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May 21, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bradley, Holt shine in PawSox loss

5/21 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough night on the farm, as all three affiliates in action came away with losses. Pawtucket rallied but was unable to overcome an early deficit, Portland opened its series with a loss, and Greenville dropped its third straight.


A big first inning doomed Pawtucket, as it fell 8-4 to the Indianapolis Indians (PIT). The Indians scored five runs in the first off Steven Wright, the big blow coming on a grand slam by former Red Sox outfielder Jerry Sands. Wright was able to get back on track after the tough start, getting through six innings. Overall, he allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits, while striking out two and walking five. Jose De La Torre, optioned back to the PawSox earlier in the day, allowed a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings, walking and striking out three apiece. After surrendering his first earned run since opening day on Friday, Ryan Rowland-Smith looked to start a new shutout streak. The left-hander gave up two hits in 1 2/3 scoreless frames, walking one and striking out four. 

It was a good night at the plate for Jackie Bradley, Jr. Making his third start after missing two weeks with right biceps tendinitis, Bradley went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run. It marked Bradley's first long ball since last August 3, when he was a member of the Sea Dogs. The outfielder has now hit safely in six consecutive games, dating back to April 30, going 10 for 23 during the stretch. Brock Holt (pictured) has started to show signs that he is breaking out of the very difficult slump that plagued his first six weeks in a PawSox uniform. Holt went 3 for 4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. After starting the season without an extra-base hit in his first 103 at-bats, Holt has three doubles in his last four games, and he has hit safely in five straight. Brandon Snyder added a pair of hits, while Jose Iglesias blasted a solo home run in the ninth.

The PawSox will attempt to earn a split of the four-game set on Tuesday afternoon.


Portland dropped the first game of its series with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), falling 7-3. Tony Thomas led the offense, going 2 for 5 with a triple and a home run. The triple gave Thomas the Eastern League lead in the category with six. Thomas also leads the circuit in doubles (14) and extra-base hits (25).  Heiker Meneses chipped in with a pair of doubles in four at-bats, and Kolbrin Vitek and Shannon Wilkerson also had two hits apiece. Travis Shaw walked three times to reclaim the league lead with 31.

Charlie Haeger took the loss for Portland, allowing four runs on seven hits in 6 2/3. Haeger walked four and struck out four. Miguel Celestino came on in relief, and pitched better than his stat line indicated, shutting down New Hampshire over his 1 1/3 innings. Coming back out for the ninth, Celestino faltered, allowing a three-run home run that blew the game open.


Greenville continues to slide, losing 5-2 to the Hickory Crawdads (TEX) on Monday. It was the third loss in a row for the Drive, who fell to 3-16 in May. Brian Johnson was solid in a losing effort, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings, striking out a career-high eight batters, while walking only one. All three runs Johnson allowed came on a second-inning homer. Jeffrey Wendelken followed, allowing a pair of runs on four hits in three innings.

The offense was again a sore spot for the Drive, going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. A fifth-inning single by Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Betts is now more than halfway to the Drive record, set in 2008 by Mike Jones. Aneury Tavarez and Drew Turocy both had 3 for 4 nights for Greenville. 


Player of the Day: It was a difficult start to Brock Holt's Red Sox career after he was acquired from Pittsburgh in the Joel Hanrahan deal. Highly touted as a utility man, coming off a strong 2012, and one of the last players cut in spring training, Holt was expected to be a big contributor for the PawSox. However, a week ago his batting average sat at .172, and he was without an extra-base hit. Since then, Holt has hit in five straight and has doubled in three of his last four, adding 40 points to his batting average and 70 to his slugging percentage. 

Photo Credit: Brock Holt by Kelly O'Connor.

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for

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