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July 31, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rondon, Wendelken contribute in final game

7/31 Cup of Coffee: Tuesday's games were overshadowed by trade speculation, with Jackie Bradley, Jr., Anthony Ranaudo, and Jose Iglesias all being rumored to be in a trade at some point in the night. In the end, Iglesias, Cleuluis Rondon, Frank Montas, and Jeffrey Wendelken were involved in the trade for Jake Peavy, while the aforementioned prospects stayed put.

On the field, Luis Diaz was terrific in Greenville, Ty Buttrey continued his solid start in Lowell, and Jake Drehoff made his professional debut.


The PawSox won a back-and-forth contest with the Norfolk Tides (BAL), escaping with a 5-4 victory. Charlie Haeger allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, and Ryan Rowland-Smith recorded the next two outs in his first appearance since his appendectomy. After the Tides came back to tie the game at four in the eighth, the PawSox answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Jonathan Diaz scored the go-ahead run on a Justin Henry sacrifice fly.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. was lifted from the game for a pinch hitter in the sixth, leading to massive trade speculation across the Internet. Chris Cotillo was able to calm everyone down when he tweeted that Bradley left the game with a minor elbow injury.


Despite out-hitting the Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF) 6-5, the Sea Dogs dropped the contest by a score of 4-0. The Sea Dog bats were stifled by Ryan Vogelsong, as he pitched five shutout innings. Garin Cecchini went 1 for 4, and Shannon Wilkerson went 2 for 2 with a double. 

Anthony Ranaudo gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. Most of the damage came on two home runs, both of which came in the fifth inning. Ranaudo was pulled from the game at almost the exact same point as Bradley, which caused a bit of a stir on Twitter, but Ranaudo had thrown 98 pitches so it was merely a coincidence.


Keury De La Cruz hit a triple and scored on a throwing error to give Salem a walk-off 6-5 win over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). William Cuevas surrendered two runs in six innings, walking three and striking out seven. The Nationals scored three runs in the seventh to go up 5-2, but Salem was able to answer back. De La Cruz hit an RBI single in the seventh, and he came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher. Salem tied the score in the eighth on a Cody Koback single and had a chance to win it in the ninth, but they left the bases loaded as the game went to extra innings.

Mathew Price pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, giving the Red Sox a chance to win it in the 10th. De La Cruz came through, scoring when the ball got away from the third baseman on his triple to give Salem an exciting victory. Every starter except for Carson Blair had at least one hit, with De La Cruz and Koback each collecting two hits. 


Greenville got a great pitching performance from Luis Diaz on its way to a 5-1 victory over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (MIA). The Drive opened the scoring in the first when Reed Gragnani scored on a ground out, and Mario Martinez added to the lead with a solo shot to left-center. Gragnani broke the game open with a three-run homer in the second, and that proved to be more than enough for the pitching staff. Gragnani went 3 for 4, while Martinez had two walks in addition to his home run.

Luis Diaz was dominant, striking out eight while throwing six shutout innings. He allowed five hits and walked only one. The  21-year-old right-hander now has a 2.44 ERA on the season. Austin Maddox and Jeffrey Wendelken threw the final three innings to lock down the win.


While Lowell is usually led by its pitching, the offense came through on Tuesday, as the Spinners beat the Auburn Doubledays (WAS), 6-4. Kevin Mager's two-run triple in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie, and Forrest Allday pushed the lead to five with a two-run single in the fifth. Mager had three hits, while Allday and Tzu-Wei Lin each had two hits. Cleuluis Rondon went 1 for 4 with a stolen base in his last game with the Spinners. 

Ty Buttrey threw the first four innings, allowing one run on five hits, while walking three and striking out three. Jonathan Aro made the game interesting, allowing three runs in the seventh as the Doubledays cut the lead to two. With two on and one out in the ninth, Joe Gunkel induced a pop out and a strikeout to earn the save. 


12th-round pick Jake Drehoff picked up a loss in his professional debut, as the GCL Red Sox fell to the GCL Rays (TB), 3-1. Drehoff allowed one run on three hits in his lone inning of work, and the left-hander was able to limit the damage by picking a runner off first base. Edwar Garcia pitched the next five innings, allowing two runs, while striking out five.

Sean Coyle went 0 for 4 in the third game of his rehab stint, and Joseph Monge and Jordon Austin each had two hits, with Austin adding a double. Wendell Rijo was finally slowed down, as he went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.


The DSL Red Sox were pummeled by the DSL Mariners (SEA), falling 12-2. Carlos Garcia, Carlos Caceres, and Ender Machuca combined to allow 16 hits, but only walked one batter and struck out four. Darwin Pena led the offense, going 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.


Player of the Day: Luis Diaz was phenomenal for the Drive, striking out eight in six shutout innings. Diaz has allowed only five earned runs in his last 43 1/3 innings, and he is a prospect who may be flying a bit under the radar. He has strong strikeout numbers (67 in 71 innings), while walking only 2 batters per nine innings. He features a low-90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a changeup that is a work-in-progress. 

Photo Credit: Luis Diaz by SoxProspects, LLC

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.