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May 7, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Cup of Coffee: De La Rosa, Barnes shine in victories

5/7 Cup of Coffee: It was a sweep for Red Sox affiliates on an abbreviated schedule. Portland and Pawtucket were both led by a pair of top pitching prospects, while Greenville was rained out.


It was a another strong performance for Rubby De La Rosa (pictured), as Pawtucket earned a 5-1 victory over the Gwinnett Braves (ATL). The right-hander entered the game knowing that his pitch limit had been raised to 70, but he needed only 56 pitches to get through four shutout innings. De La Rosa allowed three hits and struck out six without walking a batter. After a difficult start to the season, De La Rosa has now thrown 10 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to April 18.

Chris Hernandez picked up the win in relief of De La Rosa. In his second appearance since his move to the bullpen, Hernandez allowed just one run on a solo homer in four strong innings. He struck out three and walked two in his first win of the year. Anthony Carter threw a  perfect ninth, striking out two.

A two-run home run by Mark Hamilton in the first inning gave the PawSox a lead they would not relinquish. In all, the club scratched out 10 hits, with two apiece from Ryan Lavarnway and Brock Holt. Bryce Brentz was not in the lineup after leaving Sunday's game because of a collision. 


A night after Portland saw its seven-game winning streak snapped, the Sea Dogs got back on track, with Matt Barnes leading the way in a 4-3 win against the Reading Fightin Phils (PHI). Barnes scattered five hits across six shutout innings, striking out four and walking one. Like De La Rosa, Barnes has turned his season around after a rough start, as the UConn product has allowed just one run in two May outings, lowering his ERA from 8.79 to 5.19. The win lifts Barnes to 3-1 on the season. 

Barnes was followed by Daniel Bard, who pitched a scoreless seventh despite allowing a trio of baserunners on a walk and two singles. Reading was able to put a rally together against Keith Couch, who allowed three runs (one earned) in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Brock Huntzinger came on with the tying run on third base to record the final out, picking up his seventh save. For Huntzinger, who has appeared in 14 of the Sea Dogs' 29 games, it was the seventh consecutive scoreless appearance.

The Portland lineup was shorthanded once again, as Xander Bogaerts missed his third consecutive game with tightness in his core. The bats were picked up by a second-inning solo blast from Tony Thomas, his third of the season. Peter Hissey, activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, contributed a two-run single in the seventh. Travis Shaw went 1 for 3 and worked his Eastern League-leading 26th walk.


Last night's game between the Greenville Drive and West Virginia Power (PIT) was postponed due to rain. It will be made up today as part of a doubleheader.


Player of the Day: It was a close competition that easily could have gone to Barnes, but today's recognition goes to Rubby De La Rosa. Acquired in the mega-deal with the Dodgers last August, hopes were high for De La Rosa entering 2013. After a trio of uneven performances, the 24-year-old has been stellar, allowing only seven hits in 10 scoreless innings, striking out 12 and walking only 2 in his last three starts. The stretch has lowered De La Rosa's ERA from an unsightly 13.50 to an improved 5.40 mark.

Photo Credit: Rubby De La Rosa by Kelly O' Connor.

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.