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June 28, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Cup of Coffee: De La Rosa, Perez fire zeroes in wins

6/28 Cup of Coffee: Pitching ruled the day for Pawtucket and the GCL Red Sox, both of whom came away with shutout wins, while it was Greenville's bats that led the Drive. Portland failed to hold a late lead, as Salem and Lowell struggled out of the gate.


Rubby De La Rosa (pictured) continued to roll, as Pawtucket defeated the Toledo Mud Hens, 3-0. De La Rosa threw 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out six, while not walking a batter. The right-hander now has a scoreless streak of 20 1/3 innings. De La Rosa's ERA for the season is an excellent 2.28 and since April 23 is a phenomenal 0.74. 

Jose De La Torre followed with two perfect innings of relief, striking out one. Anthony Carter walked the tightrope, allowing a base hit and three walks in 1 1/3, but came away with his 13th save. Jackie Bradley, Jr. tripled to extend his hitting streak to six games, and Jonathan Diaz also added a triple as part of a 2 for 3 evening. 


The weather finally cooperated with Portland, which was able to play its first game in three days. Unfortunately, the Sea Dogs came out on the losing end of a 5-4 matchup with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR). Drake Britton was solid in his start, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, while striking out four and walking three. Michael Celestino failed to hold the lead, giving up a pair of eighth-inning runs to take his sixth loss of the season.

The Portland offense was led by Travis Shaw, who went 1 for 3 with two walks and a sixth-inning two-run homer that gave the Sea Dogs the lead. Garin Cecchini and Christian Vazquez delivered two hits apiece. Cecchini has hit safely in four of the five games since his promotion and has multiple hits in three straight contests. 


Little went right for Salem in a 12-5 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS). Kyle Stroup struggled, giving up five runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3. Heri Quevedo made his first appearance since his return from injury, but was not sharp, walking four in 1 1/3 and allowing four runs to score. Keury De La Cruz had his second straight multi-hit night, going 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Blake Swihart also continues to play well. The catcher went 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI and has reached safely in 11 straight.


The Greenville bats came alive, pounding out 14 hits in a rain-interrupted 9-5 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS). The hit parade was led by Mario Martinez, who went 4 for 6 with two RBI. David Chester delivered a pair of doubles, giving him 22 on the year. The role of run-producer was played by Aneury Tavarez, who drove in four runs with a double and a triple. Jose Vinicio extended his hitting streak to six with his second consecutive three-hit game. After a tough start to the season, the shortstop has been excellent recently, with 13 hits in his last 24 at-bats and a batting average near .300 for June. While his .220 average on the season may appear unimpressive on the surface, it represents a 65-point climb from its lowest point at .155 on May 15. 

Starting pitcher Cody Kukuk was struggling when the weather hit, having allowed a run on two hits and two walks in 1 1/3. When play resumed, Austin Maddox took the mound. The right-hander was credited with his first professional win after six losses dating back to last season, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in 3 2/3 innings, while striking out five and walking two. 


Lowell struggled to a 9-4 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats (TB). Jamie Callahan was unable to replicate his dominant first start of the season. In two innings, Callahan allowed five runs on six hits, walking three without striking out a batter. Jonathan Aro and Jack McGeary allowed two runs apiece in relief of Callahan. The offensive star was Tzu-Wei Lin, who went 2 for 5 with a double, a triple, a run scored, and two RBI. Through eight games the 19-year-old, scouted earlier in the week along with Callahan by Northeast Scout Ian Cundall, has a strong .286/.382/.429 line. 


The GCL Red Sox game on Wednesday against the GCL Rays had been suspended due to rain after five innings. The teams resumed play yesterday morning, and the Sox were able to come away with a 1-0 win. In the seventh inning, Raymel Flores was hit by a pitch. A Bryan Hudson base hit moved him to second, and he came around to score the eventual winning run on a hit by Jose Colorado. German Tavarez was credited with the win in relief of Daniel McGrath's excellent Wednesday work. Tavarez allowed just one hit in three shutout frames, striking out four and walking one. Ellis Jiminez pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

With that game in the books, the two teams got underway for Thursday's regularly scheduled action. Once again, the Red Sox pitching was on point, delivering another 1-0 shutout victory. At the center was Randy Perez, a 19-year-old left-hander from the Dominican Republic. Perez pitched 4 2/3 no-hit innings, striking out three and walking two. In Perez's first two stateside appearances, he has been dominant, allowing just one hit in 8 2/3. Carlos Pinales completed the shutout and was credited with the win, striking out five and allowing two hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The offensive rally came in the sixth. Hudson again played a key role, delivering a lead-off double to left, advancing to third on a Colorado ground out and scoring on a base hit to left by Wendell Rijo. Hudson, Boston's 15th-round draft pick out of Mill Creek (GA) High School, is 4 for 9 in his first four professional games.


The DSL Red Sox game against the DSL Indians was postponed by rain. No makeup date has been announced.


Player of the Day: While this recognition easily could have gone to the white-hot De La Rosa, Randy Perez gets the nod. After a solid pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2012, Perez has been nearly perfect in two appearances to start the 2013 season, having allowed just four baserunners in 8 2/3 innings and only one base hit. 

Photo Credit: Rubby De La Rosa by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for

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