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June 20, 2015 at 7:26 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lowell opens with a bang, Peguero powers Pawtucket

6/20 Cup of Coffee: It was a great day for the affiliates, as they won six out of seven contests. Lowell opened up its 2015 campaign with a victory in an offensive battle, while Pawtucket, Portland, and Salem all used the home run ball to their advantage on Friday. The DSL squads continued to go in opposite directions as the DSL Sox continued their losing streak while the DSL2 squad improved to 13-5.


A five run third inning helped the PawSox snap their five game losing streak. Brian Johnson improved to 8-4 despite allowing five runs (four earned) on ten hits in six innings of work. Jonathan Aro was impressive in relief, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out five in three innings out of the bullpen. Aro earned his first save as a member of the PawSox. Pawtucket took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a Carlos Peguero two-run home run. The Braves quickly responded and tied the game in the bottom of the second inning.

In the third, Allen Craig roped an RBI single and Peguero smashed a grand slam, giving Pawtucket a comfortable 7-2 advantage. Peguero, playing in just his second game with the PawSox, was 3 for 5 with a pair of home runs and six runs batted in. Craig's single extended his hitting streak to seven games.


Four Sea Dogs pitchers combined to shut out Reading for the second time this season.The victory snapped Portland's four game losing streak. Justin Haley picked up his first victory since mid-May by hurling six innings, allowing just five hits and two walks. The Sea Dogs bullpen combined for three scoreless innings of relief, with Jorge Marban tossing a scoreless ninth to pick up his third save. David Chester opened the scoring for Portland in the second by hitting a solo home run, his fifth of the season. An RBI ground out off the bat of Jantzen Witte and an RBI single from Aneury Tavarez in the seventh accounted for the additional Portland runs. 


Trey Ball hurled six solid innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks as the Red Sox won their fourth straight. Salem took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly from Kevin Heller. In the third, the red-hot Sam Travis laced an RBI double and Yoilan Cerse added a two-run home run (the first of his professional career) to give Salem a 4-2 advantage. In the sixth, Manuel Margot gave the Red Sox a bit of a cushion, lacing an RBI single to center. Travis was 2 for 4 with an RBI, stolen base and run scored. The first baseman is now hitting .403/.471/.629 in 16 games during the month of June. 


Reed Reilly improved to 4-3 as he tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Ryan Harris collected his second save, adding two perfect innings of relief. Mauricio Dubon, Rafael Devers, Mike Meyers, Jordan Procyschen, Carlos Mesa, and Joseph Monge each had two hits for the Drive. Devers hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth inning, his second in the last three games. The win kept the Drive in a first-place tie with Savannah (NYM) with two games remaining in the South Atlantic League's first half. The Sand Gnats hold the tiebreaker, so in order to claim the first-half crown and clinch a post-season playoff spot, the Drive need to either win both of their games this weekend and hope Savannah loses one, or split the weekend with Savannah losing both contests.


The Spinners opened their 2015 campaign with a bang, winning an offensive tussle with a big nine run second inning. Lowell starter Luis Ramos did not pitch well, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out six in just 2 2/3 innings of work. Brandon Show collected the win, allowing just two hits and two walks in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

The Spinners wasted no time getting on the board, plating runs on a wild pitch and a Josh Ockimey (pictured, above) RBI double in the first inning. In the second, four wild pitches allowed Lowell to push across two of their runs, with a costly error giving the Spinners another gifted run. Bryan Hudson and Jeremy Rivera added RBI singles, and Ockimey's RBI triple and Victor Acosta's RBI double accounted for the remaining three runs. Ockimey was 3 for 5 with two doubles, a triple, and four RBI on the evening.


DSL Giants (SF) 4, DSL Red Sox 2
The DSL Red Sox dropped to 5-12, losing their fifth straight. Junior Espinoza took the loss, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings of work. All the Red Sox scoring came in the third inning, when Samuel Miranda lofted a sacrifice fly, and Hemerson Serven laced an RBI double. Marino Campana was the only member of the Red Sox to have multiple hits, going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles.

DSL Red Sox2 4, DSL Tigers (DET) 3
After a slow start offensively, the Red Sox charged back with a four run eighth inning, handing them their sixth straight win. Darwinzon Hernandez received the start for the Red Sox, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks in four innings of work. Ritzi Mendoza picked up his second victory of the season, adding two flawless inning of relief.

After being held scoreless through seven innings, the Red Sox took advantage of a costly error in the eighth, plating three runs on a fielding mishap by the Tigers third baseman. The fourth run of the inning would come on a run scoring fielder's choice off the bat of Rafael Toribio.


Player of the Night: Carlos Peguero had a monster night in just his second game with Pawtucket. The 28-year-old outfielder was 3 for 5 with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, bringing home a total of six runs on the evening. Acquired earlier this year from Texas, Peguero has had impressive power throughout his ten year minor league career, hitting 30 home runs last year as a member of the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers (KC). 

Photo Credit: Josh Ockimey by Kelly O'Connor