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July 9, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ramos, Welch lead Salem to comeback win

7/9 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough night on the farm, as only a come-from-behind victory in Salem prevented a total sweep on the night. Especially tough  was that Portland, Lowell, the GCL, and DSL Red Sox each lost by one run. The only games that did not come down to the final at-bat were in Pawtucket's doubleheader, as the PawSox were swept away.


In the completion of a game suspended by rain back on April 10, Pawtucket fell 6-1 to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI). The PawSox got off to a 1-0 lead soon after the resumption of play when Alex Hassan doubled and came around to score on a Will Middlebrooks base hit. Hassan also walked as part of his 1 for 2 night, making him the only Pawtucket player to reach base more than once. With original starting pitcher Allen Webster now a part of the major league rotation, Chris Hernandez took over when the game started back up. The left-hander took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings, continuing his recent struggles. Pedro Beato was sharp out of the bullpen with 2 1/3 perfect innings.

In the regularly scheduled contest, the Iron Pigs prevailed again by a 5-2 score. Jeremy Kehrt, recalled from Portland before the game, was roughed up, giving up five runs and 11 hits in only 3 1/3. Chris Martin was able to keep Pawtucket in the game with 2 2/3 strong innings of work, striking out two and walking one. Xander Bogaerts led the offense with a 2 for 3 night, the shortstop's third straight multi-hit game. Jonathan Diaz also had a pair of hits for the PawSox.


Portland took a tough 2-1 loss against the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN) as a ninth-inning rally fell short. Down 2-0 and with only one hit entering the ninth, Derrik Gibson legged out a one-out infield hit and moved up to second on a single to center by Peter Hissey. Garin Cecchini then ripped a base hit to score Gibson, ending the shutout bid and extending his hitting streak to six games. With the tying run on third base, Tony Thomas struck out and Michael Almanzar flew to right, sealing the New Britain win. 

Terry Doyle took the tough-luck loss for the Sea Dogs. Making his first appearance for Portland, Doyle was excellent, giving up two runs, both on solo home runs, in eight innings, while striking out five and throwing 68 of his 104 pitches for strikes. Chris Balcom-Miller struck out two in a perfect inning of relief.


The only win of the night came in Salem's stunning come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) in 10 innings. The rally started in a crazy ninth inning. Down 6-2, Salem led off the inning with three consecutive singles by Matt Gedman, Nick Natoli, and Henry Ramos (pictured), scoring one run and cutting the deficit to three. With men on first and second, Deven Marrero grounded a ball to first base, but an errant throw trying to cut down Ramos at second led to all runners being safe. Keury De La Cruz walked in Natoli, and the bases remained loaded. Ramos raced home on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to one and send the tying run to third, but a ground out gave the Pelicans their first out. Another wild pitch brought in Marrero and sent De La Cruz, the potential winning run, to third. Brandon Jacobs and Blake Swihart were intentionally walked, loading the bases but giving Myrtle Beach a force at home. That would prove important, as Cody Koback hit a bouncer to the drawn in shortstop, who cut down De La Cruz at the plate. Gedman, who started off the rally, flew out to center to end the inning. 

Mathew Price induced three ground balls to second base in the top of the 10th, quickly getting Salem back to the plate. With one out, Ramos again played the role of spark plug, singling to right, moving to second on a passed ball, and advancing to third on a single by De La Cruz. Stefan Welch then delivered the game-winning base hit, scoring Ramos and completing the incredible comeback.

In all, Salem got 15 hits, and every starter except Koback had at least one base knock. Ramos ended up 3 for 6 with two runs scored, a double, and an RBI and has a 13-game hitting streak. Welch also had three hits for Salem. On the mound, starter William Cuevas struggled, allowing four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. It ended a string of six consecutive outings of at least six innings for the right-hander. Price earned the win in relief, retiring all six batters he faced with one strikeout and five ground-ball outs.


Lowell was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision to the Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM). Jamie Callahan settled in after a rocky second inning in which he allowed three runs. From the third inning on, he allowed just a single baserunner and retired the last seven batters he faced. In all, he allowed three runs on four hits in five innings, with a walk and five strikeouts. Jonathan Aro took the loss despite a solid outing in relief, giving up a run on two hits in three innings, while striking out four.

At the plate, the Spinners cobbled together only four hits, and none for extra bases. Manuel Margot went 0 for 2, but an eighth-inning walk extended his on-base streak to 19 games. Converted pitcher Aaron King went 1 for 3 and has hit safely in each of his eight games since being promoted to Lowell. 


The string of one-run losses continued, as the GCL Red Sox fell 2-1 to the GCL Orioles. Despite a promising start to his professional career, Daniel McGrath is still searching for his first win. The Australian left-hander tossed five shutout innings, striking out a career-high nine batters, while giving up just one hit and walking four. Through four appearances, McGrath has a 1.37 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. Edwar Garcia followed, giving up a run on four hits in two innings, as the Orioles tied the score. A pair then made their debut out of the bullpen. K.J. Trader, a 39th-round pick out of Delmar (DE) High School, ended up taking the loss, giving up a run on two hits, while also walking two in 2/3 of an inning. Rob Smorol, an undrafted left-hander out of Rutgers, got the final out. 


The DSL Red Sox fell 4-3 to the DSL Astros. Dedgar Jimenez got the start and, much like Callahan for Lowell, was outstanding with the exception of allowing three second-inning runs. The big right-hander was perfect after that blip, retiring the last 10 batters he faced. The offense had plenty of opportunities, but went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position, stranding seven. Luis Alexander Basabe broke out of an 0 for 13 skid when he led off the game with a base hit. Franklin Guzman went 1 for 3 with a run scored and is now riding a modest four-game hitting streak. Darwin Pena had the only extra-base hit, a first-inning double that drove in two.


Player of the Day: At the center of the Salem rally was center fielder Henry Ramos. He drove in the first run of a ninth-inning rally that would later tie the game and scored the winning run in the 10th. During his 13-game hitting streak, Ramos is 20 for 57 (.351) with six doubles and 11 runs scored.

Photo Credit: Henry Ramos by Kelly O'Connor

James Dunne is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.