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May 17, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Cup of Coffee: Shaw leads 18-hit attack in Sea Dogs rout

5/17 Cup of Coffee: It was a highly anticipated day on the farm, as each affiliate had a top-30 player on the mound. Portland had its biggest offensive output of the season in the only win of the night. Pawtucket saw its late rally fall short, Salem walked off with a loss, and Greenville's May slide continued.


Down 6-1 entering the ninth inning, Pawtucket rallied but could not complete the comback, losing 6-4 to the Gwinnett Braves (ATL). Rubby De La Rosa got the start for the PawSox. He got off to a shaky start, loading the bases with a single and a pair of walks in the first, but was able to pitch out of the jam and settle in. Overall, De La Rosa allowed only one unearned run on one hit in four innings, though he walked four and struck out three. It was the fifth consecutive appearance that De La Rosa has not allowed an earned run, a stretch that spans 18 innings. Despite just the one run allowed, he was charged with his first loss of the season. In relief, Chris Hernandez allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings.

Jeremy Hazelbaker reached base three times, knocking a pair of singles and earning a walk. In the eighth inning, Brock Holt ended a long 103 at-bat stretch without an extra-base hit with a double to right, and he came around to score the first Pawtucket run. In the ninth, Holt also added an RBI single. Ronald Bermudez hit a two-run double in the ninth and is 7 for 16 in his last four games.


Ten of Portland's 18 hits went for extra bases in a 15-4 romp over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Leading the way was Travis Shaw (pictured), who doubled twice and homered. Overall, Shaw finished the night 4 for 5 with four RBI and three runs scored. Michael Almanzar went 3 for 5 with a double and a home run, driving in five. Xander Bogaerts doubled, scored three runs, and walked twice. Derrik Gibson and Tony Thomas added doubles as part of three-hit nights, while Peter Hissey chipped in with a double and Shannon Wilkerson with a triple. Matt Spring was the only Sea Dogs starter who did not deliver a base hit.

The offensive explosion overshadowed another solid outing by Brandon Workman. The right-hander moved to 5-1 on the season, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked only one and struck out six. Those six strikeouts moved Workman into a tie for the Eastern League lead with 54 on the season. In relief, converted starter Michael Celestino recorded his first professional save. Celestino allowed a run on five hits in three innings of work.


A three-run ninth inning allowed the Carolina Mudcats (CLE) to walk off with a 5-4 win over Salem. Henry Owens bounced back from his worst outing of the season last Saturday to hold Carolina at bay, allowing just one run in his five innings and striking out four without walking a batter. While Owens gave up eight hits, only a second-inning double went for extra bases. Noe Ramirez allowed a run on three hits in two innings, striking out two. After registering a quick one-two-three eighth inning, Matty Ott could not hold a 4-2 ninth-inning lead. Four hits, including a pair of doubles, completed the three-run rally, and Ott took his fourth loss of the season.

Sean Coyle broke out of a long slump, going 2 for 4 with three runs scored and three stolen bases. Entering the contest, Coyle had gone 0 for his previous 28, dating back to May 7. The skid had dropped his batting average from .308 to .226. Keury De La Cruz and Brandon Jacobs both added a pair of hits for Salem.


The struggles continued for the Greenville Drive, as they lost, 6-3, to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY). The loss was the fifth in a row for Greenville, which fell to 2-13 on the month. Getting the start, Frank Montas allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, walking two and striking out three. It was only the third start this season with two or more walks for Montas, a positive development for a player whose control was a question mark. Francisco Taveras took the loss in relief, allowing four runs on six hits in four innings. Taveras struck out seven without walking a batter.

Continuing his stellar May, Mookie Betts homered in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. In 40 at-bats during his streak, Betts has a .400/.510/.800 line that includes four home runs. Aneury Tavarez added a home run as part of a 2 for 4 night.


Player of the Day: Leading the offensive explosion for Portland was Travis Shaw, with a 4 for 5 night with two doubles and a home run. It was Shaw's first four-hit game since June 15 of last year and the fifth of his professional career. Before his breakout night, Shaw had been struggling through a .132/.220/.283 slump dating back to April 30.

Photo Credit: Travis Shaw by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.