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June 27, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mookie Betts knocks game-winner for Greenville

6/27 Cup of Coffee: Despite the weather putting a damper on the Sea Dogs and GCL Red Sox’s days, Wednesday was quite successful for the rest of the farm system. The teams that did play took four out of a possible five games, with the PawSox and Drive staging some late-inning dramatics to nab come-from-behind wins.


Circumstances were looking bleak for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Toledo Mud Hens (DET) when they were down 4-0 and batting with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Six consecutive hits later, however, the PawSox took a one-run lead, and right-hander Chris Martin threw two shutout innings to secure the 5-4 win.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks did the honors in the seventh, with his single up the middle scoring right fielder Mitch Maier to put the PawSox on top. Prior to Middlebrooks’ base knock, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. collected an RBI double, first baseman Drew Sutton contributed an RBI single and Maier drove in a pair of runs on a double to center.

Bradley Jr. (2 for 4, two doubles), Maier (2 for 3, walk) and catcher Dan Butler (2 for 4) each posted multi-hit nights in support of the pitching staff led by Steven Wright.

The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs, while scattering five hits and five walks. He also struck out six.


A nine-run fifth inning paved the way for the Salem Red Sox’ 12-3 win over the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS), their third in the last four games.

While Salem tore through three different Dash pitchers during its big rally, the Red Sox didn’t quite have a signature hit. Catcher Tim Roberson made his lone base knock of the day worthwhile, scoring left fielder Keury De La Cruz and first baseman Stefan Welch. De La Cruz later doubled to plate third baseman Nick Natoli and shortstop Deven Marrero.

Marrero (RBI) and Welch (two RBI) both went 2 for 4. Every Salem starter besides second baseman Bryan Johns scored a run, and every starter outside of right fielder Brandon Jacobs drove one in.

On the mound, left-hander Miguel Pena notched the win by giving up one run on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three before right-hander Noe Ramirez (1 1/3 scoreless) came on in relief.


A pair of late-inning rallies helped the Greenville Drive to a 7-5 win over the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) to cap their week-long homestand on a positive note.

Down 5-3 in the seventh, shortstop Jose Vinicio doubled to score second baseman Mookie Betts, then came around himself to tie things at five on designated hitter David Chester’s two-bagger one batter later.

Betts then put the Drive ahead in the eighth with a two-out single to right to score Aneury Tavarez and Felix Sanchez.

Betts (4 for 4, walk) and Vinicio (3 for 4, two doubles, two RBI) were the only Drive batters to collect more than a single hit.

Right-hander Yunior Ortego threw three scoreless innings of one-hit ball to pick up the win in relief of fellow righty Frank Montas, who allowed at least three runs for his fifth straight start. He gave up five runs in all (four earned) on six hits and a pair of walks in five innings. Montas did, however, average a strikeout per inning.


Lowell’s bats came alive in the middle innings against Tri-City (HOU), but unfortunately for the Spinners, they were alive for only those three frames, as they fell to the ValleyCats, 9-4.

Right-hander Simon Mercedes put Lowell in an early hole, spotting Tri-City three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two free passes in four innings.

Lowell bookended two unearned runs in the fifth inning with sacrifice flies from catcher David Sopilka and Manuel Margot in the fourth and sixth frames, respectively.

Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, right fielder Kendrick Perkins and first baseman Nick Moore had identical lines, going 2 for 4 with a double.


The GCL Red Sox were knotted at 0-0 with the GCL Rays when rain necessitated the suspension of their contest in the middle of the fifth. The teams will resume the game Thursday.

Left-hander Daniel McGrath struck out eight, while walking one and giving up two hits in his five innings of work. Third baseman Jantzen Witte had the lone Red Sox hit thus far.


Third baseman Victor Acosta’s two-homer, five-RBI day powered the DSL Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the DSL Mariners. All nine Red Sox runs came in the first three innings.

Left fielder Raiwinson Lemeda also collected two hits and an RBI, while right-hander Jose Almonte (six strikeouts in five innings) took care of business on the mound. He allowed two runs — neither earned — on four hits and a walk.


Player of the Night: Mookie Betts, whose 4-for-4, two-RBI night was his latest feat in what thus far has been a remarkable season. Standing at just 5-foot-9 and 156 pounds, Betts is slashing .309/.426/.523 and is drawing 1.66 walks for every strikeout. He hits righties (.327/.455/.567) considerably better than lefties (.213/.342/.311), but has shown a good combination of power and speed, particularly for his size. He has launched eight homers and stolen 15 bases this season. Betts has shot up from 53rd on SoxProspects.com to 22nd since the beginning of April — and is still rising.

Photo Credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.