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August 28, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Owens gets back on track

8/28 Cup of Coffee: With the end of the season rapidly approaching, Pawtucket saw its lead for a playoff spot shrink last night, Portland and Lowell's slim chances stayed alive thanks to some great pitching by Henry Owens (pictured) and Jamie Callahan, and the GCL Red Sox are making a push for the second seed in the playoffs.

The DSL Red Sox game was suspended due to rain in the ninth, but they are in position to advance to the next round. 


The PawSox did not allow an earned run, but still fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY), 2-1. Steven Wright was locked in, allowing only an unearned run in six innings, while striking out six and giving up four hits. Brock Huntzinger also allowed an unearned run, and that proved to be the difference in the game. 

Jonathan Diaz went 2 for 4 with a double, and Jeremy Hazelbaker went 1 for 3 with a home run to account for all three of Pawtucket's hits. With Rochester winning, the PawSox lead shrunk to 2 1/2 games with six games to play. 


In a battle of former first-round picks, Henry Owens came out on top, as the Sea Dogs beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 9-2. Owens improved to 3-0 with the Sea Dogs, as he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk, while striking out six. Owens now holds a 1.09 ERA in 24 2/3 innings in Double-A. 

The Sea Dogs did most of their damage off of Marcus Stroman, knocking him out after only three innings. Shannon Wilkerson went 3 for 5 with a double, a triple, and a walk, and J.C. Linares, Matt Spring, Ryan Dent, and Derrik Gibson all had two hits on the day. The Sea Dogs pulled into a tie with the Fisher Cats with the win, but they remain four games back of Trenton with seven to play. 


Greenville had a forgettable night, as the Drive were pummeled by the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 8-1. Francisco Taveras was pulled after only one inning, as he threw 49 pitches and allowed five runs. Austin Maddox was strong out of the bullpen, holding the RiverDogs scoreless for three innings. Reed Gragnani and Felix Sanchez each had two hits, with Gragnani also notching a double.


Lowell kept its slim playoff hopes alive, beating the Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL), 8-2. Jamie Callahan and Jonathan Aro stayed hot, with Callahan allowing two runs in five innings and Aro following him with four shutout innings. 

While the Spinners scored eight runs, they did so with only five hits. They walked five times, took advantage of three IronBirds errors, and made their hits count. Aaron King's three-run double in the sixth broke the game open, extending the Lowell lead from one run to four. 


The GCL Red Sox scored two runs in the eighth to beat the GCL Orioles (BAL), 5-4. Jalen Williams struck out three and allowed a run while throwing the first two innings, and Dioscar Romero followed him with three innings of three-run ball. Willie Ethington, German Taveras, and Oscar Perez combined to shut the Orioles down over the final four innings to keep the Red Sox in the game.

Down by a run in the eighth, the Red Sox loaded the bases on a walk, a hit, and an error. Iseha Conklin drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game, and Carlos Coste drove in the go-ahead run on a force out. Wendell Rijo went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Mike Meyers went 2 for 5 with a run scored. With the win, the Red Sox are now a game behind the GCL Yankees (NYY) for the second seed with two games to play. 


The second game of the DSL playoffs was suspended due to rain, with the Red Sox winning 8-3 with one out in the top of the ninth. The game will be completed today. If the Red Sox win, they will advance to the next round. 


Player of the Day: Henry Owens had a tough start last time out, but was able to get back on track on Tuesday. Through five starts in Duuble-A, the 21-year-old has allowed only 12 hits and three earned runs in 24 1/3 innings, walking 14 and striking out 38. He has 161 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings across two levels this year, which would be the most in the system since Clay Buchholz struck out 171 in 125 1/3 innings in 2007.

Photo Credit: Henry Owens by William Parmeter

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com