April 25, 2014 at 6:00 AM
4/25 Cup of Coffee: Red Sox affiliates earned a split on Thursday. Salem had a comeback win in the High A debut of Pat Light, as Light's old teammates in Greenville cruised to victory led by Bo Greenwell (pictured). Pawtucket struggled against a former Sox farmhand, and Portland fell in extra innings.
Pawtucket struggled to an 8-1 loss to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). The PawSox offense generated only three hits in six innings off of Red Sox 2006 supplemental first rounder Kris Johnson (MIN), who took the win. Two of those hits came off the bat of Bryce Brentz, who is now riding a six-game hitting streak. Anthony Ranaudo got the start for Pawtucket, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits in just three innings, walking and striking out four apiece. Alex Wilson, back with the PawSox after his one-day recall, struck out one in a perfect ninth, and has yet to allow a run in nine innings in 2014.
Portland's winning streak came to an end at six games, and the Sea Dogs fell 5-4 to the Binghamton Mets (NYM) in 10 innings. Keith Couch had another solid start, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. Couch now has a 2.42 ERA through four starts. Binghamton tied up the game with a pair of runs off reliever Nate Reed. Jose Valdez slowed the rally, striking out three in two scoreless innings, but the Mets walked off with a game winning sacrifice fly in the 10th off Miguel Celestino.
Mookie Betts led off the game with his eighth double of the year, extending his on-base streak to 46 games going back to August 2013. Deven Marrero was 2 for 5 with two singles and a pair of RBI, while Stefan Welch and Peter Hissey added a pair of hits apiece. Blake Swihart went 0 for 5, ending his hitting streak at eight games.
Salem used four triples to come back for the 8-5 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL). Pat Light, taken as a supplemental first round pick in the 2012 draft, made his Salem debut after being promoted earlier in the day. After allowing just one run in his first three innings, the 6-foot-6 right-hander ran into trouble in the fourth. Three base hits and a walk led to a three-run rally, knocking Light from the contest. His final line was four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out four. Kyle Stroup earned the win in relief, allowing a run in 1 1/3, but it was Justin Haley who was the bright spot out of the bullpen. Haley worked four shutout innings allowing only one hit, getting credit for the save.
The offensive star for Salem was David Chester, who was only a double short of hitting for the cycle. Known for his home run power, the three-bagger is a new part of the 270-pound first baseman's arsenal. His triple in the fifth inning was his second in as many games after not hitting any in his first 236 professional contests. Aneury Tavarez added a pair of triples, giving him three on the season, and Ryan Dent had a triple and double in his 2-for-5 effort.
It was a strong all-around performance for Greenville as the Drive dispatched the Lexington Legends (KC), 9-4. Bo Greenwell gave Greenville a lead it would never relinquish with a leadoff home run in the first and a two-run blast in the second. Greenwell added two more base hits, going 4 for 5 on the evening. Wendell Rijo was on base three times, going 1 for 2 with two walks and an RBI, while Jantzen Witte and Jimmy Rider added a pair of hits apiece.
On the mound, Teddy Stankiewicz continued to impress, needing only 74 pitches to complete six innings. He allowed three runs on three hits, walking one and striking out three. Joe Gunkel allowed just one unearned run in two hitless frames, and Taylor Grover fired a perfect ninth.
Player of the Day: The son of a Red Sox Hall of Famer powered the Drive over the Lexington Legends. Bo Greenwell, son of the Gator, homered twice, leading Greenville in the first game of its four-game set with Lexington.
Photo Credit: Bo Greenwell by Kelly O'Connor