highlighted the four-run rally when he smacked a line drive double to left to score Ryan Lavarnway and Bryce Brentz. Snyder’s big hit followed solo homers from himself and Lavarnway in the fifth.
Doyle put three runners on and allowed just one of them to score — a solo home run in the seventh — in his seven innings of work, during which he struck out six. It was Doyle’s third impressive start in as many chances on the young season, and his ERA now stands at a tidy 0.98.
David Ortiz, handling designated hitter duties while he continues his rehab assignment, was 0 for 4 with a strikeout. He is batting .200 (3 for 15) in four PawSox games.
Right-handers Brandon Workman (pictured) and Chris Martin combined for a six-hit, 1-0 shutout as the Sea Dogs handled the Binghamton Mets (NYM) on the road.
Workman was efficient, throwing just 70 pitches (49 strikes) in seven innings. He struck out nine while allowing four hits. Martin followed suit with three strikeouts in two innings to record the save.
The Sea Dogs scored the only run of the game on left fielder Tony Thomas’ fourth-inning sac fly to score designated hitter Xander Bogaerts, who had doubled. One of Portland’s four hits was a ninth-inning single from first baseman Travis Shaw, who extended his on-base streak to 11 games.
The Salem Red Sox were the only affiliate to come out losers on Wednesday, dropping a 4-2 home decision to the Potomac Nationals (WAS).
Left-handed starter Henry Owens proved to be something of a bright spot, however, striking out seven in five innings. He gave up three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks. Allowing four consecutive batters to reach with two outs in the fourth — two on hits, one on a walk and one a fielding error — did Owens in.
A five-run bottom of the eighth lifted Greenville to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the West Virginia Power (PIT) in the most dramatic victory of the day.
Morales, in his first appearance at any level in 2013 as he works his way back from a bulging disc, scattered two walks and a hit in three scoreless innings. He faced the minimum number of batters through the first two innings — thanks in part to a successful pickoff in the second — before allowing two two-out baserunners in the third.
After right-hander Pat Light gave up four runs (three earned) in 2 2/3 innings of relief, the Drive needed a late comeback. Designated hitter David Chester’s single to right plated second baseman Mookie Betts and first baseman Boss Moanaroa to get Greenville on the board in the eighth. Left fielder Drew Turocy collected his third hit of the night, a double, to make it 4-3, then Chester scored on a wild pitch to tie it. Catcher Jayson Hernandez came through with the eventual game-winning single to left to score Turocy.
Right-hander Kyle Kraus pitched the final 3 1/3 innings for the win. He struck out five and didn’t give up a run.
Player of the Night: Brandon Workman racked up nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings for the best pitching performance in a night of impressive mound work. The 22-year-old right-hander, who is 14th overall and seventh among pitchers on SoxProspect.com, has improved in each of his three outings this season. On Wednesday night he stayed away from the long ball and the walks, two things Workman failed to do in his pair of previous outings this month.
Photo Credit: Brandon Workman by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.