May 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM
5/13 Cup of Coffee: Portland was the lone affiliate victor on Sunday, as Pawtucket and Salem lost close contests. Greenville's early-season struggles continued, as the Drive was overwhelmed by Augusta.
The PawSox were unable to take advantage of three Charlotte errors, falling to the Knights (CHW), 6-4. Alfredo Aceves received the loss for his five innings of work, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks, while punching out five. Chris Carpenter pitched well in relief, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing a walk and striking out three.
Pawtucket, aided by a Charlotte error, brought home two runs in the first on an RBI single from Brandon Snyder and an RBI double from Dan Butler. The Knights clawed back into the game in the bottom half of the inning and eventually took the lead in the fourth. Finding themselves down 3-2 in the fifth, another costly Charlotte error allowed the PawSox to tie the contest, 3-3. The Knights would plate two in the bottom of the fifth and another run in the sixth to once again grab the lead. Charlotte would gift Pawtucket another run in the ninth, but held onto their lead for a 6-4 victory.
Justin Henry and Jonathan Diaz each had two hits to lead the PawSox offense. The loss snapped Pawtucket's six-game winning streak, as the team remains tied with the Buffalo Bisons (TOR) for first place in the International League's North Division.
Anthony Ranaudo moved to 5-1 on the season after Portland held on for a 3-2 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN). The 23-year-old right-hander was in command for his six innings of work, allowing just three hits and three walks, while striking out five. Ranaudo is tied for the Eastern League lead in victories, is second in ERA (1.38), and is leading the league in WHIP (0.85) among qualified starters. Brock Huntzinger hurled 1 2/3 innings of relief to pick up his eighth save of the season.
The Sea Dogs led 3-0 after four, as the team scored runs in the first, second and fourth innings on a Tony Thomas RBI single and a Matt Spring solo home run and RBI double. Keith Couch gave up a two-run home run to the Rock Cats in the eighth, but Huntzinger was able to induce a double play to end the rally.
Spring was 4 for 4 with a home run, a double, and two RBI on the day. The 28-year-old catcher has enjoyed the month of May so far, hitting .421/.500/.947 with three home runs and six RBI.
An inability to come through with men on base cost Salem, as they were held down by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX), 4-3. Kyle Stroup received the start for the Red Sox, twirling five innings and allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four.
Keury De La Cruz got Salem on the board quickly in the top of the first, cracking a two-run home run to give the Red Sox a quick advantage. After the Pelicans tied the game in the fourth, Salem reclaimed the lead in the fifth on Garin Cecchini's solo home run.
Myrtle Beach would come back in the eighth, getting to Red Sox reliever Matty Ott for two runs to grab the lead, 4-3. Salem had a runner on first and second with one out in the ninth before Sean Coyle grounded into a double play to end the game.
Cecchini added two hits after being dinged up in yesterday's contest. The 22-year-old third baseman's scorching start to 2013 continues, as he is now hitting .376/.471/.675 with five home runs and 23 RBI.
A strong start was not enough to keep Greenville from losing to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF), 10-6. Pat Light dropped to 1-3 on the season after a rough 3 1/3 inning performance in which he allowed eight runs on nine hits and three walks.
Things looked bright for the Drive early on, as they plated four runs in the first inning, knocking Augusta starter Jose Reyes out of the game after just 1/3 of an inning. The inning started off with a lead-off home run from Mookie Betts and continued when Cody Koback scampered home on a wild pitch. Tim Roberson's RBI single brought home two to give Greenville a quick 4-2 advantage.
After Augusta tied the game in the top of the third, the Drive grabbed the lead back in the bottom half of the inning on a Jordan Weems RBI single. The GreenJackets took control of the game in the fourth, plating four runs on two home runs and three doubles. The damage could have been worse, but Augusta designated hitter Shayne Houck was caught trying to steal home by Betts. The Drive's last run of the day came in the eighth off the bat of Jose Vinicio, who brought home Weems on an RBI ground out.
Player of the Day: Anthony Ranaudo, who improved to 5-1, as he tossed six shutout innings in Portland's 3-2 victory over New Britain. Ranaudo, whose 2012 campaign was marred by injuries, has pitched like the prospect many expected coming out of the 2010 draft. In 39 innings this season, the right-hander has struck out 41, allowed just 23 hits, and has held opponents to a .172 average against.
Photo Credit: Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O'Connor.
John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.