SoxProspects News

May 24, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Morales sharp in rehab outing as Sea Dogs roll

5/24 Cup of Coffee: Portland picked up the only win on the night, led by its rehabbing battery-mates. Pawtucket had a rough start to its road trip, a Salem rally fell short, and Greenville continues to slide.


Pawtucket had an inauspicious start to its eight-game road trip, losing 10-0 to the Louisville Bats (CIN). The Bats lived up to their name, pounding out 17 hits against PawSox pitching. The first 11 of those came off starter Terry Doyle, who allowed eight runs in four innings of work. Infielder Jonathan Diaz was the most successful hurler of the night, allowing two hits in a scoreless eighth and finishing with a strikeout of speedster Billy Hamilton.

The PawSox offense was held largely in check by a quartet of Louisville arms, but it was not without bright spots. After two nights of rest, Jackie Bradley, Jr. got the start in center field and knocked two hits, including one off top lefty prospect Tony Cingrani. Brock Holt reached base three times, going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks, while Justin Henry and Drew Sutton both added a walk to their 1 for 3 nights.


On a day when the major-league arms struggled mightily, left-hander Franklin Morales showed that he was close to a return, leading Portland to an 8-4 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). In a rare morning appearance, Morales allowed just one unearned run on six hits in his five innings, striking out three and walking two, while picking up the win. He was joined on rehab assignment by catcher David Ross, who launched a first-inning RBI double to get the scoring started for the Sea Dogs. Brock Huntzinger pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to notch his 10th save of the year. The right-hander has notched a win or save in each of his last eight appearances and has not given up a run in 10 of his last 11.

Derrik Gibson (pictured) led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored, and two RBI. Matty Johnson stole two bases as part of a 2 for 4 game, and Xander Bogaerts added an RBI triple, his fifth of the year.

The win gave the Sea Dogs a 3-1 victory in the series. Now with a two-game lead in the Eastern Division, they will travel to Binghamton to take on the second-place Mets.


In what was originally planned as game one of a doubleheader, Salem fell 7-4 to the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS). Kyle Stroup struggled in his start, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one. Noe Ramirez had another strong outing out of the bullpen, giving up just two hits in 3 2/3 innings, while striking out two without walking a batter. It matched the longest outing of the season for Ramirez and lowered his ERA to 2.28.

Garin Cecchini continues to have his way with Carolina League pitching. The third baseman went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks and an RBI. He raised his batting average to .378 on the year and has reached safely in 13 straight. Sean Coyle launched his 10th home run in the third, as he ranks second in the league behind Cecchini in slugging percentage. Keury De La Cruz added a double and continues to break out of his early-season slump. De La Cruz is now 12 for 37 (.324) with five extra-base hits in his last 10 contests.


After game one finished, the strong wind and rain returned, forcing the postponement of the nightcap. The teams will make it up as part of a doubleheader on June 3.


The struggles continued for Greenville in a 12-7 loss to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), which marked its fifth straight defeat.  Mookie Betts continues to shine for the Drive. The diminutive second baseman extended his hitting streak to 17 games, going 3 for 5 with a double and two runs scored. During the streak, Betts has an incredible .418/.506/.746 line. David Chester added a double as part of a 2 for 4 performance, and Jose Vinicio went 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring a pair.

On the mound, Cody Kukuk was abandoned by both his control and his defense. He allowed six runs in only 2/3 of an inning, but only two of those runs were earned. Of the 10 batters he faced, he walked three, and three more reached base on a trio of consecutive errors. Two of the miscues were by Tim Roberson. Regularly a catcher, Roberson was making his first career start at third base, and misplayed the first two balls hit to him. After those initial jitters, Roberson settled in and played an errorless game the rest of the way. 


Player of the Day: Derrik Gibson had a big day to lead the Portland offense with three hits, including a pair of doubles. The 2008 second-rounder has struggled to live up to expectations, but in his second shot at Double-A, the 23-year old has his highest OPS since his promising 2009 stint with Lowell.

Photo Credit: Derrik Gibson by Kelly O'Connor.

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for

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