June 30, 2013 at 8:30 AM
6/30 Cup of Coffee: The Sea Dogs rallied with the help of Garin Cecchini, Brandon Jacobs (pictured) hit a two-out, walk-off home run to send the Salem fans home happy for the second straight night, and Mookie Betts got his average back over .300. Lowell's pitching dazzled again, and the GCL Red Sox were able to come from behind for a walk-off win of their own.
It was a rough game for PawSox pitching, as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) cruised to a 12-4 victory. Chris Hernandez was hit hard, allowing 12 hits in four innings, as the RailRiders scored eight times before he was pulled from the game. Chris Carpenter was not much better in relief, allowing four runs on four hits in two innings of work.
Jeremy Hazelbaker hit his seventh home run of the year, a two-run blast in the fifth. Bryce Brentz went 2 for 4, and Xander Bogaerts went 1 for 3 with a walk and a two-run single that gave the PawSox an early lead. Will Middlebrooks went 1 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts, and he is now 4 for his first 17 since his demotion. Mitch Maier was pulled from the game in the bottom of the third, but there is no news yet as to why. Maier is hitting .315/.435/.463 in 30 games with the PawSox.
Portland came from behind to beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 7-5. Matt Barnes struggled in the first inning, surrendering three runs on four hits, but he was able to bounce back and keep the Fisher Cats off the board for the next four innings. He ran into trouble again in the sixth when the first batter reached on an error and the next batter chased him from the game with a two-run home run. It was another inconsistent outing for Barnes, who allowed four earned runs in five innings, walking two and striking out five. He is 1-3 with a 6.64 ERA in his last five starts.
Garin Cecchini has found his groove in Double-A, going 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, including an RBI single in the ninth to increase the lead to two. He has a .429/.538/.524 line over his last 26 plate appearances. Tony Thomas hit a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Sea Dogs a brief lead, and Heiker Meneses went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk.
Brandon Jacobs hit a walk-off home run to give Salem a 7-5 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (CLE). It was the second straight walk-off win for Salem after Nick Natoli's walk-off single on Friday. The Red Sox got a quality start from Mike Augliera, who allowed three earned runs in six innings. Salem was down 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, but scored three times on a Keury De La Cruz double, a wild pitch, and a Blake Swihart sacrifice fly.
The score remained tied at five in the bottom of the ninth, when Stefan Welch walked with two outs, and Jacobs drove him home with his 10th home run of the year. It was one of three hits for Jacobs on the day, who is hitting .279/.404/.558 over his last 53 plate appearances. Henry Ramos and De La Cruz also added three hits for Salem, as De La Cruz extended his on-base streak to 25 games.
Finishing a suspended game, the Kannapolis Intimidators (CWS), tripled up the Drive, 9-3. Jacob Dahlstrand allowed six runs in only one inning of work, putting the Drive in an early hole they could not climb out of. Mario Martinez went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Aneury Tavarez went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Greenville got its revenge in the second game, beating the Intimidators, 5-3. Justin Haley pitched in and out of trouble, but was able to keep Kannapolis to only one run over five innings, despite allowing 10 baserunners. Mookie Betts got his average above .300 with a 2 for 3 performance. He also walked and added a double. David Chester hit a two-run single in the seventh that proved to be the game winner, as the Intimidators rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning, but ultimately fell short.
The Lowell pitching staff continued to shine on Saturday, as the Spinners escaped with a 2-1 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK). Sergio Gomez continued his terrific start to the season by throwing six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, no walks, and striking out four. Kyle Martin was solid in relief, allowing only one hit in two innings.
The Spinners took the lead in the sixth when the Vermont catcher threw a ball into the outfield that allowed two runs to score. Reed Gragnani struck out, ran to first when the ball got away from the catcher, and eventually reached second when the ball went into right field. Gragnani went 2 for 4, Williams Jerez went 2 for 2 with a walk, and Manuel Margot went 1 for 3 and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
The GCL Red Sox walked off with their fifth win of the season, defeating the GCL Twins (MIN), 4-3. Willie Ethington threw the first five innings, allowing one run on four hits, while striking out four. He was on the hook after he left, as the Red Sox could not get any offense going against rehabbing major leaguer Kyle Davies. Once Davies left the game, the Red Sox scored two runs in the sixth on an Alixon Suarez single and a Nathan Minnich double.
With the score tied at three in the ninth, Jose Colorado led off with a single, advanced to second on a balk, moved to third on a bunt, and scored on an error by the shortstop. Colorado went 2 for 5 with a double, and Wendell Rijo went 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Keivin Heras picked up the win after allowing two runs in four innings.
The DSL Red Sox were on the other end of a walk-off, falling to the DSL Royals (KC), 4-3. Luis Ramos was hit hard, giving up three runs on seven hits in only three innings. The Red Sox bullpen shut down the Royals until the ninth, when Victor Ramirez allowed the winning run. Jervis Torrealba pitched three perfect innings of relief to keep the Red Sox in the game. Jhon Nunez went 1 for 3 with a walk, and Javier Guerra went 1 for 2 with a walk and two runs scored.
Player of the Day: Brandon Jacobs' walk-off home run lifted Salem and gave the team an early one-game lead in the second half standings. Jacobs has really turned his season around, as he was hitting only .170/.256/.302 over his first 29 games of the season, but has hit .267/.353/.493 in his last 42 games. While his overall line is still relatively unimpressive for a player who is repeating the league, games like this might be the boost he needs to get him through the dog days of summer.
Photo Credit: Brandon Jacobs by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com