August 31, 2014 at 8:00 AM
8/31 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket took a loss, tightening the Wild Card race while Portland set a franchise record. Salem took both games of a double header while Greenville won by two. Lowell was shutout and the GCL took game one of their playoff series while the DSL Red Sox bested the Royals.
Matt Barnes took the loss in this one, his ninth of the season. Barnes went seven innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while walking none and punching out 10 batters. Miguel Celestino came on in relief and gave up a single hit, a solo home run, in two innings of work.
The PawSox managed only five hits in this game, two off the bat of Bryce Brentz, including a two-run double in the top of the first inning. Blake Swihart, Alex Hassan, and Garin Cecchini collected the remainder of the clubs hits.
The loss, coupled with a Buffalo (TOR) win, puts the PawSox out of the race for their division crown, but leaves them 1.5 games up on Buffalo in the Wild Card hunt.
Justin Haley(pictured) was dominant for the Sea Dogs, hurling seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out nine Senators. Robby Scott came on in relief and allowed a run on two hits in an inning of work. Aaron Kurcz followed with a strong inning, walking one and striking out two to close out the ninth.
The Sea Dogs pushed across five runs, despite only collecting five hits in the contest. Sean Coyle had the biggest day at the plate, collecting two hits, a double and a home run, while driving in two runs. Ryan Dent and Keury De La Cruz had Portland's other two hits.
The win marks the 87th of the year, and also a franchise record for Portland besting the previous record, set in 1995.
Pat Light went the distance in this half of the double header, surrendering only one run on three hits, including a seventh inning solo home run. The Red Sox meanwhile took advantage of seven hits and three Wilmington errors to push five runs across. Both Matty Johnson and Jose Vinicio had 2-for-4 nights with two runs scored out of the first two spots in the line up. Carlos Asuaje and Jantzen Witte each had a hit of their own, meaning batters 1-4 had six of seven Salem hits. Manuel Margot notched the other hit, a double; Margot also drove in 3 runs.
Jonathan Aro went five innings, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out six. Nate Reed took home the win in relief as he combined with Matty Ott, who notched the save, for two perfect innings out of the bullpen. The Red Sox had six hits in this one, two off the bat of Reed Gragnani including a triple. Leonel Escobar had Salem's only other extra-base hit, a double in the seventh inning to plate two runs.
Trey Ball had another good start, taking home his fifth win of the season. Ball went six scoreless, giving up only five hits, while striking out five along the way. German Taveras got the save, despite allowing both Lexington runs in his three innings of work.
Sam Travis and Franklin Guzman each had two hits, combining for four of Greenville's six base hits in the game. Jimmy Rider and Jordan Procyshen had the other two hits, both of them home runs.
Reed Reilly pitched well, going five shut out innings in which he allowed only two hits and struck out six. Chandler Shepherd came on in relief and took the loss thanks to three runs in six innings, the first of his three innings of work. Brandon Show closed out the final frame, allowing one hit and striking out one as well. There wasn't much offense to go around in this one, as the Spinners managed only six hits. Raymel Flores had two of those six hits and both Jordan Betts and Joseph Monge added doubles of their own.
Dedgar Jimenez went five innings, allowing only one unearned run on two hits while walking one and striking out three. Jose Almonte went four innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run on five hits and two walks while striking out two as well. Javier Guerra had the biggest day at the plate, going 4 for 5 with two doubles. Victor Acosta went 2 for 5 with a double, while Rafael Devers' only hit was a two-run home run in the first inning. Michael Chavis and Jhon Nunez were the only two Red Sox to go hitless. The win put the Red Sox one game up on the Yankees in their best-of-three playoff series.
Gerson Bautista got the start, but walked away with a no decision for 4 1/3 innings of one-run baseball, walking three and allowing four hits. Ritzi Mendoza took home the win for his perfect 2/3 of an inning, while Algenis Martinez notched the save for a scoreless ninth inning. Yoan Aybar and Raiwinson Lameda each went 3 for 4 with a double, while Aybar added his own triple. Luis Yovera went 1 for 3 with a triple as well.
Player of the Night: Justin Haley takes home these honors for his dominance over Senators. In six games for Portland, Haley has gone 3-2 with a 1.19 ERA across 37 2/3 innings. Haley has struck out 33 batters in this time while holding opponents to a .222 average.
Photo Credit: Justin Haley by Kelly O'Connor