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June 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jacobs slugs Salem to victory, GCL drop season opener

6/22 Cup of Coffee: In what ended up being a bit of a down day on the farm, Salem Red Sox outfielder Brandon Jacobs helped slug the team to victory, while all three other full-season affiliates took losses. The Lowell Spinners collected their third win of the season, the DSL Red Sox keep rolling and the GCL Red Sox lost their first game of the season.


The International League North leading Pawtucket Red Sox could not add to their division lead Friday dropping their contest to the Toledo Mud Hens (DET) by a score of 8-5. The game featured late scoring from both sides as Pawtucket and Toledo scored a combined five runs in the final two frames.

A bright spot for Pawtucket offensively was shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who collected his second home run as a member of the team to lead off the sixth inning. Catcher Dan Butler also went deep in the game, his fifth on the season.

PawSox starter Stephen Wright was strong early but ended up giving up five runs, four earned, before leaving the game in the sixth inning. The knuckleballer logged 5 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out four.


The Portland Sea Dogs were unable to pick up a victory on the day 22-year-old third baseman Garin Cecchini made his debut with the team, losing 9-2 to the Trenton Thunder (NYY). Cecchini, who was hitting .359 with a 1.016 OPS in Salem before his promotion, was immediately slotted into the three-hole. He went 1 for 4 in the game, picking up his first Eastern League hit with a double in the eighth inning.

As a whole, the Sea Dogs were only able to collect five hits in the contest, with Cecchini's double being the only extra-base hit.

Likewise, it was a tough day for Sea Dogs starter Drake Britton, who was tagged with eight runs in the loss. The left-hander was strong through five innings, not surrendering a single run, but hit a road bump in the bottom of the sixth when the Thunder exploded for nine runs. 


While it was tough going for other affiliates, the Salem Red Sox pounded the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC) by a score of 9-2 to move within three games of .500. While many had productive days at the plate for Salem, every starter except for one had a hit, left fielder Brandon Jacobs stood head and shoulders above the rest by collecting two home runs in the game, his eighth and ninth on the season.

Jacobs first homer came in the top of the second inning and gave the Red Sox a comfortable 7-0 lead. His second, a solo shot, came in the fifth. Jacobs finished the day with a game-high three RBI. Center fielder Keury De La Cruz picked up two hits in the game, including a double, and also stole a base, his sixth on the season.

On the hill for Salem, Miguel Pena turned in a strong five inning performance, logging seven strikeouts and giving up only a single run. The 22-year-old left-hander surrendered only three hits in the game and walked one. The win, his second of the season, lowered his ERA to 4.84. 


In a high scoring affair, the Greenville Drive fell to the Hagerstown Suns (WAS) 13-9. Hagerstown jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings, only to see the Drive storm back with a five-run fourth to tie the game. Aided by three wild pitches, the Drive, who batted around in the inning, posted five runs thanks to RBI hits from David Chester, Keaton Briscoe and Jayson Hernandez. 

The stalemate did not last long, however, as the Suns posted a five run top of the fifth inning. The Suns wouldn't relinquish the lead again, although the Drive were able to muster up four more runs over the final frames.

Drive starter Francellis Montas took the loss, moving to 1-6 on the season. In 4 1/3 innings pitched, he gave up six earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Unfortunately for the Drive, reliever Francisco Taveras had an even more forgettable performance, giving up seven earned runs in 2 1/3 relief innings.


The Lowell Spinners picked up their third win of the young season on Friday, topping the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) 4-0.  The Spinners pitching staff was impressive, giving up only two hits and four walks on their way to a shutout. Starter Jamie Callahan, selected in the second round of the 2012 draft, threw five innings giving up only one hit and striking out three. Callahan was followed by Kyle Martin and Greg Larson, who threw two relief innings each. Larson struck out three batters in two innings while not surrendering a hit.

Spinners leadoff man and shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin collected two hits a run scored and an RBI, while his double-play partner Reed Gragani went 1 for 3 with two RBI.


Aided by three errors, the DSL Red Sox continue their phenomenal start to the season as they collected their 15th win of the season with a 5-1 victory of the DSL Astros. Three players notched multi-hit games, including lead off man Victor Acosta, who belted his first home run of the season.

On the mound, starter Carlos Garcia logged five superb innings, striking out eight against only three hits and zero walks. Garcia, who picked up his second win on the season, lowered his ERA to 1.86. Relieving Garcia was Carlos Caceres, who struck out three in four shutout relief innings.


The GCL Red Sox dropped their season opener against the GCL Twins 6-4. Despite doubling the number of the Twins hits in the game, the Red Sox were unable to capitalize on their opportunities, leaving 10 men on base.

Wendell Rijo and Jose Colorado collected two hits each and combined for three of the four RBI. Starter Daniel McGrath gave the GCL Red Sox a strong five innings, surrendering only one run on two hits and striking out six. Following McGrath was Edwar Garcia, who gave up five runs in one inning of relief saddling him with the loss.


Player of the Day: Amidst a day with several strong pitching performances, it was the bat of left fielder Brandon Jacobs that garnered special recognition. The 22-year-old, whose eighth and ninth home runs of the season helped propel the Drive to a 9-2 victory, is batting .228 on the season with a .711 OPS. The two bombs give Jacobs three home runs in his last two games.

Photo Credit: Brandon Jacobs by Kelly O'Connor. 

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukeHoCoTimes.