SoxProspects News

June 25, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Cup of Coffee: Alcantara leads Lowell in rain-shortened win


6/25 Cup of Coffee: While the major-league club had the night off, it was a busy day down on the farm. Pawtucket and Greenville came out on top of back-and-forth contests, while Lowell and the DSL Red Sox used dominant pitching performances in their wins. Portland could not get its bats going, costly errors hurt Salem, and a GCL Red Sox comeback bid fell short.

------

Pawtucket won its third straight, a 5-4 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens (DET). Continuing his rehab assignment, Clayton Mortensen pitched a scoreless first inning, striking out one and allowing a base hit. Chris Hernandez followed and struggled with his control, walking five in two innings, while giving up a pair of runs on just one hit. The control problems have been a recent trend for the left-hander, who now has 12 walks in 15 innings across five June appearances. Terry Doyle picked up the win in relief, allowing one run on one hit in 3 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking three.

The offense was led by Dan Butler, who reached base three times, going 1 for 2 with a double, two walks, and three runs batted in. Alex Hassan continued to roll with a 2 for 5 night, his third multi-hit game in eight since his activation. Xander Bogaerts scored two of the Pawtucket runs, going 1 for 4 with a walk.

-----

Notching only seven hits, Portland was shut out 3-0 by the Binghamton Mets (NYM). Unsurprisingly, two of those hits belonged to Garin Cecchini. The third baseman has not skipped a beat since his promotion from Salem last week, having reached base 8 times in his first 19 plate appearances. The shutout spoiled the attempt by Anthony Ranaudo to pick up his eighth win of the season. Ranaudo gave up two runs (only one earned) in six innings, while striking out and walking four apiece, as he fell to 7-2 on the season.

-----

A trio of errors and the long ball hurt Salem, who fell 8-2 to the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS). Mike Augliera took his fifth loss in his last six starts. The right-hander gave up only three hits in five innings, but two of them left the yard. Two miscues in the eighth inning allowed the Dash to score five unearned runs, breaking the game open. At the plate, Deven Marrero is showing signs of heating up, going 2 for 4 with a run scored and a stolen base. The performance marks four consecutive multi-hit games for the Red Sox top pick in the 2012 draft, raising his batting average from .242 to .269. Blake Swihart went 0 for 2, halting his hitting streak at eight games, but walked twice and has reached base in 10 straight. The Salem catcher has seen his on-base percentage rise to .363 on the season, tops on the roster among players with 100 plate appearances.

-----

Greenville held on for a 7-6 victory over the Charleston River Dogs (NYA). The Drive had leads of 3-0 and 7-4, but closed the game with the tying run at the plate after a two-run ninth. Starter Justin Haley continued his string of solid performances after a very difficult start to the season. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits in five innings, striking out six and walking four. His ERA has dropped from 6.58 in early May to 4.37. Mookie Betts continues to be an on-base machine, going 1 for 2 with three walks, a double, and two runs scored. Jordan Weems went 2 for 3 with a walk, while David Chester and Mario Mendoza also added two-hit nights with a pair of RBI apiece.

-----

Lowell needed only two hits to prevail in a rain-shortened, six-inning 1-0 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK). Mario Alcantara (pictured) was dominant for the Spinners, allowing just two hits in five shutout innings, while striking out four. The right-hander has begun 2013 with 10 consecutive scoreless innings, good for a 2-0 record. Tenth-round draft pick Taylor Grover picked up the save in his professional debut, striking out two in a perfect sixth. 

The Spinners were able to manufacture what proved to be the game-winning run in the third. After consecutive walks to begin the inning by Nick Moore and Williams Jerez, Cleuluis Rondon sacrificed, giving Lowell two in scoring position with one out. An infield hit beat out by Tzu-Wei Lin scored the eventual decisive run. 

-----

The GCL Red Sox fell into a nine-run hole that they were unable to dig out of, falling 9-4 to the GCL Orioles. Willie Ethington got the start, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits in two innings, while striking out three without a walk. Christian Perdomo, an amateur free agent out of ASA College (NY) signed in the offseason, struggled in his professional debut. The lanky left-hander allowed five runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings, walking one and hitting a batter. There were some positives at the plate for the GCL squad, however. Aaron King, making the transition from the mound to the outfield, went 2 for 4 with a triple, two RBI, and a walk. Nathan Minnich and Alixon Suarez also added a pair of hits apiece.

-----

The DSL Red Sox continue to roll thanks to fantastic pitching, coming away with a 3-2 win over the DSL Athletics. Luis Ramos had another outstanding performance, firing six shutout innings to move to 3-0 and lowering his ERA on the year to a microscopic 0.90. A 6-foot-1 left-hander from Panama, Ramos allowed only three hits, striking out five and walking only one. The Athletics were able to rally for a pair of runs off Jervis Torrealba, but Victor Ramirez came on to slam the door for his fifth save. The offense was able to put together a trio of runs without the benefit of an extra-base hit. Franklin Guzman and Luis Alejandro Basabe led the way with two hits apiece.

------

Player of the Day: It has been a strong start to 2013 for Lowell pitcher Mario Alcantara. In his first exposure to the New York-Penn League, the 20-year-old Dominican has thrown five shutout innings, allowing just two hits apiece in his first two starts. After walking 35 in 43 2/3 innings in 2012, Alcantara appears to have sharpened his control, with just two in his first 10 innings of work this season.

Photo Credit: Mario Alcantara by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.

 
Copyright © 2003-2016 SoxProspects, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Email: info@soxprospects.com