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June 2, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dent and Marrero start off strong in June

6/2 Cup of Coffee: It was a down day on the farm, as all four affiliates came up empty. With Boston dipping into the Pawtucket lineup for depth, the PawSox had limited success offensively. Meanwhile, Keury De La Cruz made his 2014 debut in Portland, and Ryan Dent (pictured) slugged five hits as Salem lost in a slugfest.


With half of it's lineup in Boston, Pawtucket fell to the Norfolk Tides (BAL), 3-1. Anthony Ranaudo got the start, allowing three runs over five innings, walking four and striking out four. While Ranaudo continues to battle control issues, walking over five batters per nine innings this season, he has been able to limit the damage, and his ERA currently sits at 3.09 after 64 innings. Rich Hill and Dalier Hinojosa combined to keep Norfolk off the board over the final three innings.

In what should be his last game with the PawSox, Stephen Drew went 1 for 3 with a double. Christian Vazquez and Dan Butler each added two hits, with Butler adding a walk. Travis Shaw had his third straight strong start, going 1 for 3 with a double and two walks. 


A five-run sixth inning doomed the Sea Dogs, as they lost to the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 6-4. Miguel Pena was pitching well until that sixth inning, but he ended up with his first loss of the season. He allowed four runs in five innings, and Matty Ott allowed two runs in his lone inning of work. Pena left with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth, and Ott allowed all three inherited runs to score. 

After slumping through May, Deven Marrero started out strong in June, going 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Keury De La Cruz appeared in his first game of the season after breaking his wrist in March, going 2 for 4 with a double, and Jonathan Roof recorded two hits and a walk in his first game since being promoted from Salem. 


In a back-and-forth contest, the Potomac Nationals (WAS) squeezed past Salem, 12-11. Luis Diaz and Kyle Kraus each allowed five runs, with Diaz tossing 4 2/3 innings and Kraus throwing 2 1/3. In the bottom of the eighth, Kyle Stroup got the first two batters out, and then after back-to-back singles he induced a ground ball to third baseman Kevin Mager which he could not handle, allowing two runners to get into scoring position. The next batter drove both runners in with a single which proved to be the difference.

Ryan Dent was the offensive star of the game, going 5 for 6 with two doubles and three runs scored. Carson Blair went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run, Reed Gragnani went 2 for 3 with a triple and two walks, and Matty Johnson went 2 for 5 with a walk and a stolen base to lead Salem's 15-hit attack.


It was a rough day for the Drive, as they were defeated by the Hickory Crawdads (TEX), 7-2. Daniel McGrath was wild in his 4 1/3 innings of work, walking five, but was somehow able to keep the Crawdads off the board. He surrendered three hits and struck out two. Myles Smith came on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and was able to get out of the jam unscathed. Smith was not sharp after that inning, allowing four runs and five hits as the Crawdads pulled away late.

Wendell Rijo and Jantzen Witte were on base twice with a double and a walk, and Carlos Asuaje added a double as well.  While the Drive only had eight men on base in the game, they still managed to steal three bases.


Player of the Day: Ryan Dent's five hits were a career high, but it was not enough to get Salem past Potomac. Dent, who had four four-hit games in his seven minor league seasons, raised his average from .247 to .270 with his perfromance on Sunday. Dent did strike out with the go-ahead run on base in the top of the ninth, but that was his only blemish on the day. The 25-year-old is batting .270/.378/.434 in 152 at-bats this season.

Photo Credit: Ryan Dent by Kelly O'Connor