August 29, 2015 at 7:12 AM
8/29 Cup of Coffee: It was a strong night on the farm, as five out of six affiliates in action took home victories. Greenville's victory propelled them forward in the wild card race while Lowell's loss further dimmed their chances of playoff dreams. Pawtucket remained hot and Salem's offense came alive in their win over Potomac.
A late Buffalo rally could not overcome a strong offensive performance from the PawSox. William Cuevas moved to 2-2 as he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks, punching out six, in 5 2/3 innings. Robby Scott allowed four runs on five hits in just 2 1/3 innings of relief. Noe Ramirez picked up his third save, tossing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Every member of the Pawtucket starting lineup, with the exception of Allen Craig, had at least one hit. Sandy Leon, Chris Marrero, Marco Hernandez, and Jonathan Roof each had two hits in the 12-hit attack. The PawSox have now won five in a row, matching their season's best stretch.
Pitching was the name of the game for the Sea Dogs, as Aaron Wilkerson tossed five shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a pair of walks while striking out six. Madison Younginer and Kyle Martin each added two scoreless innings of relief out of the bullpen. The game was scoreless until the fifth, when Cole Sturgeon's RBI double put Portland out in front. In the eighth, a sacrifice fly from Sam Travis, and back-to-back RBI singles from Tim Roberson and Carlos Asuaje gave the Sea Dogs a 3-0 lead. Roberson was 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, leading the Portland offense. The game was initially delayed due to a fire truck from a pre-game ceremony that tore up grass in the outfield.
Daniel McGrath pitched well in his six innings of work, allowing a run on two hits and two walks, striking out four. Mike Adams added two scoreless innings of relief. Taylor Grover hurled the final frame without allowing a run, despite allowing two walks. Salem took full advantage of two costly errors by Potomac in the first to grab a 2-0 advantage. In the second, a Mauricio Dubon RBI single, and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch allowed the Red Sox to extend their lead, 4-0. In the sixth, Dubon scampered home on a wild pitch to give Salem an additional insurance run. The Red Sox really broke open their lead in the seventh, plating three runs on an RBI double from Dubon, a Wendell Rijo RBI triple, and an RBI single from Forrestt Allday. Dubon was the star for Salem, going 3 for 4 with four runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI from the top of the order.
The Drive rallied late to pick up the victory and move half a game ahead of Savannah for the Southern Division's Wild Card spot with ten games left in the season. Jalen Beeks got the start, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk in five innings of work. Jamie Callahan (pictured, above) relieved Beeks and was lights out in his four dominant innings out of the bullpen. Callahan allowed just one hit and struck out eight. Down 3-0 in the second, Joseph Monge's RBI double brought Greenville to within one, 3-2. In the fourth, a David Sopilka RBI single tied the game, 3-3. Down by one in the seventh, the Drive rallied to bring home three runs on a Rafael Devers RBI double, and RBI singles from Andrew Benintendi and Javier Guerra. Yoan Moancada stole his 45th base of the season, good for third-most in the South Atlantic League.
Lowell's playoff chances grew dimmer as their loss to Connecticut dropped them into a second place tie with Connecticut, 2.5 games back of first place Tri-City with ten games to play. The Tigers would get all they needed in the first, capitalizing on an error and a wild pitch. Austin Glorius took the loss despite tossing six strong innings. Glorius allowed just an unearned run on two hits and three walks, striking out six. Michael Gunn added two scoreless innings of relief. The Spinners are hitting just .186 over their last ten contests.
With the Red Sox gearing up for the playoffs, they received strong pitching in a 1-0 victory over the Twins. Mark Brakeman made his professional debut, allowing two hits in his lone inning of work. Gerson Bautista picked up the victory, hurling five shutout innings, allowing just a hit and three walks. The lone run of the game came in the third on an RBI single from Andy Perez.
Player of the Night: Jamie Callahan, who tossed four stellar innings of relief, allowing just one hit and striking out eight in Greenville's crucial 6-4 victory over Greensboro. After compiling a 9.14 ERA in 6 starts earlier in the season, Callahan has seemingly found a home as a reliever. The 21-year-old right-hander has gone 6-3 with a 3.49 ERA, striking out over a batter an inning in 59 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Photo Credit: Jamie Callahan by Kelly O'Connor.