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June 10, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Trey Ball breaks out, Owens struggles again

6/10 Cup of Coffee: It was a tale of two nights for former first-round picks, as Trey Ball (pictured, left) had the best start of his career, while Henry Owens had another frustrating outing. Edwin Escobar made his season debut as he works his way back from an elbow injury, and Tzu-Wei Lin reached base seven times over two games. 


Charlotte Knights (CWS) 4, Pawtucket Red Sox 2
Henry Owens struggled with his control again, walking four in five innings, while allowing four runs on three hits. The walk totals continue to rack up for Owens, who now has 42 walks in 64 1/3 innings. Jonathan Aro and Heath Hembree each continued their strong seasons, as they combined to allow only three hits over four scoreless innings.

Of Pawtucket's six hits, five came from the bottom of the order, with Mike Miller's two doubles leading the charge. Matt Spring also added two hits while Sean Coyle and Quintin Berry notched singles. 


It was another rough night for Justin Haley, as he picked up his eighth loss of the season. Haley walked four and allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings, but Portland's bullpen was able to keep the team in the game. Kyle Kraus tossed three shutout innings, and Jorge Marban threw a scoreless ninth. Sea Dogs broadcaster Mike Antonellis noted during the game that the Sea Dogs bullpen has now allowed only one run over their last 32 2/3 innings, though Pat Light accounted for a good portion of those innings and he is now heading up to Pawtucket

Jantzen Witte led the offense once again, going 2 for 3 with a walk and two RBI, and Marco Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Carlos Asuaje also drove in a run with an RBI double in the third inning. 


It was the best win of the year for Salem, as they came out firing on all cylinders in the first game of a doubleheader. The big story was Trey Ball, who set a career high with nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Ball allowed only two hits and two walks, and all nine of his strikeouts were swinging. Mike Adams recorded the last four outs to preserve the shutout. 

Salem entered the game without having a three-run home run or grand slam on the season, but they hit both in this game. Franklin Guzman launched the grand slam, while Jordan Betts hit the three-run shot. Tzu-Wei Lin raised his average by 16 points, going 4 for 5 with a triple, while Wendell Rijo went 3 for 4 with a walk. Guzman and Betts each added a hit and a walk in addition to their home runs, and Sam Travis and Manuel Margot each had multi-hit days as well. Margot is now 11 for 33 in his return from the disabled list.

Salem Red Sox 3, Lynchburg Hillcats 2 (Game Two)
The pitching was fantastic again in the second game, with Aaron Wilkerson going the first five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits over five innings. German Taveras earned the victory by throwing three shutout innings, walking one and striking out four without surrendering a hit.

The go-ahead run scored in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly from Guzman, and Lin went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Rijo also added two more hits, and Mario Martinez notched a hit and a walk.


Augusta GreenJackets (SFG) 5, Greenville Drive 4
On a night when almost one-third of the team was elected to the All-Star game, the Drive fell to the GreenJackets. Edwin Escobar, who has missed the entire season with elbow inflammation, made his first rehab start, tossing one shutout inning. Reed Reilly followed with 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball, striking out five without walking a batter.

Down by three in the ninth, Javier Guerra hit a two-run single, but he was stranded at first base. Jordan Procyshen went 2 for 4, and Mauricio Dubon had a triple and a walk. Yoan Moncada was the designated hitter, and went 0 for 3 with a walk. 


A nine-run sixth inning doomed the Red Sox as they dropped to 3-5 on the season. Eduard Bazardo only lasted 1 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out three while allowing three runs. Marcos Lantigua was roughed up, allowing six runs while recording only two outs, and he has now allowed multiple runs in all three of his appearances this season. 

The Red Sox managed only six hits on the day, and are hitting only .230 as a team this season. Hemerson Serven was the only player to record multiple hits, going 2 for 4 with a double. Luis Yovera came in to the game as a pinch-hitter and got only two at-bats, but he made them count, collecting a triple and a walk. 

Down by eight entering the bottom of the ninth, the second Red Sox squad made a valiant comeback attempt, but ultimately fell three runs short. Carlos Caceres was hit hard, giving up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, but the bullpen kept the Mets affiliate at bay. Ryan Oduber struck out four in his three scoreless innings and Ritzi Mendoza struck out four. 

The Red Sox managed to get the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Juan Barriento flew out to center field to end it. Carlos Pulido, Lorenzo Cedrola, and Stanley Espinal all drove in runs in the ninth. 


Player of the Night: With the Red Sox picking seventh in the Draft this past Monday, there was lots of discussion about the up-and-down career of Trey Ball, who was drafted seventh overall in 2013. While Ball has not been as dominant as some fans have hoped, he turned in the best start of his career last night. Striking out a career high nine batters, Ball extended his scoreless streak to 11 2/3 innings, and he has now pitched to a 1.65 ERA over his last 27 1/3 innings. 

Photo Credit: Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor