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August 12, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cecchini doubles twice, drives in five in crazy win

8/12 Cup of Coffee: Monday's highlight was one of the most wild games of the season, as Pawtucket squandered a nine-run lead before coming back in a contest where it pounded out 15 runs on 19 hits. Elsewhere, Lowell was victorious as a pair of right-handers combined on a three-hit shutout. Greenville fell in a slugfest, while the GCL and DSL squads dropped their games.


The PawSox ripped 19 hits, including seven doubles, on their way to a wild victory. The team abused starter and former Red Sox hurler Zach Stewart (ATL) for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. A pair of RBI doubles by Garin Cecchini (pictured) were at the center of the assault. Meanwhile, Pawtucket starter Chris Hernandez had the game well in control, scattering four hits across five scoreless innings, striking out four without issuing a walk. He left the game with a commanding 9-0 lead, and even after a seventh-inning solo homer off of Miguel Celestino, the contest appeared to be well in hand. 

Gwinnett then stormed back for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Drake Britton surrendered a leadoff home run, and the Braves were off to the races. The left-hander allowed five runs on four hits and a walk while only retiring two batters. John Ely inherited a bases-loaded situation and allowed three runs to score, plus another three unearned runs, and the game was knotted at nine. 

The PawSox responded in the top of the ninth with six runs of their own. An RBI double by Mookie Betts, two-run single by Bryce Brentz, and a Cecchini single that plated two more were the highlights as the rally. Ely then held down the Braves in the bottom of the inning. Despite the fact that Ely was on the mound for six of the Braves' runs, he was able to vulture the win for himself. 

There were numerous strong offensive performances. Cecchini was 3 for 6 with the two doubles and five runs driven in. Betts continues to roll through Triple-A, going 3 for 5 with two doubles. He also walked, drove in a pair, and scored three times. Brentz was 2 for 5 with a walk, scoring and driving in three apiece. Since his activation from the disabled list, Brentz is 10 for 32. Derrik Gibson also scored three times as part of his three-hit night.


It was another slugfest against a Braves affiliate, but this one had a less positive result. Three of the Drive's 10 hits came off the bat of Jimmy Rider, who had his 18th double of the season. Sam Travis slugged his first home run since his promotion from Lowell. The former Indiana Hoosier has a sterling .361/.425/.556 line since joining the Drive. Jamie Callahan had a tough start, giving up seven runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked four without striking out a batter, and allowed a three-run first inning homer. Sergio Gomez was able to keep the game close, giving up a run on just one hit in 5 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out four and walked one.


In an impressive pitchers duel, independent league signee Aaron Wilkerson delivered a gem for Lowell. The big right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings, giving up only three hits and striking out six without issuing a walk. Wilkerson moves to 3-1 on the year and lowers his ERA to 2.48 since signing out of Grand Prairie of the American Association. Kuehl McEachern tacked on two hitless innings to earn the save. Alixon Suarez provided most of Lowell's offense. The catcher had two of the Spinners three hits, including a second-inning solo home run. Suarez also doubled in the eighth inning. 


Despite taking the loss, Jose Almonte continues to impress. The Dominican right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, striking out four and walking one. Almonte has a strong 2.79 ERA and has given the Sox great consistency with three or fewer runs allowed in each appearance this season. The Red Sox also ripped four doubles. Top draft pick Michael Chavis had his seventh of the season and is now .341/.453/.477 in his last 15 games. Devon Fisher had his first professional extra-base hit, and Derek Miller added his team-leading 11th two-bagger of the season. 


It was a very rare difficult start for Gerson Bautista, who had entered the contest with only three earned runs allowed in 52 innings. The Orioles touched up the righty for four runs on six hits in four innings of work. He struck out two and walked two, taking his first loss of the season. Hildemaro Requena allowed three unearned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings, and Francisco Tena followed with 1 1/3 hitless frames. The offense eked out only three hits in the loss. Gerardo Carrizalez was 1 for 3 with the team's lone double. Carrizalez also walked, stole a base, scored a run and drove in the other.


Player of the Day: Highlighting a number of standout offenses performances in the PawSox win, Garin Cecchini takes the honor. His five RBI are his most since May 2012 when he was a member of  Greenville. While Cecchini has struggled at times in his first extended exposure to Triple-A, he has shown more power recently. His two doubles give him five extra-base hits in his last 11 games.

Photo Credit: Garin Cecchini by Kelly O'Connor