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May 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Workman, Cecchini end April on a high note

5/1 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket played a lot of free baseball, Brandon Workman was perfect through six innings, and Garin Cecchini continues to be an unstoppable force. 


Pawtucket could not score in the final eight innings of a 15-inning battle with the Columbus Clippers (CLE), ultimately falling, 6-5. Still on a 50-pitch limit, Rubby De La Rosa had his best start of the year, striking out five and walking none in three shutout innings. He left the game with a 4-0 lead, as Bryce Brentz drove in three runs in the first three innings, including a two-run home run. 

Columbus was able to get the best of Graham Godfrey, as the Clippers scored four times in his four innings of work. The damage could have been worse, but Jose Iglesias saved two runs with a diving stop up the middle to end the top of the sixth. Iglesias would leave the game after that play, but reports are that it was due to being hit on the wrist with a pitch in the first inning. 

With the PawSox lead at one in the top of the ninth, Chris Carpenter walked the first two batters, and then gave up a bases loaded single to allow the tying run to score. The game got interesting in extra innings, as infielder Drew Sutton came on in relief of Ryan Rowland-Smith, who had just thrown four innings of scoreless relief. After retiring the side in order in the 14th, the Clippers got to Sutton for a run in the 15th to win it. Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3 for 5 with a double and a walk to lead the PawSox. 


Brandon Workman finished off a strong April with another impressive performance, improving to 4-0 in a 5-3 victory over the Reading Fightin Phils (PHI). Just like Anthony Ranaudo a few days earlier, Workman took a perfect game into the later innings. He was perfect through six until giving up a double to start the seventh. In all, he tossed 6 2/3 innings giving up only one run on two hits, while walking one and striking out six. He ends April with a 2.73 ERA in 29 2/3 innings, and he also boasts an impressive 34-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

Appearing in his first game since being optioned back to Portland, Daniel Bard continued to struggle, as he gave up two runs on two hits in only 2/3 of an inning. The Portland offense was led by Tony Thomas, who went 3 for 4 with a double, a triple, and three RBI. Xander Bogaerts continues to be a tough out, going 1 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base. His on-base percentage is now up to .379 on the season and .489 in his last 10 games. 


It was a rough night for Salem pitching, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) coasted to a 10-3 victory. Kyle Stroup started, and he was rocked for four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Matt Price did not fair any better, surrendering five runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. Salem only managed five hits in the game, and three of them came from Garin Cecchini. In both the first and fourth innings, Cecchini hit a double to left field and then proceeded to steal third. He capped off his strong night with an opposite field home run in the sixth.

Cecchini ends April with a triple slash of .392/.478/.709, with 15 extra-base hits in 79 at-bats. He has walked and struck out 13 times apiece and also stole 10 bases. While he will be unable to maintain those numbers throughout the season, it is a great sign that he is starting to show more in-game power to go along with his plus hit tool. 


Player of the Day: Although Cecchini has a strong case, it is hard to go against Brandon Workman, who carried a perfect game into the seventh inning for Portland. Workman has still only thrown about 55 innings in Double-A dating back to last season, so he is still a bit away from earning a promotion. However, if he continues to put up consistent results, it is hard to imagine him not moving up to Pawtucket around the All-Star break. 

Photo Credit: Brandon Workman by Kelly O'Connor

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.