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August 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Betts' strong day carries Salem past Wilmington

8/12 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates received strong victories from Pawtucket, Salem, and Lowell, while Portland and Greenville's pitching struggled in losses. 


Despite being out-hit, Pawucket easily defeated the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS), 7-1. Steven Wright improved to 6-6 thanks to seven strong innings. Wright allowed seven hits and an unearned run, while striking out four. Jose De La Torre and Brock Huntzinger each added a scoreless inning of relief. 

The PawSox opened the scoring in the third, bringing home three runs on an RBI double from Jackie Bradley Jr. and an RBI single from Mark Hamilton. Leading 3-1 in the fifth, Pawtucket increased its lead to 7-1 on a Xander Bogaerts RBI ground out, a Hamilton RBI double, and a Drew Sutton RBI double.

Pawtucket pitchers were adept at keeping the Chiefs off the board, holding Syracuse to just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranding 12 total runners on base. 


Portland had its second straight difficult loss, falling late to the Bowie Baysox (BAL), 6-5Matt Barnes started the game for the Sea Dogs, tossing five solid innings. Barnes allowed one run on four hits and three walks, while punching out six. Miguel Celestino picked up the loss, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in just 1 1/3 innings.

After the Baysox plated their first run of the game in the top of the third, Portland responded with three in the bottom half of the inning on a three-run home run off the bat of J.C. Linares. A Linares RBI single in the fourth and a Matt Spring sacrifice fly in the sixth increased the Sea Dogs lead to 5-1. A two-out, five-run rally by Bowie in the eighth sank Portland, even though the Sea Dogs led off the ninth with back-to-back singles.

Linares, 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBI, and Garin Cecchini, 3 for 4 with a walk, led the Portland offense. The rehabbing David Ross had a double, a walk, and two runs scored. 


A big day from Mookie Betts (pictured) propelled the Salem Red Sox to a 6-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC). William Cuevas improved to 7-7, as he hurled seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. Kyle Kraus tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

The Red Sox commenced scoring in the second, bringing home two on a Betts RBI single. In the sixth, a leadoff home run from Deven Marrero and a two-run home run from Betts gave Salem a 5-0 advantage. Leading 5-1 in the eighth, Betts completed his day with an RBI single.

Betts was 3 for 5 with a home run, a run scored, five RBI, and a stolen base. 


A ninth-inning rally was not enough to save Greenville from a 10-6 defeat at the hands of the Asheville Tourists (COL). Jacob Dahlstrand fell to 3-7, as he allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings of work. Manuel Rivera had a tough inning of relief in the eighth, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk.

Aneury Tavarez was 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Mario Martinez, Jesus Loya, and Jayson Hernandez each had two hits apiece. The Drive went just 4 for 15 with runners in scoring position, stranding eight runners. 


Strong pitching lifted the Spinners over the Staten Island Yankees (NYY), 3-1. Daniel McGrath was perfect during his five innings of work, not allowing a base runner while striking out six. He struck out the first five batters he faced and has now pitched 7 1/3 perfect innings, striking out 10, over his last two outings. Jonathan Aro picked up his first career save, allowing just one hit, while striking out three in 1 1/3 innings.

Lowell took an early 1-0 lead in the second on a Nathan Minnich RBI double. In the seventh, Minnich and Nick Moore hit back-to-back solo home runs. Staten Island hit back-to-back singles to lead off the eighth, scoring a run on a double play. With two outs, the Yankees again hit back-to-back singles, but Aro came on to end the rally.


Player of the Day: Mookie Betts, who was 3 for 5 with a run scored, a home run, a stolen base, and five RBI in Salem's 6-1 victory over Wilmington. The 20-year-old second baseman has been hot lately, hitting .371/.463/.571 with two home runs, 12 RBI and five stolen bases in his last 10 games. The 2011 fifth-round selection has held his own since a promotion to Salem in early July, hitting .283/.358/.472 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 30 games.

A 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star while with Greenville, Betts has had a tremendous season overall, hitting .292/.403/.475 with 12 home runs, 28 doubles, 45 RBI and 31 stolen bases between Low A and High A. 

Photo Credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor

John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.