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August 14, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Cup of Coffee: Marrero shines in Double-A debut

8/14 Cup of Coffee: Xander Bogaerts had yet another appearance at the hot corner, Deven Marrero (pictured) had a strong Double-A debut, and Brian Johnson continued to throw the ball extremely well for Greenville. Both the GCL and DSL Red Sox split doubleheaders, while Salem lost in 18 innings in Wilmington.


Mark Hamilton's grand slam lifted Pawtucket to its third straight victory, defeating the Louisville Bats (CIN), 5-1. Xander Bogaerts started at third base on Tuesday, and he went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, and also started a 5-4-3 double play. Alex Hassan reached base in all four plate appearances, going 2 for 2 with two walks, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 1 for 3 with a walk. All three of those batters were on base in the fifth when Hamilton connected on his 11th home run of the season to break the game open.

Charlie Haeger pitched well, striking out six and allowing one run in six innings of work. Chris Carpenter, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Jose Contreras combined to shut down the Bats over the final three innings, as none of the pitchers even allowed a baserunner. David Ross went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts, but did throw out minor league stolen base king Billy Hamilton attempting to steal second.


Deven Marrero was on base three times in his Double-A debut, leading the Sea Dogs to a 5-2 victory over the Altoona Curve (PIT). Marrero went 2 for 4 with a walk, batting second and playing shortstop for the Sea Dogs. Travis Shaw went 4 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base, and Ryan Dent went 3 for 4, while driving in two runs. 

Keith Couch tossed seven strong innings, surrendering one run on eight hits. Noe Ramirez pitched a scoreless eighth, and Rafael Perez gave up a run in the ninth when Oscar Tejeda hit an RBI single, but he got the next batter to ground out to Marrero to end it.


After scoring two runs in the first, Salem went 17 innings without scoring, as the Red Sox fell to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), 3-2 in 18 innings. Heri Quevedo threw six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out five. The Salem bullpen was dominant in relief of Quevedo, as the combination of Madison Younginer, Robby Scott, Nate Striz, and Nefi Ogando held the Blue Rocks to four hits over the next 10 innings. Vladimir Frias, a utility infielder who was playing in his first game since rejoining the organization, pitched a scoreless 17th, but surrendered a run in the 18th to take the loss.

Several Salem batters had tough nights, with Keury De La Cruz leading the way, going 1 for 8 with six strikeouts. Nick Natoli and Cody Koback combined to go 0 for 13, and Blake Swihart went 2 for 7 while catching all 18 innings. It was Sean Coyle's first game back with Salem, and he went 1 for 7 with a walk.


Despite another great start from Brian Johnson, the Drive fell to the Augusta GreenJackets (SF), 2-0. Johnson was working on a shutout, but allowed a run in the seventh after allowing a leadoff single and a one-out double. In all, he went seven innings, allowing just the one run on four hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. The Drive only had four hits on the day, and not a single batter reached base twice. The game finished in under two hours. 


A trio of Spinners players took part in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday, with the AL All-Stars walking off with a 4-3 victory. Kevin Mager did not get a hit in his lone at-bat, while Sergio Gomez allowed one run on three hits in one inning. Joe Gunkel pitched a scoreless fifth inning. 


In the first game of a doubleheader, the GCL Rays (TB) escaped with a 2-1 victory. Myles Smith did not allow a baserunner in his two innings of work, striking out one. Christian Perdomo allowed one run in four innings, and Stephen Williams allowed a run in the seventh that proved to be the difference. The Red Sox scored a run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly, but they stranded the tying run in scoring position to end the game. Jake Davies went 2 for 4 with a double, and Wendell Rijo and Raymel Flores each went 1 for 2 with a walk. 

The Red Sox got revenge in the second game, winning 2-1. The Rays scored an unearned run in the first off of Keivin Heras, but that would be all they would get, as Heras went five innings and Rob Smorol followed with two shutout innings. The Red Sox scored a run on a Rijo single in the first and scored again on a Mauricio Dubon single in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a win. Iseha Conklin went 2 for 3 and scored the winning run. 


Making up a suspended game, the DSL Red Sox fell to the DSL Athletics (OAK), 1-0. Samir El Halaby and Algenis Martinez combined to throw eight scoreless innings, but the Athletics broke through against Victor Ramirez in the ninth, scoring one run on three hits. Franklin Guzman went 3 for 4 to lead the offense.

In the regularly scheduled seven-inning contest, the Red Sox scored three in the seventh to tie it and one in the eighth to walk off with a 6-5 victory. Jose Almonte was hit hard, allowing five runs in four innings, but Javier Rodriguez kept the Athletics off the board in his 3 1/3 innings. The Red Sox drew six straight walks in the bottom of the seventh to score three runs and tie the game, and they walked off in the eighth on an error by the Athletics. 


Player of the Day: Travis Shaw was on base five times in Portland's 5-2 victory over Altoona. Shaw has been a streaky hitter this season, and he entered the game 2 for his last 23 before breaking out on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old first baseman is now batting .224/.343/.402 on the season. 

Photo Credit: Deven Marrero by Dave Letizi

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.