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April 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Cup of Coffee: Coyle's pair of home runs lift Salem in home opener

4/13 Cup of Coffee: With Pawtucket and Portland postponed due to rain, Salem and Greenville were the only two Red Sox affiliates to take the diamond Friday. Making up a Thursday rainout, Greenville played two, taking home victories in both games of the doubleheader.


On the strength of two Sean Coyle (pictured) solo home runs, the Salem Red Sox defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) by a score of 7-2 in the team's home opener. Coyle's first blast came in the third inning and opened the scoring for Salem when he hit a two-out offering over the left field fence. The second basemen's second solo home run was more meaningful, however, as it broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning.

Others notching extra-base hits were shortstop Deven Marrero, third basemen Garin Cecchini and center fielder Keury De La Cruz. Marrero doubled in the third inning following Coyle's home run, his fifth of the young season, while Cecchini doubled with two outs in the eighth. De La Cruz tripled, his first of the season, in the fourth.

On the mound for Salem was left-hander Henry Owens, who struck out five batters in five innings of work. Owens ran into trouble in the fourth inning, where he gave up three extra-base hits, including a two-run home run, which was the Pelicans only offense in the game. In his other four innings, Owens surrendered only one hit and one walk.


The Greenville Drive took home victories in both halves of an impromptu doubleheader Friday night, as the Drive and the Lexington Legends (KC) made up Thursday's rainout by playing a pair of seven inning contests.

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Drive beat the Legends 6-4. The Drive were led by 2012 first round pick Pat Light, who scattered three hits over five innings and fanned six on his way to his first professional win. Light's lone run surrendered was a home run off the bat of Royals top prospect Bubba Starling.

The Drive's lineup exploded for six runs in the third inning and were aided by a pair of fielding errors. The inning was punctuated by a two-out, two-run home run by designated hitter David Chester, who also drew two walks in the game. Cody Koback also knocked in two on a single to center field. Koback finished the game 2 for 4 with a stolen base.

The Drive won the second contest in dramatic fashion, as a three-run rally in the seventh lifted the team to a 5-2 victory.  Going into the final inning, the Drive were tied 2-2 until a triple by left fielder Drew Turocy knocked home Mike Miller and Mookie Betts. Turocy scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. In the sixth inning, with the Drive down by one run, Koback delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to tie the game up.

Yunior Ortega came on in the second in relief of Austin Maddox after he was pulled following a laborious first inning. Maddox gave up two hits, walked two and surrendered one run, while Ortega struck out six in four innings of work, giving up only two hits and one unearned run.


Pawtucket will make up Friday's rainout with a Saturday doubleheader. Terry Doyle (1-0) will start the first game vs. the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) at 12:05 p.m.. A starter for the second game has not been announced. A makeup game for Portland, who is in New Britian (MIN) for a series against the Rock Cats, has not been announced.


Player of the Day: Drive center fielder Cody Koback played a big part in Thursday's two victories by going 3 for 5 with three RBI over both games. Koback's biggest hit came in the second game, when he struck a pinch hit RBI single to knot the score at 2-2 in the sixth. Koback also added two stolen bases, giving him five on the season. The 22-year-old is currently tied with three others for third in the South Atlantic League in steals.

Photo Credit: Sean Coyle by Kelly O'Connor.

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on twitter @LukeALavoie.