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June 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Spinners open season with 15-strikeout gem

6/18 Cup of Coffee: While there were only three games on the schedule, Monday saw plenty of action down on the farm. The Spinners kicked off their season with a thrilling ninth-inning victory, as a trio of arms combined for a 15-strikeout shutout. Not to be outdone, a trio of PawSox hurlers delivered a three-hit shutout. The lone loss on the night came from the DSL squad, only the team's third defeat on the season.


Pawtucket notched just six hits, but it was more than enough offense in a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Clippers (CLE). Making his first appearance since his short re-call to the major-league club, Rubby De La Rosa struggled some with his control, but Clipper bats struggled even more to make contact. The right-hander allowed only two hits in 5 1/3 shutout frames, walking and striking out five apiece. Alex Wilson, also making his first appearance since a short Boston stint, followed De La Rosa. Wilson allowed just one hit in his 1 2/3 innings, striking out three of the six batters he faced and firing 19 of his 25 pitches for strikes. Brock Huntzinger finished with two perfect innings, striking out one.

Pawtucket's big blow on offense was a second-inning solo home run by Bryce Brentz, his team-leading 14th blast of the year. Ryan Lavarnway reached base twice, going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 0 for 4, as he continues to slide. Since extending his hitting streak to 15 games with a leadoff double in the first game of Friday's doubleheader, the center fielder is 0 for his last 17. Xander Bogaerts had the night off, his first since his promotion.


The Greenville Drive are off for the All-Star break, but not everyone has the time off. As part of the South Atlantic League All-Star festivities, David Chester took part in the Home Run Derby. Representing the Southern Division, Chester clubbed his way to the finals, where he was defeated by Joey Gallo, the league leader in that category. 


It was a memorable opener to the New York-Penn League schedule for Lowell, as it knocked off the Connecticut Tigers (DET) 1-0 in an outstanding pitcher's duel. Getting the opening day call was Sergio Gomez (pictured), and the lanky right-hander was up for the occassion. Gomez retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up a one-out double in the third. Unrattled, he went back to work, retiring the next eight. Overall, Gomez allowed just the one baserunner in five innings of work, striking out eight. Working his way back from a right biceps injury, Chris Carpenter followed, allowing a hit and a walk in his inning, while striking out one. Jonathan Aro completed the shutout, scattering two hits and striking out six. 

The Tigers pitchers matched Gomez and company pitch for pitch, also retiring the first seven batters and allowing only four hits on the night. With such stellar pitching, it seemed appropriate that Lowell's decisive ninth-inning rally came without the benefit of a base hit. With one out, Kendrick Perkins drew a walk and followed with a steal of second base. After a strikeout of Nick Moore, Williams Jerez chopped a grounder that the Connecticut second baseman was unable to handle. Perkins raced home, giving Lowell the 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the inning, Connected looked poised to rally, leading off with a base hit. After a sacrifice bunt moved the tying run into scoring position, Aro beared down, striking out the final two batters to finish off the opening day win.


The DSL Red Sox's winning streak came to an end at six, as they fell 7-3 to the DSL Dodgers. After a pair of strong starts, Yankory Pimentel struggled, lasting just one inning, while allowing two runs on three hits. Luis Alexander Basabe led the offense, garnering half of the team's base hits. Basabe went 2 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch, a stolen base, and a run scored. 


Player of the Day: It was an auspicious opening to the Lowell Spinners' season, and Sergio Gomez was a big reason why. Gomez first appeared on the prospect radar back in 2010, when he was named the GCL Red Sox opening day starter as a 16-year-old. Once again getting the day one assignment, the 6-foot-3 right-hander out of Colombia was dominant, retiring 15 of the 16 batters he faced, while striking out eight.

Photo Credit: Sergio Gomez by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.