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July 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Cup of Coffee: Affiliates lose and prevail in close contests

7/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket and Salem both scored eight runs or more, but only one took home a victory. Meanwhile, the Spinners and Sea Dogs lost close games, while the GCL and DSL Red Sox prevailed by a combined three runs. The Drive, thanks to a strong performance on the mound, cruised to a 6-0 victory.


The Pawtucket Red Sox slugged their way to victory Friday, winning 9-7 against the Durham Bulls (TB). The PawSox 12-hit onslaught was led by catcher Dan Butler (pictured), who went 2 for 3 with a home run, four RBI and two walks. Designated hitter Mark Hamilton also went deep, his ninth home run of the season. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 3 for 5 in the game batting in the three-hole. He also picked up one double and two RBI.

PawSox starter Rubby De La Rosa was not sharp with his command, which led to five walks over 3 1/3 innings pitched. De La Rosa also gave up five hits and four earned runs, raising his season ERA to 3.90. 


The Portland Sea Dogs lost a nail-biter to the Reading Fightin Phils (PHI) 4-3 on Friday. Reading jumped out to an early lead in the game but the Sea Dogs fought back by scratching across a run in both the fourth and sixth innings to tie the game up. In the fourth inning, Michael Almanzar scored on a ground out, while the second run came on a Peter Hissey home run. The Phils answered though, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh, which ultimately decided the contest. The Sea Dogs pushed back a bit in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a solo home run by Travis Shaw, but it wasn't enough to force extra innings.

Sea Dogs starter Anthony Ranaudo was not his normally sharp self, surrendering nine hits, four walks and four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched. 


The Salem Red Sox fell to the Frederick Keys (BAL) 9-8 in an extra-inning affair. The Red Sox jumped out to an early lead by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, with the first five batters of the game all reaching base safely. The big blow of the first inning was a two-RBI single by first baseman Stefan Welch. The Keys jumped out to a lead only to see the Red Sox wrestle it back in the seventh inning on the strength of a Keury De La Cruz home run and an RBI-triple from Cody Koback

Starter Willam Cuevas struggled in the game, giving up six earned runs in two-plus innings pitched. He was picked up by reliever Robby Scott, who gave up only one hit and three walks in four innings of relief. 


The Grenville Drive topped the Asheville Tourists (COL) 6-0 thanks to a strong pitching performance from starter Luis Diaz. In seven shutout innings, Diaz gave up five hits and only one walk to go along with four strikeouts. Heading into Friday, the 21-year-old Venezuelan had given up only one earned run in his three prior outings.  At the dish, the Drive were led by third baseman Mario Martinez,  who went 2 for 4 with a run scored and three RBI.


The Lowell Spinners fell to the State College Spikes 4-2 Friday. Spinner starter Daniel McGrath pitched five strong innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth, his final inning, surrendering two earned runs and the lead. Overall, McGrath pitched well, giving up three runs over six innings without handing out a single walk. Both of Lowell's runs came early in the game, as the Spinners drew first blood on a RBI ground out from Forrest Allday. The Spinners struck again in the second on a solo shot by Jose Colorado. 


The DSL Red Sox topped the DSL Dodgers 3-2 thanks to some late-inning heroics. With the DSL Red Sox down 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Darwin Pena singled home Franklin Guzman, who singled earlier in the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Pena was brought home one batter later when Isaias Lucena doubled. 

DSL starter Jose Almonte pitched four solid innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks. The DSL bullpen shined in relief, as Daniel Gonzalez, Javier Rodriguez and Victor Ramirez combined to throw five innings of no-hit ball, striking out seven batters combined. 


The GCL Red Sox topped the GCL Twins 4-2 on the strength of one swing of the bat by leadoff man Jesus Loya. With the GCL Red Sox down 1-0 in the second inning, Loya hit a bases clearing triple, scoring Zach Larson, Deiner Lopez and Joseph Mong. The hit gave the team a 3-1 lead, which would the Red Sox would not surrender. GCL starter Willie Ethington did not allow an earned run through five innings on his way to his first win of the season. Ethington surrendered four hits and struck out three.


Player of the Day: Greenville starter Luis Diaz continued to build upon an impressive four-start run with Friday's performance, where he went seven scoreless innings. After giving up eight runs (two earned) on June 25, Diaz has given up two earned runs in his last 35 innings pitched, which has lowered his season ERA to 2.44. Over that span, Diaz has 30 strikeouts against only five walks.

Photo Credit: Dan Butler by Kelly O'Connor. 

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.