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July 15, 2013 at 6:36 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bogaerts, Cecchini shine on national stage

7/15 Cup of Coffee: Only Salem managed a victory Sunday, as it was a quiet day all around for the affiliates. Greenville saw another day of heavy rain postpone its games with Savannah, but the major story was the performance of Red Sox prospects in the 2013 Futures Game. 


The 15th annual Futures Game saw the U.S. squad defeat the World team, 4-2. Xander Bogaerts received the start at shortstop for the World team, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Garin Cecchini had a key RBI double in the eighth inning after coming off the bench for the US team in the fifth.

Anthony Ranaudo struggled in his brief appearance for the US team, earning a blown save for his 2/3 inning of work. Ranaudo allowed two runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch. 


Pawtucket got off to a quick start, but stalled after that in a 6-2 loss to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). Allen Webster received the start for Pawtucket, lasting just 4 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk, while punching out six.

After Rochester plated a run in the top of the first, the PawSox responded with a two-run home run from Will Middlebrooks. The lead held for Pawtucket until the fifth, when the Red Wings brought home four runs to take a 5-2 advantage. The PawSox only mustered three hits on the day, with Ryan Dent and J.C. Linares each adding a single. 


Portland dropped below .500, as the Sea Dogs were blanked by the Binghamton Mets (NYM), 4-0. Matt Barnes dropped to 4-6 on the season after lasting just three innings. Barnes allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks, while striking out five. Nate Striz added three innings of relief, surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk to go along with three strikeouts. The Sea Dogs managed seven hits, but were a woeful 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Portland was shut out three out of four games in the series and has not scored a run in its last 18 innings. 


Salem climbed back to .500 with a 5-1 victory over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). Heri Quevedo was stellar in six innings of work, allowing just two hits and five walks, while striking out four. Nefi Ogando added two innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. Stefan Welch put Salem on the board early by lacing an RBI double in the bottom of the first. In the third, RBI singles from Keury De La Cruz and Mookie Betts extended the Red Sox lead to 3-0. Salem stretched the lead to 5-0 in the fourth on RBI singles from De La Cruz and Welch.

Welch was 2 for 2 with a double, a walk, and two RBI to lead the Red Sox offense. The 24-year-old third baseman was acquired from Pittsburgh in June for cash considerations and has completely turned around his season. After hitting .149/.250/.216 in 29 games with Double-A Altoona, the Australian born Welch is hitting .333/.427/.444 in 32 games with Salem. 


Greenville once again was postponed by rain. Saturday's postponed game will be made up today as part of a doubleheader. Sunday's originally scheduled game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 30th. 


Lowell came out on the wrong end of a tight contest, falling 1-0 to the Jamestown Jammers (PIT). Ty Buttrey had an impressive day on the mound, tossing five innings and allowing two hits and two walks, while striking out four. Kyle Martin continued his dominance out of the bullpen, hurling three innings of relief, while surrendering three hits and striking out one. Greg Larson picked up the loss, as he allowed the winning run to score in the top of the ninth.

Manuel Margot had a nice day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a double, as he accounted for half of the Spinners' six hits. Lowell was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and struck out 10 times. 


Player of the Day: Xander Bogaerts, who shined against top competition, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in a losing effort for the World team in the Futures Game. 

Photo Credit: Xander Bogaerts by Kelly O'Connor

John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.