SoxProspects News

July 24, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Owens solid again, Portland stages comeback


7/24 Cup of Coffee: Almost the entire Red Sox farm system played in tight games on Thursday, with six matchups decided by two or fewer runs. Henry Owens (pictured, right) authored another quality start, but settled for a no-decision. Portland staged a dramatic comeback that was sparked by Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje and ultimately won by Tzu-Wei Lin. Salem got a bounce-back start from Ty Buttrey, but it was his relief that was most impressive in the Sox win. Javier Guerra clubbed his fifth home run of the month in Greenville's loss. The GCL bullpen spoiled a fantastic start by Gerson Bautista.

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Pawtucket bats went quiet after the first inning, as Norfolk scored five unanswered runs to down the Sox. The first four PawSox batters of the game reached base with Allen Craig and Humberto Quintero each providing two-run doubles. That would be all the offense Pawtucket could muster with only Travis Shaw (2 for 4, double) getting past first base for the rest of the game. Henry Owens continued to put his control problems behind him with a quality start (6 IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 6K). Owens now has eight starts in a row in which he has allowed two or fewer walks. Unfortunately for Owens, he also settled for his tenth no-decision of the season as a result of a blown save from Jonathan Aro. He surrendered a two-out double in the seventh that proved to the be the difference.

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The Sea Dogs snatched a victory from the brink of defeat on a wild, four-run ninth-inning comeback. Portland finally broke through in what had been a frustrating game where the team stranded seven runners in scoring position and 12 overall. Manuel Margot got the comeback started with a one-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Asuaje followed that up with the game-tying double to plate Margot. Two walks and a strikeout later, Tzu-Wei Lin laced a walk-off single to center scoring Asuaje. Luis Diaz battled through 6 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing three runs on six hits with two walks and a strike out. Jorge Marban picked up the win in relief with a hitless ninth.

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The Red Sox got a solid start from Ty Buttrey and stellar relief courtesy of Kyle Kraus in a tight victory over Wilmington. Buttrey battled through five innings, allowing six hits and three walks, but only allowed one run and struck out two. Buttrey was able to strand five Blue Rocks runners in scoring position in his outing. Kraus was nearly perfect in four innings of relief, allowing just one hit and one walk, while striking out six to earn the win. The 25-year-old Kraus has not allowed a run in five outings (10 1/3 IP) for Salem, but struggled at Double-A with a 4.59 ERA in 49 innings for Portland. Back-to-back RBI singles by Mauricio Dubon and Forrestt Allday in the seventh snapped the 1-1 tie in Salem's favor for good.

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Javier Guerra crushed a go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning, but Greenville could not hold on. Reed Reilly gave up the game-tying triple in the bottom of the inning. He then followed that with a hit batsman, a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and the go-ahead single in the seventh. Greenville was able to get the tying run into scoring position and the go-ahead run on first in the ninth, but Deiner Lopez grounded into the game-ending 4-6-3 double play. Yoan Moncada had his eight-game hitting streak snapped with a 0-for-5 night. Center fielder Bryan Hudson was the only Drive player with a multi-hit game, going 3 for 4 with a run scored. Augusta pitching struck out 10 Drive batters.

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The Spinners also struggled with strikeouts, fanning 10 times against Tri-City pitching. Chad De La Guerra drove in both of Lowell's runs in the first inning on a two-run double. Andrew Benintendi went 1 for 4 and was gunned down at the plate trying to score the third run on De La Guerra's double. Tate Matheny went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored. Luis Ramos pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Randy Perez was charged with the loss.

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GCL Rays 6, GCL Red Sox 2
A late collapse by the Red Sox bullpen spoiled an outstanding outing by Gerson Bautista. The 20-year-old Dominican righty threw six innings of scoreless ball, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out three. A disastrous eighth and ninth inning pitched by Brad Stone and Yankory Pimintel doomed the Sox, as the Rays scored all six runs on seven hits and three walks in the final two frames. The Red Sox runs scored thanks to two walks and three consecutive wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth. The Sox were held to four hits on the game, striking out 11 times as a team.

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DSL Orioles2 4, DSL Red Sox1 0 (10 inn.)

A scoreless pitcher's duel stretched into the tenth before the first DSL team finally fell to the Orioles. Jose Zacarias mowed down Orioles hitters, striking out 10 in five innings pitched. Zacarias did not give up a run, allowing just one hit and walking one. The Red Sox offense could not support his outing, though, as the team was held to just two hits. Roberto Medina took the loss after surrendering the game's only runs in the 10th.

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DSL Mets2 6, DSL Red Sox2 4
A rough seventh inning outing for Ritzi Mendoza sank the second DSL team. He was perfect through his first three innings of relief, but then allowed five runs on five hits and a walk in the seventh. Darwinzon Hernandez lasted three innings in the start, giving up just one unearned run on two hits while walking three and striking out four. Lorenzo Cedrola went 1 for 5 with one RBI. Left fielder Rafael Toribio had the lone multi-hit game for the Red Sox, going 3 for 4. Red Sox hitters struck out 11 times.

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Player of the Night: No one had a spectacular day, but Henry Owens spun his third straight quality start and seventh in his last eight outings. Owens also threw his most pitches in an outing this season with 106 (74 for strikes). After struggling with walks to start the season, Owens has given up just 13 walks in his last eight starts dating back to June 14. He also has been racking up the strikeouts, with 49 over that same span.


Photo Credit: Henry Owens by Kelly O'Connor
 

 
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