July 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM
7/11 Cup of Coffee: Wednesday was slower than most other days for the Red Sox farm system, with rain postponing the Salem and DSL Red Sox’ contests, and the All-Star break meaning most of the Sea Dogs had the day off. Only the Spinners and GCL Red Sox came away with wins.
With their roster in a state of flux the last couple of days, the Pawtucket Red Sox dropped their eighth game in a row, this time a 9-4 decision to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI).
Right-hander Charlie Haeger, making a spot start during the Sea Dogs’ All-Star break, gave up nine runs in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. The IronPigs collected 14 hits (two home runs) and four walks against the 29-year-old knuckleballer. Fellow right-hander Clayton Mortensen was inefficient, throwing just 26 of his 44 pitches for strikes, but he worked around two hits and two walks in a pair of scoreless innings.
The PawSox were already down 6-0 when third baseman Xander Bogaerts collected his only hit of the night, a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Left fielder Mark Hamilton (2 for 4) added a solo shot in the eighth.
Designated hitter Will Middlebrooks went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his Triple-A average to .256.
Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo walked back-to-back batters before giving up a three-run home run to Giants minor leaguer Javier Herrera to open up the Eastern League All-Star Game, a contest in which Ranaudo’s East All-Stars squad fell, 5-0, to the West All-Stars.
Catchers Christian Vazquez (0 for 2) and Matt Spring (0 for 1) contributed to the East All-Stars’ offensive futility, while third baseman Michael Almanzar lined a third-inning single to left for one of the team’s five total hits.
Despite the longest outing of right-hander Jacob Dahlstrand’s season, the Greenville Drive fell, 3-2, in 10 innings to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY).
Dahlstrand allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out three. Righty Raynel Velette absorbed the loss when his two-out wild pitch in the 10th opened the door for RiverDog Jackson Valera to score to end the game. Velette ended with a line of that one run on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 frames.
The Drive had jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before their bats fell silent. In the first, designated hitter David Chester doubled to score shortstop Jose Vinicio. Chester followed that up with a home run to left in the fourth inning.
The Lowell Spinners came out on the other end — the better end — of a low-scoring affair, topping the Staten Island Yankees (NYY), 2-1, to open a six-game homestand.
Down 1-0 in the fifth, the Spinners tied it up on a double off the bat of catcher David Sopilka to score second baseman Cleuluis Rondon. They took the lead in the eighth when center fielder Manuel Margot, who doubled with one out, scored on left fielder Kevin Mager’s single.
Right-hander Sergio Gomez (pictured) turned in another solid outing, scattering four hits and two walks, while fanning six and giving up just one unearned run. His ERA with the Spinners is down to 1.69.
Righties Kyle Martin (two innings) and Joe Gunkel (one inning) locked it down the rest of the way.
The GCL Red Sox came from behind to claim a 5-4 win over the GCL Rays in a game that had been suspended on July 2, then got two scoreless innings from a rehabbing Brian Johnson on their way to a 7-4 triumph to sweep the pseudo-doubleheader.
In “game one,” shortstop Raymel Flores and center fielder Jordon Austin scored in the eighth on infield grounders from first baseman Jake Davies and left fielder Bryan Hudson, respectively.
Right-hander Ellis Jimenez struck out the side and allowed an unearned run in the eighth to collect the win.
Third baseman Deiner Lopez (triple, RBI) and designated hitter Nathan Minnich (two doubles) both posted multi-hit games, though all of that came when the game started last week.
Part two featured Johnson, on his way back from an injury to his left (throwing) shoulder, striking out three batters and working around one hit and two walks in two scoreless innings. Right-handers Dioscar Romero (2 2/3 innings, win) and Oscar Perez (2 1/3 innings, save) allowed two runs apiece en route to the victory.
After designated hitter Jon Denney (2 for 3) doubled to score Minnich in the first, Lopez’s two-run single made it 3-0 in the fourth. Flores (2 for 3) had the big blow in a three-run fifth, a double to left to plate a pair of runs.
Player of the Night: Sergio Gomez, who got a no decision despite allowing a lone unearned run and striking out six in an eventual 2-1 Lowell win over Staten Island. He scattered four hits and two walks to lower his ERA on the season to 2.35, which includes his only start with Greenville (three earned in four innings). Three of the 19-year-old’s four starts with the Spinners have been scoreless, thanks in large part to him pounding the strike zone. He owns a 10.13 K/9 rate and 7.5 K/BB ratio so far this year.
Photo Credit: Sergio Gomez by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.