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July 2, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Betts paces Lowell, Ball impressive for Greenville

7/2 Cup of Coffee: As the calendar flipped to July, the Sea Dogs, Spinners, GCL Sox and DSL Sox all rode their offense to victory. Pawtucket couldn't overcome an early hole, while Salem found itself shutout in a rain shortened contest. Greenville fell victim to one bad inning to round out the evening for the affiliates. 


A rough first inning for Rubby De La Rosa helped the Durham Bulls (TB) charge past Pawtucket, 5-4. De La Rosa, who was making his first start back with the PawSox since returning from Boston, allowed four first inning runs, compounded by a wild pitch and a Corey Brown throwing error. The right-hander settled down the rest of the way, allowing just one more run. In total, De La Rosa tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs, on eight hits and a walk, striking out four. Jeremy Kehrt and Alex Wilson each added 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. 

Brown started things off for Pawtucket in the bottom of the first with a leadoff solo home run. He would lead off again in the sixth, smacking his second solo shot of the game. A Travis Shaw RBI ground out in the sixth would give the PawSox their third and final run.

Continuing their rehab assignments, Mike Carp was 0 for 3 with a strikeout and Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 3 with a triple and a run scored. 


The Sea Dogs continued to remain hot, clipping the Trenton Thunder (NYY), 5-4. Henry Owens improved to 11-3, hurling 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out five. Aaron Kurcz picked up the save, adding 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Portland came out hot right out of the gate, bringing home four runs in the first inning on two-run RBI singles from David Chester and Jonathan Roof. Blake Swihart's RBI single in the seventh proved to be the games eventual winning run. Swihart and Roof led the Sea Dogs offense with two hits apiece. 


Salem found themselves on the wrong side of a rain shortened contest, falling to the Fredrick Keys (BAL), 3-0 in five innings. Joe Gunkel picked up the loss for his four innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, punching out four. The Red Sox only mustered five hits and were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. 


Greenville's losing streak grew to eight in a row on Tuesday as they lost to the Asheville Tourists (COL), 5-2. Trey Ball (pictured, above) had a fantastic start, twirling five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Jonathan Aro took the loss, allowing five unearned runs on four hits and two walks, striking out five.

The Drive picked up a run each in the third and fourth innings on a Carlos Asuaje sacrifice fly and a run scoring double play. The lead held up until the sixth, when two key errors helped Asheville break out for five runs. Greenville certainly had their chances, but was 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position, hitting into two costly double plays. 


Lowell's offense struck early and often as they trumped the Connecticut Tigers (DET), 11-5. Jake Drehoff received the start, tossing four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. James Shepherd picked up his first professional win, allowing an unearned run on two hits, striking out five in two innings of relief.

Every member of the Spinners offense reached base at least once, with batters 1-6 in the lineup collecting two hits each. A trio of 2014 draftees led the way for Lowell as Danny Mars went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI, Jordan Betts (pictured, above) added a 2 for 4 evening, smacking a double and driving in three, and Cole Sturgeon drove in two runs as he went 2 for 4 with a triple.  


The DSL Red Sox continued to roll, improving to 18-9 after an 8-2 victory over the DSL Rojos (CIN). Jhonathan Diaz was spectacular on the mound, tossing six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. Rolandi Baldwin delivered the big blow to the Rojos, smacking a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Yoan Aybar also helped lead the Red Sox offense, going 2 for 3 with a double, triple and a run batted in. 


Superb pitching propelled the GCL Red Sox past the GCL Orioles (BAL), 3-0. Dedgar Jimenez improved to 3-0 on the young season, allowing just two hits and two walks, punching out four in five innings of work. Kuehl McEachern picked up his first professional save, tossing an inning of scoreless relief.

With the game scoreless in the third, an RBI double from Victor Acosta and a run scoring error gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. In the fifth, a Javier Guerra RBI single expanded the Red Sox lead to 3-0. The Red Sox are currently tied with the GCL Rays for first place in GCL South Division. 

Player of the Day: Jordan Betts, who was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI in Lowell's 11-5 victory over Connecticut. The 2014 18th round selection has gotten off to a stellar start to his professional career, hitting .288 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 13 games for the Spinners. 

Photo Credit: Jordan Betts and Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor.