June 12, 2013 at 7:30 AM
6/12 Cup of Coffee: Drake Britton (pictured) followed up his eight-inning start last time out with a complete-game shutout yesterday. Keury De La Cruz continued his recent hot streak with two more hits, and the Drive split a doubleheader with the RiverDogs.
A late rally fell just short, as the PawSox lost to the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS), 4-3. The Chiefs got to PawSox starter Steven Wright for four runs in six innings, including two home runs. The loss dropped Wright to 2-4 on the season, and his ERA moved to 5.10. Chris Hernandez and Alex Wilson each threw a perfect inning of relief to keep the game close.
Down 4-1 in the eighth, Jackie Bradley, Jr. doubled in a run, and then Bryce Brentz connected for a solo home run in the ninth to bring it to a one-run game. That was all the PawSox would get, as they fell to 37-27 on the season. Bradley and Brentz each led the way with two hits, while Bradley was also caught stealing.
Behind a complete game from Drake Britton, the Sea Dogs defeated the Erie SeaWolves (DET), 2-0. Britton, who positioned himself for a second straight Eastern League Pitcher of the Week award, tossed seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and one walk, while striking out three. Britton has allowed only one earned run in his last 25 innings, while walking seven and striking out 23. Because of his position on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox may be more aggressive when it comes to promoting Britton, as next year is his last option year.
The Sea Dogs got on the board in the second inning when Peter Hissey hit an RBI double, and Tony Thomas added to the lead later with a solo home run. Thomas went 2 for 3, while Xander Bogaerts went 1 for 2 with a walk. Bogaerts is now batting .310/.406/.507 on the season, with 34 walks and 49 strikeouts in 213 at-bats. The Sea Dogs were scheduled to play a doubleheader yesterday, but the second game was rained out. The doubleheader will take place tonight instead.
Salem used another strong pitching performance to dispatch the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), 3-1. William Cuevas, who has had a tough season, shined on Tuesday, as he surrendered only one run on five hits in six innings. Nate Striz followed him with an equally impressive performance, going three shutout innings to record the save.
It was more of the same for Garin Cecchini and Keury De La Cruz, as they combined to lead the offense. Cecchini went 2 for 3 with a walk, while De La Cruz went 2 for 4 with two RBI. De La Cruz is batting .432 in his last 10 games to raise his season average to .273. Stefan Welch reached base three times, going 2 for 2 with a double and a walk.
It was a tale of two games for the Drive in their doubleheader with the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY). In the first game, they doubled up the RiverDogs (NYY), 6-3. Francisco Tavares notched his first win of the season after throwing six innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Manuel Rivera earned the save with a scoreless seventh inning. Mario Martinez picked up three hits, Boss Moanaroa went 1 for 2 with a home run and a walk, and Bryan Johns went 1 for 2 with three RBI.
In the second game, the RiverDogs got the best of the Drive, prevailing 8-4. Sergio Gomez and Yunior Ortega were hit hard, combining to give up 12 hits and eight runs in seven innings. Both pitchers have an ERA above 6.00 this season. Cody Koback had two hits, and Alex Hassan went 1 for 2 with two walks. He now has 10 walks in eight games this season.
The DSL Red Sox collected 10 walks for the second straight game, beating the DSL Indians (CLE), 9-0. In addition to the strong patience at the plate, the pitching continued to dominate, led by Yankory Pimentel, who tossed five shutout innings, while striking out 4. Luis Alexander Basabe went 0 for 2, but walked three times, which gives him 10 walks in only nine games. Darwin Pena went 2 for 5 with a double, and Luis Alejandro Basabe walked twice to raise his total to nine in seven games.
Player of the Day: Drake Britton's complete-game shutout lowered his ERA to 3.25, and he has yet to allow a run in two June starts. The 24-year-old left-hander is in line for a call-up sooner rather than later, as he has now thrown 156 2/3 innings in Double-A with an ERA of 3.50 in that time.
Photo Credit: Drake Britton by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com