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July 3, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bats propel Portland and Salem, comebacks fall short for Pawtucket and Greenville

7/3 Cup of Coffee:  Scoring abounded Wednesday among the affiliates. Portland and Salem prevailed on a combined 14 runs scored, while late comeback attempts by Pawtucket and Greenville, who combined to score 14 as well, fell short. The GCL Red Sox lost by one run, and the DSL Red Sox and Spinners fell in less contested games. 


The Pawtucket Red Sox fell to the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) in a tight ball game Wednesday: they lost by a score of 8-7. The PawSox nearly mounted a late comeback in the game. Entering the ninth inning, they were trailing 8-4 when Deven Marrero, recently promoted shortstop, and second baseman Ryan Roberts led off the inning with a pair of singles. First baseman Travis Shaw (Pictured), who pinch hit for Mike Carp earlier in the contest, slugged a three-run home run to cut the lead to one. The PawSox, however, were unable to muster any more late-inning runs. 

Three PawSox players collected multi-hit games: Marrero, who was 2 for 4 with a run scored; Roberts, who was 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, and catcher Dan Butler, who was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Will Middlebrooks also homered in the game, his first in Triple-A this season.


The Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Trenton Thunder (NYY) 8-6 Wednesday. The Sea Dogs 12-hit onslaught was led by by four hitters: leadoff man and right fielder Derrick Gibson, 2 for 5 with a triple and a run; center fielder Shannon Wilkerson, 2 for 4 with a double, two runs and two RBI; catcher Blake Swihart, 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI, and designated hitter David Chester, 2 for 5 with one run scored. 

Second baseman Sean Coyle tallied only one hit, but made it count. In the top of the ninth inning, Coyle launched a solo home run, his 10th of the season. The blast doubled the Sea Dogs lead. Despite pitching well, Sea Dogs starter Brian Johnson lasted only three innings in the contest. Through three, he surrendered five hits, one run and struck out two. He was relieved by Michael Olmsted, who gave up five walks and five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. 


The Salem Red Sox defeated the Frederick Keys (BAL) 6-2 Wednesday in a rain-shortened contest. Salem took a demanding early lead by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. The inning began with a bang when center fielder Matty Johnson led off with a solo home run, his second of the season. The next three batters would safely reach loading the bases for left fielder Kevin Heller, who laced a two-run double, his 17th of the season. The fourth and final run of the inning scored after Mario Martinez grounded out to the first baseman for the second out. Second baseman Mike Miller, who singled and scored in the first inning, was 4 for 4 with two runs, a double and a walk. Johnson also collected multiple hits: he was 3 for 5. 

Salem starter Cody Kukuk was strong in five innings of work; the right-hander surrendered only two hits, three walks and one unearned run on the day while racking up six strikeouts. William Cuevas relieved Kukuk in the sixth, and gave up one run on two hits in his two innings of work. 


Despite two valiant comeback efforts, the Greenville Drive were defeated Wednesday by the Asheville Tourists (COL) 8-7 in 10 innings. We pick the game up in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Drive trailing 6-1. With one out and a runner on second base, second baseman Wendell Rijo blasted a two-run homer, his fourth of the season, cutting the lead to three. The next batter was center fielder Manuel Margot, who slugged a solo home run. With two outs, the lead down to one run and two men on base, shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin singled scoring the tying run. Zach Kapstein, who was on second base during Lin's hit, was thrown out at home plate trying to score the game-winning run, making the third out of the inning.

After the Tourists scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning, the Drive answered quickly with one run in the bottom of the inning on a Carlos Asuaje single. The scoring would end there, unfortunately, handing the Drive the loss. The Drive' starting pitcher was Myles Smith; he gave up eight hits, five earned runs and two walks, while striking out six, in 4 2/3 innings pitched. 


The Lowell Spinners fell to the Connecticut Tigers (DET) 9-4. The Spinners collected eight hits in the game, six of which came from three players : two from center fielder Brian Hudson, two from third baseman Jordan Betts and two from left fielder Mike Meyers. The Spinners used five pitchers in the game: starter Randy Perez, who surrendered two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings; Enfember Martinez, who gave up three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings; Brandon Show, who walked four and gave up two earned runs in 1/3 of an inning; Rob Smorol, who tossed a clean 2 2/3 innings, and Elias Jimenez, who gave up one earned run in two innings. 


The DSL Red Sox fell to the DSL Rojos 7-2 on Wednesday. The team could only muster four hits, two of which came off the bat of center fielder Yoan Aybar. Aybar tripled, scored a run and notched an RBI in the game. In four innings of work, starter Enmanual De Jesus surrendered only one hit, but did give up one earned run; he also struck out five. 


The GCL Red Sox were dropped by the GCL Orioles 3-2. First baseman Josh Ockimey collected two hits, both singles, and center fielder Derek Miller, who was hitless, picked up the lone RBI in the game. Starter Jeffrey Hernandez gave up only two runs and struck out five in seven innings pitched. 

Player of the Day: Salem's Mike Miller (pictured) reached base safely in all five of his at-batsWednesday, which is no small feat for the 5-foot-8 second baseman. In the game, Miller was 4 for 4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.  Through 26 games for Salem, Miller has shown he can handle the bat: he's hit .317 in 101 at-bats. 

Photo Credit: Travis Shaw and Mike Miller by Kelly O'Connor.