May 13, 2015 at 7:00 AM
5/13 Cup of Coffee: Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, and Garin Cecchini all had two hits in a walk-off victory for the PawSox, while Daniel McGrath (pictured) continued his torrid start to the season for Salem. Greenville had an impressive team victory, with strong performances from both the pitching staff and the offense, while Pat Light had another successful outing out of the Portland bullpen.
It was a deflating loss for Indianapolis, as Rusney Castillo hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Castillo laced a line drive off the left field wall that scored Luke Montz, who had singled to lead off the inning. Castillo finished the game 2 for 5 with a double. Allen Craig also added two hits and a double in his first action with the PawSox, though he also committed an error at first base that led to an unearned run.
Keith Couch turned in his best start of the season, as he was touched up for only one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings. Dalier Hinojosa and Dayan Diaz combined to throw four innings of scoreless relief, with Dana Eveland coming on to bail Diaz out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th.
In his first game back since straining his groin two weeks ago, Justin Haley picked up his fourth loss of the season, as the Sea Dogs were doubled up by the Thunder. After struggling mightily with his control over his first five appearances this season, Haley walked only two over five innings on Tuesday, but he was roughed up for four runs on six hits. Pat Light was the lone bright spot for the Portland pitching staff, throwing another scoreless inning to move his ERA to an even 1.00 over his last seven games.
Jantzen Witte reached base two times via a single and a walk, Reed Gragnani went 2 for 4, and Oscar Tejeda laced a two-run triple to lead the offense.
Salem's bullpen could not hold onto a four-run lead, spoiling a magnificent performance by Daniel McGrath. McGrath went the first six innings, allowing only one run on two hits while striking out nine. He departed with a 5-1 lead, but German Taveras and Austin Maddox combined to allow six runs on eight hits over the final three innings.
Mario Martinez and Aneury Tavarez provided plenty of power for Salem, with Martinez launching a home run and Tavarez slugging two doubles. Kevin Heller also added two hits and scored two runs, while Sam Travis went 1 for 3 with a walk.
While there is no word as to why Michael Kopech was scratched from his scheduled start, Reed Reilly tossed an absolute gem in his place. The 6-foot-4 right-hander threw six shutout innings, allowing only two hits and one walk while striking out three, dropping his ERA to 2.73 over 29 2/3 innings. Williams Jerez was just as impressive out of the bullpen, completing the shutout with three innings of two-hit ball, while inducing seven groundouts.
The offense did more than enough to support the pitching, notching 11 hits, five of which went for extra bases. Ben Moore and Derek Miller each had three hits including a double, while Javier Guerra went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. Michael Chavis also added a double, though both he and Rafael Devers struck out three times. Carlos Mesa hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to seal the victory.
Player of the Night: Daniel McGrath tied a career high with nine strikeouts as he continued his blazing start to the season. After allowing one run in six innings last night, McGrath's ERA now sits at 1.80, and in his last four starts he has thrown 22 2/3 innings with 26 strikeouts while allowing only one earned run. While his walk total is still high (5.4 per nine innings) and his batting average on balls in play is well under .200, the Australian left-hander has had great success so far in 2015.
Photo Credit: Daniel McGrath by Kelly O'Connor