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June 20, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Cup of Coffee: Margot races to inside-the-park home run

6/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a tough Thursday down on the farm, as Lowell was the only affiliate able to emerge victorious. Clay Buchholz was excellent in a rehab start, but Pawtucket failed to hold a six-run lead. The DSL Red Sox were also on the wrong side of a comeback. Greenville never led in its loss, while Salem was blown out.


After opening a 6-0 lead, the Pawtucket bullpen imploded in an 8-6 loss to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN). Making his final rehab start before joining the major club, Clay Buchholz fired six shutout innings. He allowed only two hits while striking out five and walking a pair. After Buchholz came out, the wheels came off. Rochester scored three in the seventh off of Dalier Hinojosa, who retired only two batters. Alex Wilson came on and notched a strikeout to end that rally, but Wilson was lit up for five runs in the eighth, highlighted by a grand slam. 

The loss came despite a 12-hit attack from the offense. Travis Shaw was 2 for 5 with a seventh-inning homer that gave the PawSox its six-run lead that would soon be erased. That ended a 2-for-17 skid for the first baseman. Ryan Roberts and Alex Hassan reached three times apiece, both going 2 for 4 with a walk. Roberts scored a pair of runs, while Hassan had a double and drove in two. Mookie Betts had a second inning single and has reached base safely in all 16 games since his promotion.


Little went right for Salem in a 12-4 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) to open the second half of its schedule. Pat Light was roughed up, allowing eight runs on 10 hits, including a trio of home runs. Kyle Kraus struggled as well, giving up four in his three innings of work. At the plate, Carson Blair remains on fire going 2 for 4 with his seventh home run of the year. In his last 16 games, Blair is hitting .466 with 13 extra-base hits. Jantzen Witte made his High A debut, going 0 for 4.


Greenville also opened up the second half with a loss, falling 6-3 to the Savannah Sand Gnats (NYM). Some excitement came in the fifth inning, as Manuel Margot (pictured) ripped a two-out line drive to right field. It skipped past the diving right fielder and Margot raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Margot also doubled and stole a base, and is riding a modest four-game hitting streak. Wendell Rijo added his 12th double of the year, and Tzu-Wei Lin had a pair of hits.

Jamie Callahan took the loss, dropping to 2-6. He Allowed three runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings, but did strike out four without issuing a walk. Pete Ruiz allowed three runs in 1 2/3. Mario Alcantara, hoping to rebound from a disastrous first half, threw a scoreless inning, and Mike Adams struck out three in two perfect frames.


Lowell knocked off the Connecticut Tigers (DET) 5-3 to come away with the only win in the system. A two-run eighth inning proved to be the difference. Tied 3-3, Bryan Hudson ripped his second double of the game to lead off the inning. He was followed by a walk to Mauricio Dubon and a single by Sam Travis to load the bases. Hudson scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and a Nick Longhi single plated Dubon. 

The base hit for Travis was the first of his professional career. The Indiana University product was drafted in the second round, and was appearing in his second game. Franklin Guzman also had a big night, going 3 for 4 with a double and two runs socred. Nick Moore doubled for the third consecutive game, and he already has four in only seven games on the young season.

Heri Quevedo got the start, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings. German Taveras was outstanding in relief, firing three perfect innings of relief to earn the win, striking out two. Carlos Pinales tossed a scoreless ninth for the save.


The Gulf Coast League schedule beings today, as the GCL Red Sox kick off their season at noon against the GCL Twins. See the full schedule here


A late rally fell short and the DSL Red Sox fell 5-4 to the DSL Yankees. The offense mustered only six hits off of Yankee pitching. Unsurprisingly, two of those hits came off the bat of Rafael Devers, who continues to abuse DSL pitching with a .379/.476 /.636 line. Roldani Baldwin scored a pair of runs, going 1 for 3 with a walk. Starting pitcher Jhonathan Diaz allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out two. Samir El Halaby took the loss in relief, giving up a pair of runs (also one earned) on seven hits.


Player of the Day: Manuel Margot kicked off the second half with a double and an inside-the-park home run. While he couldn't carry Greenville to the victory, the electric center fielder has been playing well recently. Margot is 12 for 32 with four extra-base hits and only two strikeouts in his last nine games, and he has raised his slugging percentage to a season-high .400.

Photo Credit Manuel Margot by Kelly O'Connor