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May 30, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Johnson's six perfect innings quiet Louisville's bats

5/30 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates were 2-2 on Friday, led by victories from Pawtucket and Portland. The PawSox were carried by outstanding pitching while Portland was lifted by its relentless offensive prowess. Salem lost a close contest to Fredrick while Greenville was stomped by Lexington. 


Brian Johnson (pictured, right) continued to stymie opponents as he hurled six perfect innings, striking out nine. Johnson threw 50 of 74 pitches for strikes and was in complete command, improving to 6-3 on the season and lowering his ERA to 2.60. Pawtucket allowed just one baserunner the entire game, a single in the eighth inning. Miguel Celestino added 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Heath Hembree picked up his sixth save for his 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work out of the bullpen.

It was also a quiet night offensively for the PawSox, who plated their lone run of the game in the second, when Deven Marrero laced an RBI single that brought home Allen Craig.


Offense was the name of the game on both sides as the teams combined for 22 runs on 30 hits. Sea Dogs starter Luis Diaz allowed eight runs on six hits and four walks in just 2 1/3 innings. Pat Light added 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to close out the game for his third save of the season. 

Portland scored a singular run in each of the first five innings and exploded for seven runs in the seventh. Every member of the Sea Dogs lineup had at least one hit, led by Keury De La Cruz who was 4 for 6 with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBI. Marco Hernandez was 3 for 6 with three doubles, two runs scored and three RBI from the leadoff spot. Blake Tekotte added a solo home run in fourth inning, his third of the season. 


Trey Ball dropped to 3-5 as he allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Kuehl McEachern added 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief out of the bullpen. German Taveres also pitched a clean inning of relief.

Jose Vinicio led off the game with a triple and was brought home on a Tzu-Wei Lin RBI ground out, giving the Red Sox a very early 1-0 advantage. Down 3-1 in the fifth, Sam Travis' RBI double pulled Salem to within a run. The Red Sox would tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth on a Jordan Betts RBI single. The lead wouldn't hold up long as the Keys plated two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a two run lead. In the eighth, Salem pulled to within a run again on a Denier Lopez RBI single. The rally was quashed with a runner at third base, as the Red Sox came up short.

The loss broke a five game winning streak for the Red Sox who currently sit 5.5 games back of first place Myrtle Beach. 


It was a tough night on the mound for the Drive, as they combined to allow 10 runs on 19 hits. Dedgar Jimenez fell to 3-2 as he allowed five runs on 11 hits and a walk in four innings of work. Williams Jerez added three innings of relief, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk. Mario Alcantara had by far his worst outing of the season, allowing three runs on four hits in his lone inning out of the bullpen.

The Drive were just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Derek Miller was 1 for 3 with an RBI single, and Jordan Procyshen was 2 for 3 with an RBI single. 


Player of the Night: Brian Johnson continues to dominate Triple-A batters, adding to his superb season by hurling six perfect innings against Louisville.  The 24-year-old left-hander was in complete command Friday night, striking out nine and tossing 50 of his 74 pitches for strikes. The 2012 first round pick now sits at 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 10 starts this season for Pawtucket. 

Photo Credit: Brian Johnson by Kelly O'Connor