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April 15, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Margot, Longhi, and Cecchini provide the power

4/15 Cup of Coffee: The strange start to the year for the PawSox continued last night, as they won a game that started on Monday, but could not play their regularly scheduled game after the lights went out. Manuel Margot, Wendell Rijo, and Forrestt Allday (pictured) each had solid performances for Salem, while Ty Buttrey and Nick Longhi continued their strong starts to the 2015 season.


The PawSox prevailed in the continuation of the suspended game from Monday, hanging on for the three-run win. Pawtucket was up 8-3 in the top of the fourth when the day started, having already erupted for an eight-run third inning the night before. One interesting move to note was that Jeff Bianchi replaced Deven Marrero at shortstop when the game resumed on Tuesday, presumably due to the injury to Xander Bogaerts and the possibility of Marrero being needed in Boston. With the news on Bogaerts sounding positive, it is unlikely a move will be made. 

After Matt Barnes tossed the first three innings on Monday, Noe Ramirez came in to earn the win with 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball on Tuesday. Dana Eveland was hit hard in his lone inning of relief, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk, but Heath Hembree was able to shut the door with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball to secure the victory.

Garin Cecchini led the way offensively, going 2 for 5 with a double and a home run. With Pablo Sandoval leaving Tuesday's game early after being hit by a pitch, Cecchini may get a shot in Boston if Sandoval is to miss time. Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his strong start to the season with two hits, and Sean Coyle went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.  

The second game between the PawSox and Bisons was postponed due to a power outage at the stadium in Buffalo. There will be a doubleheader today beginning at 1:05 PM. 


The Sea Dogs jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after Carlos Asuaje hit an RBI triple and scored on Keury De La Cruz's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. Marco Hernandez extended the lead with a solo shot in the second, and that was more than enough for the Portland pitching staff. William Cuevas allowed one run over five innings, and Pat Light rebounded from a tough outing last time out to strike out four Rock Cats over two scoreless innings. 


Despite getting strong offensive performances from Manuel Margot and Wendell Rijo, the Salem Red Sox fell to 1-4 on the season. Daniel McGrath struggled mightily with his control in his first appearance of the season, walking five and surrendering five runs, three earned, in only 3 1/3 innings. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Jorge Marban was solid in his 2 2/3 innings of relief, giving up only two hits while striking out a pair. 

Margot started the game off with a sharp lineout to third base, but followed that with a home run and a triple, his first of each on the season. Rijo was just as impressive, going 3 for 3 with a single, double, and triple, while Tzu-Wei Lin went 1 for 2 with a walk. 

Led by Forrestt Allday, the Red Sox were able to grind out a win thanks to a late rally. Joe Gunkel pitched well in his first start of the year, rebounding from a shaky first inning to retire the final seven batters he faced. In all, he allowed one run in five innings, while striking out three. Taylor Grover notched the win with two shutout innings. 

Allday was the star both offensively and defensively. At the plate, he went 2 for 2 with a home run, walk, and sacrifice fly. The sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. On defense, his outfield assist in the second inning completed a double play and got Gunkel out of a jam. 
Sam Travis also collected two hits, going 2 for 4 to raise his average to .143 on the year. 


A quality start by Ty Buttrey and another home run by Nick Longhi were not enough for the Drive, as they fell to the Legends for the second straight night. Buttrey went the first six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, striking out four without walking a batter. After struggling with his control last season, Buttrey has yet to surrender a walk in his first 10 innings this year. Williams Jerez picked up the loss after giving up two runs in his three innings of relief. 

While Longhi's 1 for 4 night dropped his batting average to .316, the home run is another positive sign for the 19-year-old first baseman, who has an extra-base hit in each of his last four games. Rafael Devers, Carlos Mesa, and Javier Guerra each added hits for the Drive, with Guerra slugging his second double of the year. 


Player of the Night: Forrestt Allday almost single-handedly led Salem to a victory in the second game of a doubleheader, going 2 for 2 with a home run, walk, outfield assist, and driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly. Allday entered the game with only five at-bats and one hit over two games, but he had already drawn three walks and had reached base in half of his plate appearances.  

Photo Credit: Forrestt Allday by Kelly O'Connor