May 22, 2013 at 7:00 AM
5/22 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Portland pulled off close victories on Tuesday, while John Farrell's son out-hit Salem by himself, and Francellis Montas (pictured) pitched well in a Greenville loss.
The PawSox held on to beat the Indianapolis Indians (PIT), 9-8, in a crazy matinee. Rubby De La Rosa was scratched from his scheduled start for precautionary reasons. The PawSox tweeted that he tweaked a muscle in his side. Chris Hernandez got the start instead, allowing three runs, one earned, in four innings. Two unearned runs scored in the third after Jose Iglesias made an error in his first career game as a third baseman.
The PawSox scored four runs in the fifth thanks to two throwing errors by Indians catcher and Boston College alumnus Tony Sanchez. Sanchez continued to have issues in the seventh, throwing a pickoff attempt into the outfield, allowing an insurance run to score. That run proved to be costly, as the Indians slugged home runs in the eighth and ninth innings to bring the game within a run, but Anthony Carter was able to bear down and record his sixth save of the season.
Bryce Brentz showed off his impressive power, launching an opposite field home run in the fourth, his eighth of the season. For those of you who like a good ump show, here is a video of home plate umpire Will Little throwing Pedro Beato and Gary DiSarcina out of the game. Beato threw up-and-in on an Indians batter, and Little tossed him even though there was no warning and no players had actually been hit by a pitch.
Led by Matt Spring, Portland pulled off another come-from-behind win, defeating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 5-3. Portland got off to a fast start, as Michael Almanzar hit his eighth home run of the season in the first inning to put the Sea Dogs up 2-0. The Fisher Cats got those runs back in the fourth, as they got to Brandon Workman for three runs on two walks and two hits in the fourth. Workman would allow only those three runs in his five innings, walking three and striking out six.
After hitting a game-winning grand slam on Saturday, Spring came up again with the bases loaded, this time clearing the bases with a three-run double to put the Sea Dogs up by two in the seventh. Keith Couch got the win after throwing three hitless innings of relief, and Brock Huntzinger notched his ninth save of the season. Shannon Wilkerson went 2 for 5 with a double, Xander Bogaerts went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks, and Spring pushed his average over .300 by going 2 for 4.
Led by John Farrell's son Jeremy, the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) pummeled Salem, 11-1. Salem was out-hit 14-3 in a game that was not close after the third inning. William Cuevas was knocked out of the game after throwing three innings and allowing six runs on five hits and two walks. Heri Quevedo had a little more success in relief, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings.
Brandon Jacobs went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, and Carson Blair went 2 for 4 with a double to account for Salem's three hits. Farrell out-hit Salem by himself, going 4 for 4 with three doubles and a home run.
The Drive wasted a strong start by Francellis Montas, as they fell to the Hickory Crawdads (TEX), 7-2. Montas was nearly flawless, with a wind-aided second-inning home run accounting for all the damage. In all, he went five innings, allowing one run on one hit, walking one and striking out eight. He was in line for the win after the Drive plated two runs in the top of the sixth, but the lead was short-lived.
Francisco Taveras was hit hard in his three innings of relief, giving up six hits and six runs, including a three-run home run in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Tim Roberson went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Kevin Mager went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk to lead the Drive.
Player of the Day: Francellis Montas struggled in his first four starts in full-season ball, but he has turned it around recently, allowing only eight runs in his last 23 innings, which is good for a 3.13 ERA. What is most impressive over that stretch is that he has walked only four and struck out 31. While his electric stuff was never in question, his ability to command that arsenal was what many believed would be his biggest issue this season. He has had few issues with his control, though, which is a promising sign for the young right-hander.
Photo Credit: Francellis Montas by William Parmeter
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.