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May 28, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bradley displays bat, arm in PawSox win

5/28 Cup of Coffee: In Memorial Day play, Jackie Bradley, Jr. (pictured) was at the center of the action, leading Pawtucket to the only victory of the day. Portland was unable to hold on after a late comeback, while Salem and Greenville struggled to generate offense.


In a battle of first-place teams, North Division-leading Pawtucket pummeled the West Division's first-place Indianapolis Indians (PIT), 9-1. Bradley led off the game with a double, which proved a sign of things to come. He added a home run and a walk, finishing the day 2 for 4, as he extended his hitting streak to eleven games, including two hits in each of his last six. Bradley's contributions were not limited to the offensive side of the ball. Making his second consecutive start in left field, Bradley threw out a runner at third base in the third inning, and another at second in the bottom of the seventh.

Bradley wasn't alone on offense. All nine Pawtucket starters reached base, and eight scored at least one run. Dan Butler went 2 for 5 with three RBI, including a two-run fourth-inning double. Jeremy Hazelbaker reached base three times, going 2 for 4 with a walk, and Brandon Snyder had a pair of hits.

The offensive explosion was plenty for Rubby De La Rosa and a pair of relievers. De La Rosa, still operating on a four-inning limit, needed only 48 pitches to reach that mark. He allowed a run on two hits, walking one and striking out one, while inducing six ground-ball outs. Jose De La Torre followed, scattering a pair of hits across four shutout innings. He struck out four and walked one to earn his second victory of the season. Anthony Carter finished the night with a hitless ninth.


Portland fell in a back-and-forth contest, losing 6-5 to the Binghamton Mets (NYM). Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, Michael Almanzar walked, and the Sea Dogs followed with four consecutive base hits, putting Portland up 5-4. After tying the game in the bottom of the inning, Josh Rodriguez of the Mets led off the ninth with a ground-rule double. A ground out moved Rodriguez to third, and he raced in to score the winning run on a wild pitch by Jeremy Kehrt

Not to be lost in the commotion was another strong effort by Portland starter Brandon Workman. The right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings, walking one and striking out nine. The nine strikeouts matched a season high for Workman. Almanzar and Xander Bogaerts both reached base three times. Almanzar went 2 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI, while Bogaerts had two walks to go with his 1 for 3 night.


Salem was held to just two hits, as it fell 5-2 to the Potomac Nationals (WAS). Nationals pitchers carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, until it was broken up on a one-out single by David Renfroe. Blake Swihart followed with a walk, and after a Carson Blair grounder forced Renfroe at third, Jose Garcia hit a two-run double to left. It was the second straight hitless game for Garin Cecchini, the first time since mid-April that the third baseman has gone consecutive games without a base hit.

Heri Quevedo took the loss for Salem, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings. Noe Ramirez allowed a pair of runs on four hits in his three innings of work. It was only the second time this season that Ramirez had allowed more than one run in an appearance. On a positive note, his four strikeouts were the second highest total he has registered in 2013. 


The month of May has not been kind to Greenville, as it lost 4-1 to the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM). It was the third straight loss for the Drive, who dropped to 4-21 on the month. Luis Diaz made his 2013 debut on the mound, getting the start in place of the injured Pat Light, who was placed on the disabled list before the game. Diaz took the loss but turned in a solid effort, allowing just two runs on six hits in five innings, while walking two and striking out a pair. He received little support, as the offense managed only six hits. Jayson Hernandez led the way, going 2 for 4. Jose Vinicio had an eighth-inning bunt single, and stole his seventh base of the season. After hitting .165 through his first 37 games, Vinicio is now riding a modest five-game hitting streak, raising his batting average nearly 30 points.


Player of the Day: Jackie Bradley, Jr. celebrated the holiday in memorable fashion. After seeing exclusively left field during his short major-league stint, Bradley had been playing only center and right upon joining Pawtucket. He got his first start in left since his demotion on Sunday, and by Monday seemed to have mastered the position, with a pair of outfield assists on day two. Bradley's bat seems comfortable at any position - his sixth consecutive two-hit game ran his hitting streak to 11 games. During that stretch, he is 20 for 44 (.455) with eight extra-base hits and seven walks. 

Photo Credit: Jackie Bradley, Jr. by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.