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April 9, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Cup of Coffee: Marrero leads Salem to first win


4/9 Cup of Coffee: The Red Sox top 2012 draft pick had a big night to end Salem's season-starting losing streak. Elsewhere, a pair of top pitching phenoms struggled for Pawtucket and Portland, while Greenville lost in a thriller.

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It was the highly anticipated debut in the Red Sox organization for Rubby De La Rosa, but the righty struggled out of the gate, and Pawtucket fell 14-5 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). The right-hander, acquired in August's mega-deal with the Dodgers, gave up five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out three, walked one, and was touched for a pair of home runs. The IronPig barrage continued against the bullpen, with Lehigh Valley scoring in every inning except for the sixth. Graham Godfrey took the loss in relief.

On the offensive side, Jeremy Hazelbaker continues to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 5 and belting his third home run of the young season. Bryce Brentz also connected for his first home run of 2013, and Jonathan Diaz picked up a pair of hits.

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It was also not the beginning to 2013 that Matt Barnes had hoped for, as Portland lost 7-4 to the rebranded Reading Fighting Phils (PHI). Unable to replicate his hot start to the 2012 season, Barnes gave up two runs on two hits, walking one and striking out a pair in his only inning of work. His 33 first inning pitches suprassed the Red Sox organizational limit on minor leaguers of 30 pitches in an inning, so Barnes was lifted after the first. Keith Couch provided solid work following Barnes, allowing a run on five hits in four innings and striking out three without walking a batter.

Michael Almanzar went 2 for 3 with a walk, double, and RBI. The third baseman is off to a good start, with multi-hit games in each of his first three appearances in 2013. Xander Bogaerts also went 2 for 3 with a walk. Stephen Drew connected for a home run, as he continues his rehab from a spring training concussion. Drew is expected to play in one more game for the Sea Dogs, then be activated before the Red Sox face Baltimore on Wednesday night.

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Salem pounded out 12 hits to earn their first victory of 2013, a 7-6 win over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). The attack was led by shortstop Deven Marrero (pictured), who went 3 for 5 with three doubles on offense, while turning in a pair of outstanding defensive plays. Garin Cecchini also had a big night for Salem, going 4 for 4 with a double. Felix Sanchez, getting the start in right field, hit a three-run home run and stole a pair of bases. On the mound, Mike Augliera had a solid 2013 debut, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings, while striking out four and walking one to pick up the win. Nathan Striz tossed a scoreless ninth to earn the save.

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The Greenville Drive could not hold their lead after a ninth-inning rally, losing a 5-4 thriller to the Hickory Crawdads (TEX). After Hickory took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Bunyan-esque first baseman David Chester wasted little time evening up the score, leading off the top of the ninth with a home run, his first of 2013. After Jordan Weems singled with two outs, he was able to score from first on a Mike Miller double to give the Drive a 4-3 advantage. However, Hickory had a rally of its own in the bottom of the inning. Yunior Ortega gave up a single sandwiched by a pair of strikeouts, but was taken deep for a two-out walk-off home run from 2012 second round pick Nick Williams. 

Chester's home run was part of a big day, as he also doubled and was hit by a pitch. Miller went 3 for 4 with a walk to go along with the go-ahead double, and Boss Moanaroa was 2 for 4 with a double. Starter Frank Montas allowed only two runs on a pair of solo homers, giving up six hits and striking out seven without a walk in 5 2/3 innings.

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Player of the Day: Deven Marrero, the Red Sox first pick in the 2012 draft, led Salem to its first win with a strong performance on both sides of the diamond. After an uneven debut at Lowell last season, Marrero has responded well in the early going to a challenging placement at High A Salem. The shortstop has started the year 7 for 17, with four doubles in the last two games.

Photo Credit: Deven Marrero by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.

 
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