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August 10, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Cup of Coffee: Almanzar powers Portland; Gonzalez dominates DSL

8/10 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket, Portland and Greenville all took home victories, though Portland needed 11 innings and some big hits to do so. Lowell lost an early lead and took home the affiliates' only loss of the night. Meanwhile, the DSL Red Sox rode some outstanding pitching to a victory.


Matt Barnes gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in six innings pitched, while striking out four. Despite pitching decently, it was not enough for Barnes to earn his sixth win of the season. Instead, Bryan Villarreal took home the victory thanks to a scoreless eighth inning. Ryan Verdugo notched the save thanks to a hitless ninth, despite walking two in the frame.

The offense was held out of it until the eighth inning, when they scored three times, and followed up with another two runs in the top half of the ninth. Garin Cecchini was the only player to have more than one hit, going 3 for 5 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. The other damage came thanks to a Bryce Brentz two-run homer in the ninth and a Blake Swihart RBI single in the eighth.


Keith Couch got the start for Portland, pitching 4 2/3 innings, giving up three hits, two walks and an unearned run in the process. Mike McCarthy and Noe Ramirez combined to pitch the rest of regulation, allowing five runs between them in a collective 4 1/3 innings. Robby Scott came in to pitch the 10th and 11th, earning the win despite allowing Richmond to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th.

The offense piled on six runs in the first nine innings, and responded with six more in extras. Michael Almanzar (pictured) was the hero in this one, launching a grand slam in the top half of the 11th as part of a 2-for-5 night. Stefan Welch and Mike Miller also had two hits and Shannon Wilkerson went 3 for 6 with two doubles. Heiker Meneses was the only starter to go hitless in the contest.


The Salem Red Sox had both halves of their doubleheader against the Potomac Nationals (WAS) postponed due to rain.


Ty Buttrey struggled through 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits, including two home runs, and three walks. Myles Smith took home the win, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks along the way.

The Drive used four home runs and three other extra-base hits to power their way to victory. Manuel Margot, Cole Sturgeon, and Tim Roberson all hit balls out of the park, with Roberson hitting two out. Margot also added a triple and both of Kevin Mager's hits were doubles. All of Greenville's hits went for extra-bases and only those four players managed to collect hits off Lexington pitching.


Kevin McAvoy pitched well out of the gate, throwing three innings of two-hit baseball. Brandon Show and Enfember Martinez combined for four innings of two-run ball before Ellis Jimenez entered the game and gave up another run, taking home the loss in the process.

The only extra-base hit for Lowell was a triple off the bat of Danny Mars, who was 2 for 5 in the game. Raymel Flores was also 2 for 5, and Mauricio Dubon went 3 for 4. Cisco Tellez and Nick Moore were the only other Spinners to collect hits, as Tellez was 1 for 4 and Moore was 1 for 3 in the ballgame.


The GCL Red Sox jumped out to a 10-3 lead over the GCL Twins before the game was called due to rain in the third inning. The game will resume on August 15th.


Daniel Gonzalez shone for the Red Sox, pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit and striking out 10. Yeferson Ardiles got the win, allowing a single run on a hit and a walk in only one inning pitched. Jervis Torrealba notched his third save of the year with two hitless innings to close out the game.

Only five Red Sox managed to pick up hits in this one, with Roldani Baldwin collecting two, including a double. Yoan Aybar, Jesus Perez and Raiwinson Lameda all went 1 for 4, while Jose Lozada went 1 for 2 with two walks as well.


Player of the night: Daniel Gonzalez takes home these honors, thanks to a dominant effort against the DSL Cardinals. The 18-year-old Gonzalez is in the midst of his second professional season and is taking the DSL by storm. Gonzalez, who was signed in September of 2012, is 8-0 with a 2.57 ERA through 13 games started this season. Gonzalez went 2-1, with a 0.97 ERA in 46 1/3 innings pitched last season, including two starts.

Photo credit: Michael Almanzar by Kelly O'Connor