May 23, 2013 at 8:00 AM
5/23 Cup of Coffee: Between an off day for the PawSox and rain sweeping through the south, the Portland Sea Dogs played the only complete game of the day on Wednesday. They made the most of it, walking off with an extra-innings win.
Catcher Christian Vazquez (pictured) stole the show in Portland, finishing the night 4 for 4 with two RBI and a single shy of the cycle in the Sea Dogs’ 5-4 walk-off win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) . His one-out triple in the 10th inning set the table for second baseman Heiker Meneses, who singled to left to plate pinch runner Derrik Gibson to clinch the victory.
With the Sea Dogs down 1-0 in the second, Vazquez doubled and later came around to score during Portland’s two-run inning. In the fourth, with the home team again down by one, Vazquez launched his third homer of the season to put the Sea Dogs on top.
Right-hander Matt Barnes scattered seven hits and a walk in five innings, allowing three runs (two earned), while striking out five. His ERA on the season is down to 4.50, and in 28 innings this month, Barnes has yielded seven earned runs.
Center fielder Shannon Wilkerson was 3 for 5 with an RBI, while designated hitter Tony Thomas was hitless (0 for 2) but drew three walks.
The Salem Red Sox and Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) got rained out, but will make the game up in a doubleheader on Thursday set to begin at 5:05.
Before the postponement, left-hander Henry Owens was scratched from his start in favor of extra rest, according to Evan Lepler.
The Greenville Drive ran into similar issues in Hickory, N.C., playing the Crawdads (TEX) to a 3-3 tie before the game was suspended in the top of the third due to rain. The game will be completed when the Crawdads visit Greenville June 7-9.
Before being halted by the weather, the Drive were in the midst of a three-run rally. Right fielder Aneury Tavarez homered to score second baseman Bryan Johns, then back-to-back doubles from Cody Koback and Tim Roberson tied the score.
Starting right-hander Pat Light retired the only batter he faced before being pulled due to a hamstring cramp, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Right-hander Yunior Ortega came on in relief, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Player of the Night: Christian Vazquez, who went 4 for 4 with four extra-base hits (two doubles, a triple, and a homer) and two RBI in Portland’s 10-inning, 5-4 victory. He also scored twice, drew a walk, and stole a base in what was easily the best game of his season. The 5-foot-9 catcher has been working on his plate approach with Portland hitting coach Rich Gedman, and of late it seems to be paying off. Vazquez is hitting .375 and getting on base at a .459 clip over his last 10 games.
Photo Credit: Christian Vazquez by Kelly O'Connor.