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May 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Cup of Coffee: McGrath roughed up in 2014 debut

5/15 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates only managed one win despite a handful of strong pitching performances. Pawtucket's bats were unable to pick up their pitchers and Portland gave up the win on a walk-off walk. Greenville got blown out and Salem picked up the lone win.


The PawSox were stifled all game long as they fell to the Indianapolis Indians (PIT), 3-1. Allen Webster was sharp, though he still took the loss as the Indian's pitchers dominated the Pawtucket lineup. Webster gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Nine of Webster's 17 outs came on strikeouts, as the righty threw 66 of his 103 pitches for strikes.

Things were not that bright on offense as the starting nine only managed two hits all game long. Garin Cecchini and Daniel Nava picked up the only base-knocks for Pawtucket, though neither was for extra bases. Pawtucket's only run of the day came thanks to a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning to push Nava in from third. The PawSox did manage to walk five times on the day, despite seven of the nine starters striking out at least once.


Henry Owens threw four no-hit innings, but the Sea Dogs fell to the New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), 4-3. Owens pitched well enough, striking out eight in his four innings of work, though he did also walk five batters. Ahead 3-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Sea Dogs called on Michael Olmstead to pitch a second inning. Instead the combination of Olmstead and Jose Valdez surrendered five straight hits. After loading the bases, Valdez did manage to get an out but then walked in New Britain's winning run to give the Rock Cats the walk-off victory.

Mookie Betts opened scoring in the first, doubling and then scoring on two wild pitches. Betts went 1 for 4 with a walk on the night. Henry Ramos scored in the second to put the Sea Dogs up 2-0, and Deven Marrerro would drive in another in the seventh to give Portland the 3-0 lead.


Salem picked up the affiliates' lone win, downing the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), 3-2. Luis Diaz (pictured, above) picked up his second straight win, pitching seven spectacular innings for the Red Sox. Diaz threw seven innings of two-run baseball, allowing four hits, zero walks and striking out six. Austin Maddox collected his first save of the year, pitching two innings in relief of Diaz.

The Red Sox broke through in the third thanks to three singles off the bats of Matty Johnson, Jonathan Roof, and Reed Gragnani. Roof and Mario Martinez each collected an RBI in the inning as well. Kevin Mager brought home Aneury Tavarez one inning later after Tavarez reached third on an error by the right-fielder.

Greenville fell to the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 5-4. The two teams were completing a rain shortened affair from April 19.  The game was resumed in the sixth inning with the two teams tied, 3-3. Jacob Dahlstrand gave up an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to give the Gnats the lead. The Drive tied it up in the seventh on an RBI single by Carlos Asuaje scoring Tzu-Wei Lin.  Savannah scored the eventual game winning run in the eighth inning off Dahlstrand.

The Drive were later blown out by the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM), 6-1. Daniel McGrath struggled in his first outing of 2014, giving up four runs on four hits and three walks in only two innings pitched. Sergio Gomez relieved McGrath in the third and quickly allowed another two runs, though he settled down and pitched through the eighth without allowing another run.

Not much went right offensively as the Drive could not push a run across until the seventh, despite collecting seven hits on the night. Forrestt Allday and Carlos Asuaje each went 2 for 4, though Allday picked up the Drive's only RBI. Jantzen Witte collected the Drive's only extra-base hit and also walked twice in the contest.


Player of the Night: On a relatively quiet night on the farm, Luis Diaz's performance stood out. Collecting his second straight win, the righty moved to 4-3 on the season. Diaz owns a 3.57 ERA and 24 strike outs in 40 1/3 innings pitched this season. Diaz originally signed with the Red Sox in 2008 out of Venezuela and finished with the sixth best ERA in the New York-Penn League in 2011.

Photo credit: Luis Diaz © SoxProspects, LLC