May 17, 2014 at 8:00 AM
5/17 Cup of Coffee: The Salem pitching staff stole the show on Friday, as they did not allow a run in either game of the doubleheader. Corey Littrell and Justin Haley (pictured) pitched 13 of the 14 shutout innings as they each continued their great starts to the season. Meanwhile, Pawtucket suffered a heartbreaking loss, and Mookie Betts kept his streak alive.
Drake Britton could not close out the win, as the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) walked off with a 6-5 victory over the PawSox. Matt Barnes had a solid start, allowing three runs in five innings, despite walking only one batter and striking out six. The PawSox were up 5-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth, but Britton gave up five hits, including a walk-off single with two outs. This was his first blown save of the year.
Brandon Snyder led the way on offense, going 2 for 3 with a home run and a walk, and Alex Hassan went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. The PawSox took the lead in the top of eighth, when Daniel Nava hit a two-run inside-the-park home run, but they were not able to hold on, falling to 24-19 on the season.
Keith Couch tossed seven shutout innings, as the Sea Dogs beat the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 2-0. Couch allowed only four hits and struck out five as he lowered his season ERA to 2.56. Miguel Celestino completed the shutout by tossing the final two innings, surrendering only one hit. With the win, Couch improved to 5-0 on the year.
Mookie Betts extended his on-base streak to 66 games (71 if you include the playoffs) with a walk, though he did not pick up a hit for just the third time this season. While the 71 games would tie the record, it will not be officially recognized until he gets on base in 71 straight regular season games. Deven Marrero went 2 for 4 with a double, and Travis Shaw went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Corey Littrell and Salem also tossed a shutout, beating the Carolina Mudcats (CLE), 3-0. Littrell went the first six innings, giving up only three hits and one walk while striking out eight. Dayan Diaz threw the final inning of the seven-inning game, striking out two.
Offensively, Salem was led by Jonathan Roof, who went 2 for 3 with a solo home run. Kevin Heller reached base three times, doubling and drawing two walks, while Carson Blair went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk.
Not to be outdone, Justin Haley pitched a complete game shutout in the second game of the doubleheader, as Salem won 2-0. Haley was masterful, striking out nine while scattering three hits and a walk over the seven innings. His ERA is now a nifty 1.82.
Matty Johnson, Reed Gragnani, and Ryan Dent all had two hits, with Johnson adding a walk, and Gragnani and Dent stealing a base apiece. Dreily Guerrero had the biggest hit of the game, crushing a two-run home run to account for all the scoring. The home run was only his second since 2011.
The pitching was not as good in Greenville, as the Drive fell to the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 11-3. Jamie Callahan was hit hard, allowing nine runs on nine hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings. Taylor Grover was able to keep the Sand Gnats off the board in his 1 2/3 innings, but the damage had already been done. Forrestt Allday laced two doubles, and Wendell Rijo had two hits and a walk, including his ninth double of the season.
The Drive got their revenge in the second game, ending the night with a 4-1 victory. Jake Romanski went 3 for 3 with three RBI, as the 23-year-old bumped his average up to .322. Teddy Stankiewicz allowed only one run but only went four innings as he racked up 78 pitches. He walked three and struck out four. Joe Gunkel got the win with three scoreless innings of relief, striking out three.
Player of the Night: Justin Haley was part of tandem shutouts for Salem today, as the Red Sox swept a doubleheader with Carolina. Haley went the full seven innings, striking out nine en route to his third win of the season. The 22-year-old out of Fresno State has been terrific all season, allowing runs in only three of his eight appearances.
Photo credit: Justin Haley by Kelly O'Connor