May 8, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Cup of Coffee 5/8: Luke Montz hit a game-tying home run in the eighth, while Quintin Berry drove in the winning run for Pawtucket in the ninth in a come-from-behind victory on Thursday. Jantzen Witte (pictured, left) collected three hits in a Portland loss, while Salem and Greenville each fell in extra innings.
The PawSox scored six unanswered runs to erase an early deficit in a dramatic win over Toledo. Pawtucket battled back after a rough second inning for Keith Couch, who allowed five runs in that frame. Pawtucket pitching only allowed three hits from that point on, with Noe Ramirez, Miguel Celestino and Zeke Spruill combining for five innings of scoreless relief. Spruill picked up the victory, his third, striking out three in two innings.
Jackie Bradley Jr. got the comeback started in the top of the third with his third home run of the season. He drove in a second run on a RBI double in the seventh to pull the PawSox within one. He finished the night 2 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored. Luke Montz tied the game in the eight on a solo shot to left and Quintin Berry drove in Sean Coyle to put Pawtucket up for good. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored.
It was a frustrating night for the Sea Dogs, who lost despite racking up 14 hits and two Binghamton errors. Portland left 10 men on base and went 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Pat Light surrendered the game-winning hit with two outs in the ninth inning, despite working 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief until that moment. Robby Scott was charged with a blown save, surrendering a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth.
Jantzen Witte and Blake Tekotte each collected three hits in the game with Tekotte driving in a pair. Oscar Tejeda went 2 for 5 with one RBI and Jonathan Roof also added a pair of hits
Salem fell in a pitchers' duel, with Austin Maddox surrendering a walk-off home run to the first batter he faced in the 10th inning. Salem pitchers Daniel McGrath (5 2/3 IP) and German Taveras (3 1/3 IP) allowed only one hit apiece, but had to work around a combined 10 walks. Despite the control issues, McGrath only allowed one unearned run in his outing. He lowered his ERA to 1.88 and struck out four.
Manuel Margot continued to slump, going 0 for 4. He has just five hits in his last 37 at-bats and just one RBI in that span. Tzu-Wei Lin, Mario Martinez and Franklin Guzman were the only Salem players to collect a hit in the game.
Despite a dramatic bottom of the ninth to tie the game and bringing the winning run to the plate in the 11th, Greenville fell in extra innings. Trailing by three in the ninth, Mike Meyers drove in two on a RBI single. Marucio Dubon followed with the game-tying single, but Greenville could not push across the winning run. Leadoff hitter Derek Miller went 3 for 6 with a double and one RBI. The Drive had plenty of chances to put Savannah away, but left 11 men on base.
Michael Kopech lasted just 2 2/3 innings, throwing 66 pitches in his outing. He allowed two earned rund, struck out three and walked two. Reed Riley provided 5 1/3 innings of relief, allowing eight hits, two runs, and striking out four. Kuehl McEachern was charged with the loss.
Player of the Night: First baseman Jantzen Witte put the Sea Dogs in position to win with his 3 for 4 day, but his teammates were unable to capitalise. Witte had two doubles and a run scored. The 2013 24th round draft pick now has a .368/.421/.547 slash line in 25 games for Portland this year.
Photo Credit: Jantzen Witte by Kelly O'Connor