April 10, 2014 at 7:59 AM
4/10 Cup of Coffee: Portland went on to a 9-1 victory thanks to strong displays at the plate and another strong start from Henry Owens (pictured). Greenville came back from a 3-0 early deficit to capture a win. Salem lost a tight one, 4-2, and Pawtucket turned in a lackluster performance, losing 7-0.
The hometown fans at McCoy Stadium did not have much to cheer for Wednesday as the PawSox fell 7-0 to the visiting Syracuse Chiefs (WAS). PawSox starter Anthony Ranaudo struggled in his second start of the season, yielding extra base hits in each of the first three innings. After giving up four earned runs in the first three frames, he settled in and pitched a hitless fourth and fifth innings. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up seven hits, five runs (four earned) and one walk while amassing four strikeouts.
The PawSox bats were stymied by the Chiefs pitching staff, producing only five hits, all singles, on the day. Pawtucket's best chance to make it a game probably came in the bottom of the fourth inning with the score at 5-0 Syracuse. Third baseman Brock Holt led off the inning with a hit by pitch, which was followed by a one-out walk from Brandon Snyder. With two men on and one out, first baseman Ryan Lavarnway grounded into an inning ending double play, ending the threat.
The PawSox also left the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
The Portland Sea Dogs launched a 14-hit attack on the Trenton Thunder (NYY) Wednesday resulting in a 9-1 victory. While the end result was a rout, the contest was close for most of the game as the Sea Dogs exploded in the seventh inning for five runs. The scoring began on an untimely throwing error by Trenton catcher Gary Sanchez, which led to the first run of the big inning. After a Blake Swihart walk loaded the bases, Sean Coyle doubled, plating two runs. A Shannon Wilkerson single plated another two runs, capping the scoring at five for the inning and nine for the game. Wilkerson, who was 3 for 5, Coyle, who was 2 for 5, and Mookie Betts, who was 2 for 5, were the three Sea Dogs to collect multi-hit games.
Overshadowed by the offensive output was the start by left-hander Henry Owens, who was strong through 6 2/3 innings. Owens, who yielded no hits and struck out nine in his first start of the season, maintained his perfect ERA while adding another nine strikeouts to his season total. Owens gave up six hits and walked zero, and was lifted with two outs in the sixth inning after 83 pitches.
The Salem Red Sox dropped a close game against the Winston-Salem Dash (CHW) Wednesday, losing 4-2. Salem hitters collected only five hits in the loss, which was the first on the season for the squad. After Winston-Salem jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, the Red Sox struck back in the bottom of the fifth inning by cutting the lead to 3-2. Designated hitter David Chester broke the shutout with a lead off home run, his first of the season. Then, after Mario Martinez doubled, right fielder Kevin Heller singled in Martinez with two outs. Unfortunately, that was the end of the scoring for Salem on the day.
Salem starter William Cuevas was solid in five innings, yielding three runs on five hits while striking out eight. Most of the damage came in the top of the fourth inning, when a two-out triple increased the Winston-Salem lead from 1-0 to 3-0.
The Greenville Drive pulled to 3-3 on the season with a 6-3 victory over the Charleston RiverDogss (NYY). Centerfielder Manuel Margot shined in the victory as he belted two home runs and amassed four RBI. Margot's first blast, a two-run shot, came in the top of the fourth inning and opened the scoring for the Drive, who entered the inning down 3-0. The second, another two-run shot, came in the eighth inning and pushed the Drive lead to 6-3. Sandwiched in between the Margot homers were a pair of RBI singles by Jake Romanski and Tzu-Wei Lin. Romanski's RBI knock tied the game, while Lin's single in the seventh gave the Drive the lead.
Cody Kukuk toed the rubber for the Drive on Wednesday, and it was not his best performance. Lasting only three innings, Kukuk yielded three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. He did amass five strikeouts on the day, however. Jacob Dahlstrand and Mike Adams were strong in six innings of relief, combining for six hits, no runs, no walks and five strikeouts.
Player of the Day: Drive center fielder Manuel Margot slugged his first two home runs of the season Wednesday, leading to a Drive victory. So far in 2014, Margot is batting .300 with six hits in 20 at bats. The 19-year-old hit .270 with just one home run in 185 at bats for the Lowell Spinners last year.
Photo Credit: Henry Owens by Kelly O'Connor.