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July 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Almanzar, Dent power Portland to lone affiliate victory

7/22 Cup of Coffee: Portland picked up the lone affiliate victory on Sunday, as Pawtucket was on the wrong side of a slugfest, and Salem, Greenville and Lowell all lost close contests.


A back-and-forth slugfest went the way of the Durham Bulls (TB), as Pawtucket fell 14-13. Allen Webster was hammered for seven runs on three hits and five walks in just 1 1/3 innings. Will Latimer allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Anthony Carter allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in only 1 1/3 innings. Chris Carpenter and Brock Huntzinger combined to toss three scoreless innings at the end of the contest.

Despite the teams combining for 33 hits and 27 runs, neither team had a home run in the game. Durham led 10-3 after four innings and 14-7 after five, not scoring another run the rest of the game. Mark Hamilton led Pawtucket's offense, going 4 for 5 with two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. Dan Butler was also 4 for 5, adding a double and an RBI. Jackie Bradley Jr. was not part of the offensive barrage, going 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.


Mike McCarthy
picked up his first win as a member of the Sea Dogs, as Portland took down the Reading Fightin Phils (PHI), 7-5. McCarthy tossed six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk. Eric Niesen picked up just his second career save, as he gave up one run on one hit in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Michael Almanzar led the Sea Dogs offense, going 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Dent also had a great day at the plate, finishing up 2 for 4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. 


Salem blew a four-run ninth-inning lead, as the Red Sox fell to the Potomac Nationals (BAL), 8-7. Mike Augliera pitched well, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five in five innings of work. Matty Ott received the loss, surrendering five runs on five hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning.

The Red Sox smacked three home runs, a two-run shot from Mookie Betts and solo home runs from Stefan Welch and Matt Gedman. Nick Natoli was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Salem was just 2 for 4 with runners in scoring position, stranding three men on base. 


Greenville struggled with runners in scoring position, going just 1 for 10 as the Drive were blanked by the Lexington Legends (KC), 2-0. Brian Johnson tossed four innings, allowing only one hit and two walks, while striking out five. Yunior Ortega received the loss, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks in four innings of relief.

Aneury Tavarez led the Drive's offense, going 2 for 4 with a double. 


Lowell lost a heartbreaking extra-inning contest to the Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI), 2-1, in 12 innings. Teddy Stankiewicz made his professional debut, tossing one clean inning to start the game for the Spinners. Sergio Gomez followed Stankiewicz, hurling three innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. Greg Larson received the loss, surrendering an unearned run on four hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings of relief.

With Williamsport leading 1-0 in the fourth, Lowell tied the game on a two-out, RBI single from Kevin Mager. The game remained tied until the 12th, when a throwing error by Carlos Asuaje allowed the winning run to scurry home.


The DSL Red Sox were represented by third baseman Victor Acosta and right-hander Jose Almonte as the AL All-Stars took at 3-1 victory in the circuit's all-star game. Acosta started at DH, hitting ninth, and went 0 for 3 with a walk, scoring the game's final run in the seventh inning. Almonte worked the sixth inning for the AL, inducing a pair of groundouts and notching a strikeout around an infield single.


Player of the Day: Michael Almanzar, who went 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored in Portland's 7-5 win over Reading. The 22-year-old third baseman has seen his numbers decline every month after his hot start in April. Almanzar has hit just .242/.306/.303 with one home run and six RBI in July. On the season, Almanzar is hitting .277/.338/.453 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI.

Photo Credit: Michael Almanzar by Kelly O'Connor

John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.