May 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM
5/10 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket used a 16-hit barrage to close out its series, picking up the only win of the night on the farm. Salem's bats struggled, getting swept in a doubleheader, while Greenville was shut down by a 2012 top pick.
The offense led the way, as Pawtucket completed a four-game sweep of the Gwinnett Braves (ATL), winning 14-9. Seven players had multi-hit games for the PawSox, and every starter in the lineup scored a run.
Brandon Snyder (pictured) and Mark Hamilton had mirroring lines to lead the way, both delivering two hits with a home run, double, walk, three RBI, and a pair of runs scored. Snyder, who got his fifth start in eight days at third base, moved up to second in the International League with 25 RBI. Bryce Brentz also went deep for Pawtucket. Ronald Bermudez had his second consecutive three-hit game, adding a pair of runs scored. Nick Natoli, an undrafted free agent out of Towson signed in 2011, made his PawSox debut, entering the game in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter and taking over at second base. Natoli went 0 for 2.
Steven Wright was a beneficiary of the offensive explosion, picking up his second win of the year. Wright allowed four runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out six, walked two, and hit a pair of batters. Chris Carpenter struggled in relief, allowing four runs on four hits in two innings of work. Ryan Rowland-Smith saw his scoreless streak come to an end after 17 innings when he allowed an unearned run on a ninth-inning double. Rowland-Smith allowed a pair of hits in his two innings, striking out two and walking one.
Portland's game in New Britain against the Rock Cats (MIN) was postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up Friday as part of a doubleheader.
In game one, Salem was on the losing side of a pitcher's duel, falling 2-1 to the Carolina Mudcats (CLE). Mike Augliera was quite good for Salem, allowing just one run on six hits in six innings, while walking two and striking out five. Nate Striz, unscored upon in his nine previous outings, took the loss in relief when Cleveland's top prospect Francisco Lindor drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning double. Striz has given up only two runs so far on the season, and both have resulted in him being credited with a loss.
The bats provided little support, with the only scoring coming on a fourth-inning solo home run by Keury De La Cruz. It was the second of the season for the Salem right fielder, who went 2 for 3.
Salem again had trouble generating offense in the nightcap, dropping a 4-1 decision. A trio of Carolina pitchers allowed only four hits against Salem. De La Cruz again scored the only run, tripling in the second inning and coming home on a Blake Swihart single. Garin Cecchini went 1 for 3 with a double and is now 28 for 65 in his last 18 games, good for a .431 average.
Getting his first professional start, Heri Quevedo had a performance that was stronger than his final stat line. He allowed only one run through the fourth, but walked two of the first three batters after coming on for a fifth inning of work. After being lifted for Mike McCarthy, both those runners came around to score. Overall, Quevedo gave up three runs on three hits in 4 1/3, striking out and walking four apiece. McCarthy allowed the two inherited runners to score, then gave up one of his own in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two without walking a batter. Matt Price struck out one and allowed one hit in a scoreless seventh to close out the night.
Greenville remains winless in May after losing, 6-3, to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF). It was a tough matchup for the Drive, facing off against Giants 2012 first-round pick Chris Stratton. They were able to notch six hits against the right-hander, including a fourth-inning solo home run by David Chester. Mookie Betts picked up a pair of hits in four at-bats, driving in a run. He did not draw a walk, however, ending a six-game streak of Betts reaching base via the free pass.
It was a difficult start for Justin Haley, whose control trouble led to four first-inning runs. He walked four in the first, though an inning-ending double play helped to mitigate some of the damage. Overall, Haley allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked six. Haley has now walked 28 batters in 25 2/3 innings this season. There was positive news out of the bullpen, however, as Austin Maddox broke out of a slump with a strong outing. Entering the contest with a 9.90 ERA and allowing nearly two hits per game, Maddox allowed just one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking only one.
Player of the Day: There were many deserving candidates in the Pawtucket lineup, but the nod goes to Brandon Snyder. Already a two-time SoxProspects.com Player of the Week in 2013, Snyder has continued his strong play, ranking second in the International League in slugging percentage, sixth in on-base percentage, and sitting just points out of the top ten in batting average. Over the last week, he has been receiving significant playing time at the hot corner, a position that has seen six different PawSox players get starts in the early going.
Photo Credit: Brandon Snyder by Kelly O'Connor
James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.
James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.