April 14, 2013 at 8:00 AM
4/14 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox outscored the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 14-2 over two games to sweep a doubleheader, Portland rallied from three runs down to win its fourth game of the season, while poor control doomed both Salem and Greenville. Pawtucket is now 8-1 to start the season, and seven of the wins have been by four runs or more.
The PawSox used a six-run sixth inning to defeat the Red Wings 7-1 in the first game of a doubleheader. The Red Wings got to Terry Doyle for a run in the first, but he settled down and was in control the rest of the game. He left after five innings, allowing only two hits and one walk with five strikeouts. The PawSox bats were quiet until the sixth when they put seven men on base and put the game out of reach. David Ortiz laced a two-run single to right, and Drew Sutton hit a two-run double to help build the commanding lead.
SoxProspects.com Staff Writer Kevin Pereira was at the game and noted that Ortiz took an extra base on an errant throw, but also had a hiccup while rounding third on Sutton's double, so his heel still does not seem to be at 100 percent. Ryan Lavarnway and Bryce Brentz continued to stay hot at the plate, each collecting two hits, with Brentz adding a double. They are hitting .316 and .344 respectively on the season.
The second game of the day was eerily similar to the first, with the PawSox winning again, 7-1. Not only was the score the same, but both games finished in two hours and 18 minutes. The PawSox and Red Wings traded runs in the first, with the Red Wings getting to Rubby De La Rosa for a solo home run in the top half of the inning, and then the PawSox answering with a Mark Hamilton (pictured) RBI double in the bottom half. After throwing 49 pitches in his first outing, De La Rosa was pulled after 50 pitches in this game, throwing 2 1/3 innings, allowing only the one hit, while walking two and striking out three. Graham Godfrey was spectacular in relief, throwing 3 2/3 hitless innings to get the win.
With Pawtucket up 2-1 in the fourth, Jeremy Hazelbaker extended the lead with his fourth home run of the season. Hazelbaker raised his OPS to an impressive 1.146, but he has struck out an alarming 12 times in 33 at-bats. Just like in game one, the PawSox broke the game open in the sixth, pushing across four runs. After loading the bases with nobody out, it looked like the Red Wings were going to get out of the jam unscathed after a strikeout and a pop out, but Justin Henry singled and then Hamilton cleared the bases with a double. Henry went 3 for 3, while Hamilton went 2 for 3 with two doubles.
Down 5-2 entering the seventh, the Sea Dogs rallied for three runs to tie the game before beating the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) 6-5 in 10 innings. Back-to-back doubles by Travis Shaw and Tony Thomas off of former Red Sox draftee Alex Meyer put the Sea Dogs up 2-0 in the first, but that was all they would get until New Britain went to its bullpen. The Sea Dogs were down 5-2 after starter Kyle Kaminska gave up four runs in five innings, and Daniel Bard surrendered an unearned run in the sixth, but they were able to chip away at the lead with some timely hitting and some poor defense from the Rock Cats.
With two outs in the seventh, Thomas hit a line drive double to left to score Peter Hissey, but Michael Almanzar grounded out with two runners on to end the inning. Thanks to two errors by the Rock Cats in the eighth, the Sea Dogs were able to score one run and have the tying run on base. With two outs, Shannon Wilkerson tripled to score Hissey to tie the game and send it into extras. The first two batters failed to reach for the Sea Dogs in the tenth, but with two outs Wilkerson walked, Xander Bogaerts singled, and Shaw singled to bring in the go-ahead run. Brock Huntzinger struck out two in a hitless tenth for his third save.
Salem went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position as they fell to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX), 7-1. Kyle Stroup was cruising through four innings, allowing only one runner to reach second base, but the wheels fell off in the fifth, as he gave up three singles and two walks without recording an out. He exited the game with the bases loaded, and all three runners scored to hurt his final line. In all, the Pelicans scored seven runs and sent 10 men to the plate in the inning. Blake Swihart and Carson Blair each went 2 for 3 with a walk to lead the offense. Shortstop Deven Marrero was pinch-hit for in the sixth inning, but there is no word on any injury. It is possible that he was just getting some rest after the Pelicans' big inning.
After sweeping both games of a doubleheader yesterday, the Drive were not able to keep the momentum going, falling to the Lexington Legends (KC), 6-3. The Drive hit five consecutive singles to start the third inning and took an early 3-0 lead. The lead was short-lived however, as the Legends knocked Drive starter Frank Montas out of the game in the bottom half of the inning. With two on and two outs, Montas allowed a three-run home run that gave the Legends the lead. Montas was wild in his 2 2/3 innings of work, walking four but also striking out four.
Francisco Taveras threw the final 5 1/3 innings, holding the Legends to two runs on five hits, but the Drive were not able to score again after the third inning. Cody Koback was the only Drive player with a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with an RBI, and he now has five hits in his last nine at-bats.
Player of the Day: Mark Hamilton went 2 for 3 with two doubles and four runs driven in to help improve Pawtucket's record to 8-1 on the season. The 28-year-old was signed as depth for the PawSox, and he has produced terrific numbers, as his triple slash line is currently .318/.483/.636 in 22 at-bats.
Photo Credit: Mark Hamilton by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.