September 1, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Division title already in hand, the Pawtucket Red Sox dropped a 2-1 decision to the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS).
Right-hander Allen Webster, who departed after just 67 pitches and 4 2/3 innings, was solid in allowing a run on two hits and a walk while striking out a pair, but it was righty Brayan Villarreal who was tagged with the loss. With the teams knotted at one in the eighth, he walked three batters and gave up a run-scoring single that put Syracuse ahead for good.
The only PawSox run came when right fielder Bryce Brentz (double) scored on a wild pitch in the second.
The Portland Sea Dogs’ run for a postseason bid came to an end when they lost the first game of a doubleheader to the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 8-0. They then fell again, 4-2, in game two.
Left-hander Miguel Pena was hit around for the second time in three starts since his promotion to Double-A. He gave up six runs on five hits (two homers) and three walks while striking out three and taking the loss.
Trenton righty Shane Greene silenced Portland bats for the most part. Of the three Sea Dog hits, right fielder J.C. Linares had two, including a double.
The second half was a bit more successful at the plate, with designated hitter Garin Cecchini and third baseman Michael Almanzar posting identical lines: 2 for 4 with two doubles. Cecchini scored shortstop Derrik Gibson (1 for 1, double, two walks) in the fourth, and Linares doubled home Almanzar in the fifth.
Righty Terry Doyle pitched the seven-inning complete game but absorbed the loss after yielding four runs on six hits. He punched out six.
Right before the Salem Red Sox-Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL) contest was suspended with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, catcher Carson Blair put Salem up 1-0 with a homer to left.
Righty Heri Quevedo tossed four scoreless innings before the skies opened up. He collected four strikeouts compared to two hits and one walk.
The teams will resume at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, then play their regularly scheduled game.
The Greenville Drive also came out on the wrong end of a doubleheader sweep, losing to the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM) by scores of 4-2 and 6-4.
Left fielder Felix Sanchez and second baseman Reed Gragnani drove in single runs in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early 4-0 deficit. Center fielder Jesus Loya (2 for 3, double) was the only batter with multiple hits.
Right-hander Justin Haley gave up all four of those runs (three earned) in his five innings of work. The Sand Gnats collected four hits and three walks while striking out seven times.
Game two produced more of the same, unfortunately for Greenville. Righty Pat Light gave up all six runs (five earned) in seven hits and a walk in just 2 2/3 innings, and despite a threesome of multi-hit efforts, the Drive again couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole.
Loya, third baseman Mario Martinez and right fielder Kendrick Perkins had two hits apiece. The latter two also had two doubles and an RBI each.
A strong outing from right-hander Ty Buttrey and big days at the plate from second baseman Carlos Asuaje and center fielder Manuel Margot lead the Lowell Spinners to a 5-2 victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU). Lowell now leads Tri-City by half a game in the Stedler Division.
Buttrey went five strong, allowing only two unearned runs on five hits while fanning three.
The Spinners got him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and added two more in the fifth. Asuaje went 3 for 4 with a double out of the leadoff spot, while Margot finished 2 for 3 with a walk while batting third. Both men scored twice.
Left fielder Kevin Mager had only one hit, but he made it count. His fifth-inning double plated Asuaje and Margot.
Embattled reliever Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless inning and somehow escaped without allowing a run. The right-hander walked four batters, but thanks to a caught stealing, none of them scored. Only nine of his 31 pitches were strikes and he struck out two.
The GCL Red Sox didn’t fare well against the GCL Nationals in Game 1 of the league championship series, falling 10-3 after leading most of the game.
Center fielder Bryan Hudson (2 for 4) put the Sox up 1-0 in the second, and catcher Alixon Suarez scored on an error in the fourth after doubling. Second baseman Wendell Rijo’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in the seventh.
But then the bottom fell out for the Red Sox.
Right-handers Keivin Heras and Oscar Perez combined to give up eight runs in the seventh ining. The Nats hit Heras around for three of them in two-thirds of an inning before Perez gave up five before recording his only out.
Southpaw Trey Ball started the game with two perfect innings and one strikeout.
Player of the Day: Ty Buttrey, who helped the Spinners nab the Red Sox minor league affiliates’ only win of the day with five strong innings. He allowed five hits and two runs — both unearned — while fanning three. It capped what was another strong month for the 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander. In six starts, he owned a 2.20 ERA and 1.26 WHIP while striking out more than twice as many batters as he walked. Buttrey, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has numbers on the season: a 2.21 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Photo Credit: Ty Buttrey by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.