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June 16, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Cup of Coffee: Swihart, Cecchini once again lead Salem

6/16 Cup of Coffee: Brandon Workman showed swing and miss stuff in Pawtucket, Michael Almanzar, Blake Swihart (pictured) and Garin Cecchini stayed hot, and the DSL Red Sox continued to roll. Xander Bogaerts did show that he is human in a Pawtucket loss. 


Despite a strong start from Brandon Workman, the PawSox fell to the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 2-1. Workman allowed two runs, one earned, in 6 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out nine. He induced 15 swings and misses, and a second inning home run was his only real blemish. Ryan Rowland-Smith was once again dominant in relief, and Brock Huntzinger pitched a scoreless inning in his first game with the PawSox after being promoted. 

Xander Bogaerts' encore was not as good as his debut, as he went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. Nobody was getting on base for the PawSox, as the Bisons carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning. With two outs in the eighth, Alex Hassan drilled a solo home run which ended up being the PawSox only hit of the game. Ryan Lavarnway drew a walk and was the only other batter to reach base. 


The Sea Dogs also had a tough time on offense, as they were defeated by the Akron Aeros (CLE), 6-2. Michael McCarthy was called up from Salem to make his first Double-A start, and the results were mixed. He allowed four runs in a tough third inning that included two home runs. Those were the only runs he would allow in 6 2/3 innings, but the Sea Dogs could not do enough offensively to overcome the early deficit. . 

Travis Shaw connected for his fourth home run of the season, a two-run blast in the ninth to put Portland on the board, but the next three batters struck out to end the game. Michael Almanzar went 2 for 3 with his second triple of the season, and he was the only Portland batter with multiple hits in the game. 


Salem pounded out 11 hits en route to a 9-2 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL). Eight of the nine Salem starters collected at least one hit, with Garin Cecchini leading the way with two doubles and a walk. Cecchini, who has been toying with the Carolina League all year, is batting .393/.500/.536 in his last nine games. Not to be outdone, Blake Swihart went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run to raise his OPS to 1.012 over his last 17 games. 

Mike Augliera pitched well enough to get the win, surrendering two runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. The win was his fifth of the season. Matty Ott and Matt Price were strong in relief, combining to allow just one hit over the final 3 2/3 innings. 


Behind a four-run first inning, the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) were able to beat the Drive, 7-2. The Sand Gnats had five hits in the first, and they could have had more had they not run into an out on the bases. Justin Haley was not sharp, but he was able to limit the damage and allow only the four runs over five innings. Yunior Ortega did not fare much better out of the bullpen, allowing three runs in his three inning appearance. 

Kevin Heller collected three hits to lead the Drive, including an RBI double in the second inning. Jose Vinicio, who had been hitting near the bottom of the Greenville lineup most of the season, was moved up into the two-spot, and responded by going 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. The young shortstop is still batting only .188/.243/.260 on the season. 


The DSL Red Sox are becoming an unstoppable force, as they improved to 11-2 with a 6-5 victory over the DSL Dodgers (LAD) in 12 innings. It looked like it was going to be another easy win for the Red Sox, but the Dodgers scored three times off of William Gonzalez in the ninth to tie the game. In the bottom of the 12th, Franklin Guzman doubled in Jhon Nunez for the walk-off victory. Juan Hernandez reached base in all four of his plate appearances, going 2 for 2 with two walks. 


Player of the Night: A lot of players had good nights, but not one had a standout night. Blake Swihart gets the nod today for his double and home run to push Salem to an easy victory. He has been overshadowed a bit by Bogaerts and Cecchini this season, but since May 2, Swihart is batting .308/.395/.505 with 16 walks and 21 strikeouts. He has also thrown out 23 of 56 would-be base stealers, a percentage (41.1%) that is first in the Carolina League according to Salem broadcaster Evan Lepler.

Photo Credit: Blake Swihart by Kelly O'Connor

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com