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August 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Clayton Mortensen efficient, effective in PawSox win

8/15 Cup of Coffee: On a day when the big league team fell to the Blue Jays, 4-3, in 10 innings, a pair of Red Sox farm teams also went into extras: Portland, who suffered a similar fate to the Sox, and Salem, who came out on top. Xander Bogaerts, meanwhile, helped ensure Pawtucket didn’t need to with another booming home run.


The relief corps made it interesting, but the Pawtucket Red Sox held on for 6-5 win over the Louisville Bats (CIN) at McCoy Stadium.

The Bats actually out-hit the PawSox by a 13-7 margin, but the home team made its pair of big blasts count. Shortstop Bogaerts launched a three-run home run to left-center in the third for his 15th long ball of the season and ninth in Triple-A, then first baseman Mark Hamilton sent a long fly ball to right in the sixth.

Both men were 2 for 4 to account for the team’s only multi-hit games.

On the mound, right-hander Clayton Mortensen earned the win with six innings of one-run ball on just 79 pitches (52 strikes). He scattered six hits and two walks, while striking out three.

Righty Jose De La Torre, who entered the game having allowed one earned run in his last 17 1/3 minor league innings dating back to mid-June, very nearly let the 6-1 lead go. The Bats knocked him around for four runs on five hits, forcing De La Torre out of the game without recording an out.

Right-hander Pedro Beato, in his first appearance since returning from the big leagues, stopped the bleeding with a scoreless inning. Fellow righty Brayan Villarreal made his PawSox debut, striking out one and touching 97 mph with his fastball in a scoreless eighth before right-hander Anthony Carter tossed a perfect ninth for his 17th save.


Despite 19 hits and an 11th-inning sacrifice fly from shortstop Deven Marrero, the Portland Sea Dogs fell to the Altoona Curve (PIT), 6-5, in 12 innings.

Marrero’s sac fly to center scored second baseman Derrik Gibson to put the Sea Dogs up, 5-4, in the top of the 11th, but lefty Eric Niesen (two runs, four hits, three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings) gave up a homer to Altoona’s Alen Hanson in the bottom half and an RBI single to Mel Rojas one inning later to end it.

The loss ruined another impressive night for recent promotee Marrero, who also had a sac fly in the third and RBI single in the seventh to finish 3 for 4 with three RBI.

Gibson (3 for 5) and left fielder Ryan Dent (3 for 5, two doubles) also had big days at the plate. Right fielder J.C. Linares was 2 for 6 with an RBI, which came with two outs in the ninth to tie it.

First baseman Travis Shaw (triple) and center fielder Ronald Bermudez had two hits each. Catcher Christian Vazquez went 2 for 6 and is slashing .425/.444/.475 during his 10-game hit streak.

Left-hander Chris Hernandez went 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks.


For the second day in a row, the Salem Red Sox played extra innings — or, in this case, just one extra inning. A day after falling in 18 frames, Salem topped the Winston-Salem Dash (KC), 5-4, in 10 innings.

Second baseman Mookie Betts sent a line drive to center to score third baseman Stefan Welch as the game-winning run with two outs in the top of the 10th.

First baseman David Chester led the Sox’ 14-hit onslaught with three singles, while Welch, Betts, catcher Carson Blair and right fielder Matty Johnson had two hits and an RBI apiece.

Right-hander Mike Augliera turned in another strong outing, allowing one run on three hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. He also fanned four. Kyle Kraus blew the save by giving up three runs in the eighth, but he retired seven of the final eight batters he faced to record the win.


The Greenville Drive suffered an ugly 14-1 loss to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF) that saw each of their first two pitchers give up six runs.

Left-hander Cody Kukuk got the start but lasted only 2 1/3 innings. His six runs came on four hits and six walks, while he struck out one. Righty Yunior Ortega relieved him but didn’t fare much better, yielding eight hits and two walks and mixing in a lone strikeout of his own.

The Greenville bats were largely hapless. Third baseman Keaton Briscoe’s triple served as one of three Drive hits and the only one that went for extra bases. He came around to score when catcher Leonel Escobar reached on an error by Augusta shortstop Travious Relaford.


A five-run fifth inning and five hitless innings from right-hander Mario Alcantara were more than enough for the Lowell Spinners, who set aside the Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) by a score of 8-1.

Righty Teddy Stankiewicz got the start and threw two scoreless frames, allowing an unearned run on three hits before Alcantara came on in relief. He allowed no runs, while walking four and striking out two.

Despite falling behind 1-0 before getting their first at-bat, the Spinners didn’t waste much time before scoring. Right fielder Aaron King’s sacrifice fly scored center fielder Forrestt Allday (double), then designated hitter Danny Bethea singled home Tzu-Wei Lin after the shortstop had walked.

Four singles and four walks spurred the five-run fifth. King and Bethea both drew bases-loaded free passes, while left fielder Kevin Mager and third baseman Nick Moore both collected RBI singles.

Lin (2 for 4) had Lowell's only multi-hit game.


For just the second time in nine games, the GCL Red Sox lost, this time a 5-0 decision to the GCL Orioles.

A pair of 2013 draftees, righties Jalen Williams and Pat Goetze, pitched a scoreless inning apiece in their professional debuts. They were followed by lefty Randy Perez (four innings, two runs) and righties K.J. Trader (one inning, one run) and Enfember Martinez (two innings, two runs), who didn’t manage nearly as well.

At the plate, the Sox managed just four hits — all singles — and a walk. Designated hitter Jon Denney, the highly touted catcher whom the Red Sox made their third-round pick this year, lifted his average above the .200 mark with a 1-for-2 effort.


Southpaws Dedgar Jimenez and Jervis Torrealba combined to three-hit the DSL Mariners en route to the DSL Red Sox’ 9-0 win.

Jimenez tossed the first six frames and allowed all three of those hits, as well as a pair of walks while striking out six. Torrealba finished the job by allowing only two walks in his three hitless innings.

The Red Sox were already up 5-0 when right fielder Franklin Guzman hit a grand slam to left for his second hit of the night to make the score 9-0. Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBI.


Player of the Day: Clayton Mortensen, who has found himself back in the Pawtucket rotation — for now — and is finding success there. He pitched six strong innings, while throwing two-thirds of his pitches for strikes (52 of 79) and allowing one run on six hits with two walks. In three starts since rejoining the starting staff, he has given up three earned in 14 innings (1.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP).

Mortensen, who stands at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, owns a 3.52 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 12 games with the PawSox this year, striking out nearly a batter per inning in the process.

Photo Credit: Clayton Mortensen by Kelly O'Connor.

Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.