August 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM
8/1 Cup of Coffee: On a day when the biggest news to come out of the Red Sox farm system was the promotion of 21-year-old left-hander Henry Owens to Double-A Portland, it was the organization’s three lowest-level teams that came away with wins. The GCL and DSL Red Sox escaped with narrow victories, while the Lowell Spinners’ pitching staff was nearly perfect.
Right-hander Allen Webster was sharp on the mound — he struck out a dozen and walked just one in six innings — but shoddy defense did the Pawtucket Red Sox in during a 3-0 loss to the Norfolk Tide (BAL).
Norfolk scored all three of its runs, only one of which was earned, in the third inning. One came in on Webster’s own fielding error, and another on a wild pitch. Will Middlebrooks booted a grounder to allow the third run to score. Webster allowed three hits on the day.
Xander Bogaerts, 2 for 4 with a double to extend his on-base streak to 28 games, was the only PawSox to collect more than one hit. They only had five base knocks and one walk as a team.
Franklin Morales, Chris Carpenter (one strikeout) and Anthony Carter (three strikeouts) each pitched a perfect inning of relief. Morales’ 13-pitch inning served as his second rehab appearance as he works his way back from a pectoral strain, and John Farrell told media in Boston that the next step will be for the left-hander to pitch on back-to-back days Saturday and Sunday.
Two RBI from first baseman Travis Shaw and one earned run in nearly six innings from right-hander Matt Barnes was not enough for the Portland Sea Dogs, who committed three errors en route to a 3-2 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF).
Shaw knotted things at one when he drove in left fielder Tony Thomas with a fielder’s choice in the fourth, then put Portland up, briefly, with a double to plate catcher Christian Vazquez (1 for 2, walk) in the sixth.
But on a night when the Sea Dogs managed just four other hits, Barnes’ performance wasn’t enough to stand up. He finished his night having allowed two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3, while striking out seven. His control problems persisted, however, as he walked three batters for the fourth consecutive start. Barnes has now issued 21 free passes in his last eight starts.
Despite a furious late-game rally that featured one run in the eighth and four more in the ninth, the Greenville Drive fell just short against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (MIA), 6-5.
After seven innings of futility against Greensboro righty Daniel Oliver, third baseman Mario Martinez broke through with a homer to left to make it 6-1. Catcher Tim Roberson’s RBI single and right fielder Aneury Tavarez’ three-run home run narrowed the deficit to 6-5 with two outs in the ninth, but left fielder Kevin Heller struck out looking to end it.
Right-hander Jacob Dahlstrand was effective on the mound, albeit not enough to get the win. He went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out two and walking none. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last six appearances (four starts).
The offense came alive for the Lowell Spinners in their 7-0 triumph against the Auburn Doubledays, but that was hardly the story for much of the night. The trio of right-hander Jamie Callahan, left-hander Mike Adams and righty Taylor Grover came within two outs of pitching a perfect game before Auburn came up with a pair of hits to ruin the bid.
Callahan (pictured) got things started by retiring all 18 batters he faced, half of them via the strikeout. Adams followed suit with two more perfect innings and two more strikeouts, then Grover came on for the ninth. He recorded one out before Cody Dent — the son of none other than Bucky Dent — singled to center to break it up.
Grover allowed one more single before closing things out to keep the shutout intact.
At the plate, a four-run first inning was highlighted by shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin’s first professional homer. Second baseman Deiner Lopez, making his Spinner debut, added a two-run double in the same frame.
Lowell added single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to put the game well out of reach. Right fielder Forrestt Allday, Lin (two RBI) and Lopez (three RBI) all had two hits apiece.
The GCL Red Sox came out on the right end of a defensive lapse and a late rally, thanks in large part to an error from GCL Orioles shortstop Justin Viele on second baseman Wendell Rijo’s grounder. Third baseman Mauricio Dubon and designated hitter Jordan Austin scored on the play to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead and they would eventually prevail by the same score.
Left fielder Mike Myers stroked a double for his only hit of the night, and it represented the team’s only other extra-base hit besides a two-bagger from Dubon.
Southpaw Christian Perdomo got the start and gave up the Orioles’ only run in his two innings. Righty Keivan Heras went the next five innings, yielding only two hits while fanning a pair, and fellow righty Ellis Jimenez recorded the win, finishing the job with two hitless innings.
The 21-year-old Jimenez has allowed one earned run in 13 innings spanning 11 relief appearances to start his 2013 campaign, striking out 11 and walking none in that time.
It took 11 innings, but the DSL Red Sox topped the DSL Indians, 5-4. Second baseman Victor Acosta drove in the winning run in the form of third baseman Ricardo Andujar with a two-out single to center.
Right-hander Algenis Martinez notched the win with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He collected as many strikeouts as he allowed hits (three), while walking none. He was preceded by righties Yankory Pimentel, who allowed two runs in five innings, and Ritzi Mendoza, who allowed just two unearned runs in 1 2/3.
Shortstop Javier Guerra (4 for 5, RBI) and first baseman Darwin Pena (2 for 4, double, two walks) had big days at the plate.
Player of the Day: Jamie Callahan, who was the author of six perfect innings in Lowell’s attempt at a perfect game. His 18-up, 18-down performance, which included nine strikeouts, extended his scoreless streak to 13 1/3 innings dating back to July 13, a span in which he has allowed two hits and no walks, while punching out 17.
Callahan, who turns 19 this month and is listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, was the Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Player of the Year in 2012 when the Red Sox selected him in the second round of the MLB draft. When SoxProspects.com scout Ian Cundall had a chance to watch him in June, he wrote that Callahan had taken a noticeable step forward since last fall.
Photo Credit: Jamie Callahan by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.