April 21, 2013 at 7:00 AM
4/21 Cup of Coffee: It was an exciting day throughout the system yesterday, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. appeared in his first game with the PawSox a day after turning 23, Anthony Ranaudo (pictured) continued to carve up the competition, and Salem had several strong offensive performances to lead it to victory.
The Rochester Red Wings (MIN) hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift them past the PawSox, 5-4. Allen Webster was originally scheduled to start, but he was scratched and called up to start the second game of Boston's doubleheader today. Charlie Haeger got the call instead in his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in February of 2012. Haeger did not allow an earned run in five innings, but a Brandon Snyder error allowed two unearned runs to score in the third. Haeger then threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt to allow a third run to score in the fifth.
Jose Iglesias gave the PawSox a 4-3 lead with a solo home run in the sixth, but Pedro Beato allowed a run in the bottom of the sixth and seventh, and the Red Wings were able to hold on for the one-run victory. Snyder led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a double, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 1 for 5 with a stolen base in his first Triple-A game.
Thanks to another strong pitching performance from Anthony Ranaudo, the Sea Dogs were able to beat the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 7-1. It was a rocky start for Ranaudo, as he allowed a leadoff triple and then a sacrifice fly, but he got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning. The only other inning he ran into trouble was the fifth, when he got a ground out with two on and two out to end the threat. In all, Ranaudo went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits, with three walks and five strikeouts. He has allowed only two runs in 15 2/3 innings this season.
The Sea Dogs offense was all over the Rock Cats' pitching from the start. Every player collected at least one hit, and seven of the nine batters reached base at least twice. Travis Shaw went 2 for 5 with his seventh double of the season, while Christian Vazquez went 1 for 2 with two walks and also threw out his eighth runner on the year.
It was a strong night for the top prospects in Salem's lineup, as they slugged their way to a 7-4 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL). The game was a pitchers duel through the first three innings, as neither team was able to pick up a hit. Salem's bats woke up in the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits. On his 22nd birthday, Garin Cecchini hit a single to drive in the first run, stole second, and later scored on a sacrifice fly. Cecchini went 2 for 4 with a walk and two steals on the day.
After Deven Marrero singled to start the sixth, Brandon Jacobs drove him in with a double to extend the Salem lead. Marrero and Jacobs each went 2 for 5, with Marrero adding a steal. That was more than enough support for Mike Augliera, who improved to 2-0 with his 5 1/3 strong innings of work, allowing two runs on five hits. Appearing in his first game since April 16, Henry Ramos went 3 for 4 with a double and two runs driven in.
The Drive were shut out for the second straight day, falling to the Lexington Legends (KC), 1-0. Justin Haley pitched well for the Drive, with his only blemish coming in the third when he allowed back-to-back doubles. Those were the only two hits he surrendered in five innings, while also walking one and striking out six. The one walk is significant, as Haley walked six batters in both of his previous starts. Jason Garcia was strong in relief, allowing four baserunners over three scoreless innings.
The Drive offense has really been scuffling lately, as this was the fourth time they were shut out in their last seven games. The team only managed three hits, two of which came from catcher Jordan Weems. Cody Koback walked in all three of his plate appearances, while Jose Vinicio went 0 for 4 and is now hitless in his last 13 at-bats.
Player of the Day: In a bit of an unorthodox move, the award for today is going to Daniel Nava. After an incredibly difficult week, Nava's eighth inning go-ahead home run was one of the greatest moments you will ever see in a regular season baseball game. Nava has been a favorite of the site since he joined the organization in 2007, and this moment was one that nobody will ever forget. For a blast from the past, check out Mike Andrews' Q&A with Nava from April 2010 on ESPNBoston.com.
Photo Credit: Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.