September 2, 2013 at 5:27 AM
9/2 Cup of Coffee: The playoff push continued, as the affiliates turned in a mixed bag on Sunday. Pawtucket cruised in a shortened contest, Portland fell victim to the Thunder, Salem swept a doubleheader, and Greenville picked up a close victory.
Elsewhere on the farm, Lowell took a step back in its playoff hopes, losing to their division nemesis. The GCL Red Sox saw their 2013 season come to a close.
Pawtucket won a rain shortened contest against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI), 5-0 in six innings.
Steven Wright picked up the win, tossing five innings and allowing just three hits and two walks, while striking out two.
The PawSox picked up a run in the first inning, scoring on a Mark Hamilton RBI ground out. Still holding the 1-0 lead in the sixth, Pawtucket brought home four more runs on a Dan Butler RBI double, Heiker Meneses getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, a Jonathan Diaz RBI ground out, and a Brock Holt bases-loaded walk.
Alex Hassan had two hits to lead the PawSox offense.
Henry Owens picked up his first Double-A loss, as Portland fell to the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 9-4. The left-hander hurled 5 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on six hits and a walk and striking out eight.
Down 3-0 in the fifth, the Sea Dogs scored two on a Michael Almanzar sacrifice fly and a Travis Shaw RBI single. Portland's other two runs came in the ninth on a Derrik Gibson RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Garin Cecchini.
The Sea Dogs struck out 12 times and were 4 for 14 with runners in scoring position, leaving 17 men on base.
Resuming their game from the day before, Salem defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL), 2-1. On Saturday, Carson Blair put Salem up 1-0 with a solo home run in the fourth inning. The Hillcats tied the game in the fifth, but David Chester's solo home run in the bottom half of the inning gave the Red Sox the 2-1 advantage.
Heri Quevedo tossed four scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing two hits and one walk, while striking out four. Robby Scott pitched three innings of relief to pick up the win, and Mathew Price picked up his sixth save.
The Red Sox completed the doubleheader sweep in game two, snatching a 3-0 victory over the Hillcats.
Mike Augliera moved to 9-6 as he pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while punching out three. Matty Ott picked up his fifth save.
Mookie Betts was 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI to lead the Salem offense.
After losing both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday, Greenville nipped the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 2-1.
Francisco Taveras picked up the win, tossing five shutout innings and giving up four hits and a walk. Kyle Kraus pitched four innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits to pick up his fourth save.
Greenville scored both of their runs in the third inning on a Aneury Tavarez bases-loaded walk and a Mario Martinez sacrifice fly.
Martinez and Dreily Guerrero each had two hits to lead the Drive offense.
In a crucial game against the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU), Lowell gave back first place after a 7-4 loss.
Jamie Callahan pitched the first 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. Jonathan Aro pitched the next 3 2/3 innings, picking up the loss as he gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks.
The Spinners got off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the first on a Kevin Mager RBI single, a Nathan Minnich RBI single, and a third RBI single from Tzu-Wei Lin.
The ValleyCats tied the game in the third and pulled ahead in the seventh. Lowell's first two batters reached base in the ninth, but they were unable to rally.
The Spinners now sit a half-game back of Tri-City for first place in the Stedler Division and one game back of the Jamestown Jammers (PIT) for the Wild Card with three games left to play.
The GCL Red Sox season came to an end, as they lost the second game of the GCL finals to the Nationals (WAS), 7-2.
Jalen Williams received the start, tossing 1 2/3 innings and allowing three runs on two hits and two walks. Alfredo Aceves followed with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Luis Ortega struggled in his lone inning of relief, allowing three runs on five hits.
The Red Sox had just two hits on the day, striking out 11 times and going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Player of the Day: Mookie Betts, who was 4 for 6 with a double, a RBI, and a stolen base in Salem's doubleheader sweep against Lynchburg. Betts' breakout season has seen him hit .312/.416/.541 with 15 home runs, 61 RBI and 38 stolen bases between Greenville and Salem.
Photo Credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor.
John Gray is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnRGray.