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August 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Speier helps GCL Sox clinch division title

8/27 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox had a strong showing at the plate as they easily handled Buffalo. Despite a loss, one of the Red Sox top pitching prospects was impressive in Portland. The GCL Red Sox secured a playoff berth as they rode a strong pitching performance to victory. 


Henry Owens notched the victory, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings of work. The left-hander struck out eight Bisons on the evening and has now punched out 35 hitters in 32 innings as a member of Pawtucket. Dallier Hinojosa added 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing a hit and striking out a batter.

The PawSox compiled 17 hits on the evening, as Ryan Roberts was the only member of the starting lineup to not collect a hit. Bryce Brentz was 2 for 5 with a key three-run home run in the fifth. Alex Hassan was 3 for 5 with a run scored and two doubles while Deven Marrero was 2 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI. Garin Cecchini continued to remain hot at the plate, going 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Jackie Bradley Jr., in one of his best games since rejoining Pawtucket, was 3 for 6 with a double and an RBI. 

The win gives the PawSox a two game cushion over Buffalo in the wild card standings. 


Eduardo Rodriguez (pictured, above) was the tough luck loser, allowing just one run on seven hits, striking out seven and walking none in seven innings of work. Mike McCarthy allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in his two innings of relief.

The Sea Dogs lone run of the contest came in the eighth, as Sean Coyle cracked a solo home run, his 15th of the season. Michael Almanzar was hit by a pitch in the sixth, but remained in the game until the eighth inning, when he was replaced by Jonathan Roof


The Red Sox were unable to overcome an early deficit with general manager Ben Cherington in the house. Simon Mercedes allowed five runs on ten hits and three walks, striking out a pair in his five innings of work. Jonathan Aro was stellar in his three innings of relief, allowing just one hit while striking out four.

It was a light day at the plate for Salem, as they managed just six hits. Jose Vinicio was 2 for 4, Reed Gragnani was 1 for 3 with an RBI single, and Matty Johnson was 1 for 5 with a double, the Red Sox lone extra base hit. 


Daniel McGrath got the start for Greenville, hurling five innings, allowing one run on a hit and three walks, striking out four. Jason Garcia picked up the victory, allowing just one hit and three walks, striking out five in four innings of relief.

Tzu-Wei Lin's RBI triple in the third gave the Drive an early 1-0 advantage. After Charleston tied the game in the fifth, the game remained knotted 1-1 until the ninth. In an interesting top of the ninth, Greenville took advantage of a dropped foul popup, sacrifice bunt, and a passed ball to score the winning run of the contest. 


Jeffry Fernandez dropped to 0-2, hurling four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits. Williams Jerez was impressive in relief, tossing three innings, allowing just three hits and striking out five. The Spinners were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and struck out ten times. Aneudis Peralta was 2 for 4 with two singles as the designated hitter.


Gabe Speier (pictured, above) improved to 3-0 after another impressive outing. The left-hander tossed five innings, allowing one run on five hits, striking out seven. Keivin Heras added 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing an unearned run on three hits. Pat Goetze collected his third save by tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Rafael Devers led the Red Sox offense, going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. The victory clinches the GCL South Division for the Red Sox, who have now won the division the last three seasons. 


Player of the Day: Gabe Speier, who helped the GCL Sox clinch a division title with his five innings of work, allowing a run on five hits, punching out seven. The 19-year-old left-hander is now 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA in nine games (six starts). Impressively, Speier has struck out 26 batters and allowed just one walk in 29 innings of work. 

Photo Credit: Eduardo Rodriguez by Lynn Chadwick, Gabe Speier by Presidiosports.com.