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August 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Eduardo Rodriguez impresses in organizational debut

8/4 Cup of CoffeeEduardo Rodriguez did his best Henry Owens impression, taking both his turn in the Portland rotation and his number, while leading the Sea Dogs to a win. Daniel McGrath also had a good outing, while Sam Travis  (pictured) continued to pace the system with his offense.


Columbus Clippers (CLE) 9, Pawtucket Red Sox 4
Making a spot start after Steven Wright was called up to Boston, Ryan Verdugo went the first 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, walking two and striking out six. Chris Hernandez did not fare any better, allowing six runs in his 2 2/3 innings of relief, including a grand slam in the top of the seventh that blew the game open. Dalier Hinojosa pitched well in the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit. 

The PawSox did slug three home runs in the game, with Corey Brown and Matt Spring hitting solo shots, and Derrik Gibson adding a two-run home run. Justin Henry went 3 for 5, while Deven Marrero added a double. 


Making his organizational debut, Eduardo Rodriguez made a good first impression, striking out seven and allowing only one run in 5 1/3 innings. The lone run scored on a solo home run, and he only allowed four baserunners in the outing. Dayan Diaz was dominant in his 1 2/3 innings, striking out three, and Noe Ramirez notched his 13th save with two scoreless innings. 

Another player making his team debut was Mike Miller, who was on base four times via two hits and two walks, including an RBI single. Keury De La Cruz went 2 for 4 with two doubles, and Blake Swihart, Jonathan Roof, and Heiker Meneses each added doubles.


Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) 7, Salem Red Sox 6 
Leading 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Salem's play turned sloppy, as a throwing error and a wild pitch turned into a walk-off win for the Pelicans. Kyle Kraus gave up four runs, three earned, in five innings, and Nate Reed followed with three innings of one-run ball. Madison Younginer was on the mound in the ninth when things went awry, with his wild pitch allowing the winning run to score.

Mario Martinez provided most of the offense, driving in four runs on two home runs. Carlos Asuaje scored three runs and drove in another as part of his 2 for 4 performance, which included a double and a walk. Matty Johnson and Jantzen Witte each went 1 for 4 with a walk, with Johnson adding his 36th steal of the year.

Daniel McGrath was terrific, striking out six over six innings, allowing seven hits while walking one. The 20-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 3.64, and recorded eight ground outs and no fly outs. Taylor Grover pitched well until the ninth, when he allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score. In all, he surrendered three runs, two earned, in 2 2/3 innings.

Sam Travis has picked up right where he left off in Lowell, and he is now hitting .714 for the Drive after going 2 for 3 with a walk yesterday. Franklin Guzman showed off his power, going 2 for 3 with a home run, double, and a walk, and Manuel Margot showed off his speed by swiping his 34th base of the year. 


Lowell's doubleheader was rained out, and they plan to play two again today starting at 4:05. 


Player of the Day: In one week Portland lost one stud left-hander, but picked up another as Eduardo Rodriguez looked very good in his first start for the Sea Dogs. Our good friend Chris Mellen of Baseball Prospectus was at the game scouting Rodriguez, and Chris had him sitting 91-94 mph with his fastball, touching 96, while showing a quality changeup and slider. Rodriguez has initially slotted in at number 10 on the SoxProspects.com rankings, placing him right behind Brian Johnson, but he should move up by the end of the year as some players ahead of him will graduate. For now, he will help Portland try and make a deep run in the playoffs.

Photo Credit: Sam Travis by Kelly O'Connor