May 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM
5/18 Cup of Coffee: There was offense aplenty Saturday night, as three teams took home the win. Portland and Salem won close ones, while Pawtucket managed to get ahead early. Greenville took home the only loss, losing a blow-out by eight runs.
The PawSox used some big hits and decent pitching to down the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY), 6-3. Brandon Workman got the start for Pawtucket and kept the RailRiders off the board until the sixth. Workman surrendered a solo home run in the sixth and a two-run shot in the seventh. Workman ended the night after 6 2/3 innings pitched, giving up just the three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six. Alex Wilson pitched the ninth, striking out two en route to his fifth save of the season.
The PawSox tacked on four runs in the third and another two in the eighth. Brandon Snyder was at the forefront of Pawtucket's offense as he hit a three-run double in the third and a solo home run in the eighth. Snyder went 3 for 4, with a double and a home run as well as four RBI. Seven of the nine PawSox starters had a hit, eight managed to reach base at least once in the contest as Pawtucket tacked up 11 hits against the RailRiders.
Travis Shaw gave Portland the win, beating the Trenton Thunder (NYY) by a score of 4-3. Miguel Pena took the hill for the Sea Dogs, but did not factor in to the decision. Pena's day ended after 5 1/3 innings in which he gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two. Robby Scott got the win in relief, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless frames and Jose Valdez notched his third save of the year.
Mookie Betts' on-base streak came crashing to an end at 66 games, as the second baseman went 0 for 4, though he did manage to drive in two runs. The Sea Dogs managed only five hits, and Deven Marrero had two of them, including a triple. Shaw hit when it mattered though, depositing a pitch over the right field wall to put the Sea Dogs up by one heading into the ninth.
The Salem Red Sox won a close one, downing the Carolina Mudcats (CLE), 4-3. Pat Light picked up the win for the Red Sox, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out three and walking none. Kyle Martin picked up his fourth save of the season, pitching three, scoreless innings to close out the game.
Kevin Heller had a big day on offense, going 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk, while also scoring twice. Carson Blair added another two doubles, notching two RBI and scoring a run himself. Jonathan Roof managed only one hit on the day, a solo home run. Mario Martinez and Aneury Tazarez were the only starters to be kept off base as the Red Sox notched eight hits and five walks collectively.
Despite a last-ditch rally, Greenville fell to the Ashville Tourists (COL), 14-6. Myles Smith struggled mightily as he picked up his second loss of the season. Smith surrendered seven runs on four hits and four walks in only an 1 2/3 innings pitched, he struck out none. Mario Alcantara gave up another four runs across his 5 1/3 innings and Mike Adams gave up another three in only one inning.
Greenville would not score until the sixth, when they tacked up three runs and they added another three in their half of the ninth. Jantzen Witte continued his torrid start to the year, as the first baseman went 2 for 4 with a home run, a walk, two runs scored and three RBI. Tzu-Wei Lin and Jake Romanski were the only other players to collect two hits, both going 2 for 5. Only two of the 10 players who saw action for the Drive failed to pick up a hit, and only one failed to reach base.
Player of the night: While there were a few notable offensive performances, Brandon Snyder's stood above the rest. The Pawtucket designated hitter went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double, a run scored and four RBI. The 27-year-old has hit .219/.296/.510 so far this season. Snyder has tallied 12 extra-base hits in 96 at-bats thus far for the PawSox. Across parts of four seasons, Snyder carries a .243/.287/.399 triple slash in the major leagues, though he is a career .271/.333/.434 in parts of 10 minor league seasons.
Photo credit: Brandon Snyder by Kelly O'Connor