June 8, 2015 at 7:00 AM
6/8 Cup of Coffee: Garin Cecchini (pictured, right) had a huge hit for the PawSox as they got production from up and down their lineup. But offense was scarce for some, as the Sea Dogs dropped their fourth straight contest and were shut out for the second consecutive night. The Drive pushed across one run and stranded nine men on base. A standout performance in relief helped Salem squeak out a win against Potomac.
The PawSox got to Doug Fister for seven hits and two runs in his 3 2/3 innings of work. Deven Marrero drove in the only earned run against Fister with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. Marrero finished 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Garin Cecchini had the biggest hit of the day, smacking the second grand slam of his professional career and second home run of the season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled twice atop the PawSox lineup, boosting his average back up to .340 after a hitless day on Saturday. Allen Craig continues to hit well, going 2 for 5 with a run scored.
Keith Couch shut down the Chiefs offense, tossing seven innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and three walks, punching out four. Couch earned his third victory of the season, improving to 3-6 on the year. Noe Ramirez fired a perfect ninth, striking out a pair.
Oscar Tejeda did all he could to attempt to ignite the Sea Dogs' lineup, going 3 for 4 with a double, his first multi-hit game since May 13. Other than that, no member of the lineup had more than one hit, and no one drew a walk.
Starter William Cuevas allowed four of the runs, giving up seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out seven. Cuevas had gone 84 straight innings without allowing a home run (a streak that dates back to June 22, 2014), but gave up two on Sunday.
Red Sox starter Denny Bautista wasn't sharp on Sunday, but pitched well enough to earn his second win. He allowed five earned runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings. The real star, at least pitching-wise, for Salem was Taylor Grover, who gave his team the chance to win with three nearly spotless innings of relief. He allowed just one baserunner on a walk and struck out three, earning his first save of the season.
Offensively, catcher Jake Romanski went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Manuel Margot drove in two runs from the top of the lineup with a triple, his fifth of the year, and a single. Sam Travis, Wendell Rijo and Jordan Betts had two hits apiece. Travis has hit .455 over his last 10 games.
Michael Kopech's outing did not last long for Greenville, as the starter went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk. But the Drive bullpen combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. Michael Gunn didn't allow a hit in his 1 2/3 innings, walking two and fanning three. Carlos Pinales went three frames, allowing just one baserunner on a single. He struck out four.
Yoan Moncada broke out of a hitless drought with a 2-for-4 day. Moncada had been hitless in his last 10 at-bats prior to Sunday. The 20-year-old also made an error at second base, his eighth error in 15 games. Derek Miller had a big day from the top of the order, going 3 for 5 with the team's lone RBI. The Drive had 10 hits on the afternoon, but none went for extra bases.
Player of the day: Garin Cecchini has struggled at the plate the entire season and hadn't had a hit with the bases loaded in six at-bats before his grand slam on Sunday, so the blast had to be a confidence booster for the 24-year-old. It was also the first game in 2015 in which Cecchini drove in multiple runs, and with one swing of the bat he more than doubled his RBIs on the season (from three to seven).
Photo credit: Garin Cecchini by Kelly O'Connor