June 1, 2015 at 7:00 AM
6/1 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox and Sea Dogs struggled to score runs, but the Drive had a great day on both sides of the ball and racked up 15 runs. Jackie Bradley Jr. (pictured, right) was on base often for Pawtucket, but they were unable to string hits together to push across runs. The Red Sox got production from all over their lineup to edge out a win.
Justin Masterson’s rehab start for the PawSox did not go well. Masterson lasted just an inning and two-thirds, allowing three runs (two earned) on three walks and two hits. He threw 50 pitches and uncorked two wild pitches.
“The first inning, I felt tremendous,” Masterson told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. “The second inning, physically, I felt good, but mechanically, not so much -- rushing, drifting, everything was going out. Everything started getting behind. I was yanking sinkers. Up until that point, it was great.”
Offensively, Jackie Bradley Jr. is still swinging a hot bat as he reached base four times on Sunday with three singles and a walk. The PawSox’ only run came on Travis Shaw’s fifth home run of the season. Shaw finished 2 for 3 with a walk.
The Sea Dogs mustered just three hits against Thunder pitching. Oscar Tejada, who has been struggling as of late, went 2 for 4 with two singles. Jantzen Witte reached base twice with a walk and a single in three plate appearances.
Joe Gunkel pitched well for Portland, going five innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. Reliever Jorge Marban allowed just one hit in his two innings of work, but walked three. Simon Mercedes had an interesting eighth inning, walking the bases loaded but escaping unscathed after striking out two.
The Red Sox saw good production from the top of the lineup, as leadoff man Jose Vinicio went 2 for 5 with a run and Tzu-Wei Lin went 2 for 4 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Cole Sturgeon had two hits and a RBI on the day.
Starter Kevin McAvoy earned the win, but allowed five runs (four hits) on eight hits and a walk. The Red Sox bullpen was stellar, as Taylor Grover tossed 2 ⅔ scoreless frames, permitting just two hits. Austin Maddox notched his eighth save, giving up one hit in the ninth.
The Drive offense exploded on Sunday for 15 runs on 14 hits, including six runs over the last three innings of the game. Right fielder Nick Longhi was the star, going 4 for 4 with a home run (his third of the season), driving in four runs and scoring twice. Leadoff man Mauricio Dubon also homered and drove in four runs, scoring three times. Rafael Devers went 2 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs, while shortstop Javier Guerra hit a two-run home run, and Derek Miller drove in two runs with a double.
It wasn’t just the offense that was firing on all cylinders for Greenville as Jake Drehoff made his first start of the season, going three innings and allowing just three hits. He didn’t walk anyone and stuck out two. Brandon Show made his first appearance of the season and earned the win, tossing four innings of two-hit ball. Michael Gunn allowed two hits and a walk in two innings of work.
Player of the day: With a three-hit day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. has boosted his average to .352 on the season and owns a .406 OBP in 30 games this season. Bradley is hitting .390 over his last 10 games, and has reached base safely in 15 straight Triple-A games, hitting safely in 13 of those.
Photo credit: Jackie Bradley Jr. by Kelly O'Connor