May 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM
5/16 Cup of Coffee: It was an overall forgettable night for the Red Sox farm system, with High A Salem the only team recording a win. Pawtucket and Portland both fell with knuckleballers on the mound, while Daniel Bard had another ugly outing for the Sea Dogs.
A four-run opening frame gave the Pawtucket Red Sox a lead for the first few innings, but after the Gwinnett Braves (ATL) posted pairs of runs in three innings, the visitors left McCoy Stadium with a 6-4 victory.
In that first inning, shortstop Jonathan Diaz launched his first homer of the season for his only hit of the night, and catcher Dan Butler knocked in two with a double.
Right-hander Steven Wright, in true knuckleballer fashion, walked four in three scoreless before Gwinnett broke through. He ended up being charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
Right fielder Bryce Brentz (2 for 3, walk) was the only PawSox player to collect more than one hit.
Chris Martin, a right-handed reliever promoted over the weekend, allowed a lone hit in two scoreless innings. He is up to 24 straight scoreless innings to open his season, the last three with Pawtucket.
A three-run, game-tying rally in the top of the ninth was all for naught for the Portland Sea Dogs, who were on the wrong side of a walk-off celebration in their 5-4 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR).
Right fielder Peter Hissey (1 for 4, three RBI) had the big hit, a two-out, two-run single to knot things at four. But in the bottom half, left-hander Will Latimer allowed Brad Glenn the game-ending sacrifice fly. It was the only blemish in what had been a strong 2 2/3 innings with two walks.
Portland pitchers were collectively wild, issuing a combined 14 free passes on the night. Starting right-hander Charlie Haeger (two earned runs) walked seven in his five innings of work. Bard walked a total of five, the first two in New Hampshire’s two-run sixth. He returned for the seventh inning, but walked the bases loaded before being relieved by Latimer.
Outside of their big ninth, the other Sea Dogs run came when Hissey’s sac fly plated catcher Christian Vazquez (2 for 3, walk) in the second.
The Salem Red Sox also had one big inning, but this time, it was enough for a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Carolina Mudcats (CLE).
Down 4-1 to start the seventh, designated hitter Matthew Gedman (pictured) came through with the go-ahead, two-run double. A David Renfroe sac fly and Henry Ramos RBI single preceded Gedman’s base knock.
Right-hander William Cuevas got the start, allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two, gave up five hits and failed to fan a batter. Fellow righty Heri Quevedo piggybacked him to pick up the win, his first of the season. He allowed one unearned run on three hits in his 4 2/3 frames.
Right fielder Keury De La Cruz picked up a pair of hits, including a double, as did center fielder Ramos.
One bad inning doomed left-hander Brian Johnson, and the Greenville Drive, who got rocked by the Asheville Tourists (COL), 8-1, in a getaway day matinee.
Johnson was able to escape most trouble until the fourth, when the Tourists ran wild with five doubles and four steals in a seven-run inning. The 2012 first-round draft pick finished his night by giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. He also struck out three.
Right-hander Jeffrey Wendelken came on in relief, and although he yielded one more run in the fourth, he had an overall solid outing: one earned in 3 2/3 innings, scattering six hits and two walks.
Left fielder Aneury Tavarez, catcher Jordan Weems and shortstop Jose Vinicio all had two-hit nights at the plate.
Player of the Night: Matthew Gedman, whose go-ahead double in the top of the seventh proved to be the difference in Salem’s 5-4 win over Carolina. The UMass product and son of Portland hitting coach/former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman is off to a decent start in four games with Salem: 4 for 13 with three extra-base hits (.538 slugging percentage). This is the highest level Gedman has played at in three professional seasons, discounting a one-game stint with Portland in 2011.
Photo Credit: Matthew Gedman by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.