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August 21, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ranaudo leads PawSox to second straight shutout

8/21 Cup of Coffee: Anthony Ranaudo (pictured) was fantastic for the PawSox, Garin Cecchini continued to get on base, and Mookie Betts fell just short of the cycle for Salem. It was a rough night in the lower minors, as Greenville, Salem, and the GCL Red Sox combined to score only five runs.


Anthony Ranaudo threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, leading the PawSox to a 1-0 win over the Buffalo Bisons (TOR). Ranaudo allowed three hits and two walks, striking out four, while throwing 61 of his 92 pitches for strikes. His ERA now sits at 1.93 after four starts in Triple-A. Anthony Carter struck out two in a scoreless ninth to earn his 20th save.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. was on base three times without the benefit of a hit, walking once and getting hit by two pitches. Heiker Meneses went 2 for 3 with a stolen base, while Brock Holt and Ryan Lavarnway each collected a hit in their return to the PawSox lineup. With Rochester and Norfolk both losing, the PawSox are now one game back in the division and two games up in the wild card with 13 games remaining. 


The Sea Dogs left the tying run at first base in the ninth, falling to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), 8-6. The Sea Dogs staked Terry Doyle to a four-run lead, but he was not able to hold it, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Fisher Cats got to Eric Niesen for two unearned runs in the seventh, and they scored an insurance run against Matt Maloney in the eighth. 

Down 8-6 with two runners on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Matt Spring popped out and Ryan Dent flied out to end the game. Garin Cecchini went 1 for 3 with two walks, and Dent went 2 for 5 with an RBI.


On a wild night in Salem, the Red Sox escaped with a 10-9 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (CLE). Mookie Betts led the offensive attack, going 3 for 5, while finishing a double short of the cycle. The home run was his 13th between Greenville and Salem, an impressive number after he did not hit any in 71 games in Lowell last season. Sean Coyle went 2 for 5 with a triple, and Matthew Gedman went 1 for 3 with two walks and three runs scored.

Mike Augliera was roughed up, allowing seven runs in only 3 2/3 innings of work. The bullpen was able to keep the Mudcats at bay, led by Madison Younginer who tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings en route to his third win with Salem. The win increased Salem's lead over Carolina to 2.5 games for the league's final playoff spot.


The Drive struggled offensively, falling to the Rome Braves (ATL), 4-2. Cody Kukuk allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings and did not walk a batter for the second time this season. This was a welcome sight, as Kukuk surrendered six walks in only 2 2/3 innings in his last appearance. Austin Maddox tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit. 

Boss Moanaroa hit a two-run home run in the second to put the Drive on the board, but that was all they would get. Tim Roberson went 3 for 4, and Kendrick Perkins went 1 for 3 with a walk.


It was an off-night for the Spinners, as they were thumped by the Connecticut Tigers (DET), 6-1. The Spinners collected only six hits on the day, with Kevin Mager and Jose Colorado each notching a double. Corey Littrell allowed two runs in his three innings of work, while Simon Mercedes allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings. With the loss, Lowell fell a half game behind Tri-City in the New York-Penn League Stedler division.


The GCL Orioles (BAL) mounted a late comeback, defeating the GCL Red Sox, 3-2. After a Bryan Hudson single put the Red Sox up by a run in the seventh, the Orioles answered back with a run in the eighth off Rob Smorol. In the ninth, Oscar Perez allowed a run on two hits, as the Orioles regained the lead. The Red Sox went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, and the Orioles moved into a tie for first place with the Red Sox with eight games to play. 

Aneudis Peralta went 3 for 4 with a double, and Kolbrin Vitek went 2 for 3 with a double to lead the offense. Jalen Williams and German Taveras each pitched two scoreless innings, with Taveras notching three strikeouts. 


The DSL Red Sox were rained out on Tuesday.


Player of the Day: Anthony Ranaudo was effective and efficient on Tuesday, leading the PawSox to a shutout win. After struggling down the stretch with Portland, Ranaudo has got back on his feet in Pawtucket. The right-hander has struck out 15 and walked only four in 23 2/3 innings in Triple-A. Ranaudo has now thrown 133 innings this year, topping the 127 he threw in A-ball in 2011.

With the end of the regular season and a possible playoff berth coming up, Ranaudo should get at least three more starts this season. It will be interesting to see if the Red Sox hold him back at all, as he will have thrown over 100 innings more than he did last year (37 2/3).

Photo credit: Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O' Connor.

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.