August 10, 2015 at 7:00 AM
8/10 Cup of coffee: Offense was hard to come by for the Red Sox farm teams on Sunday. Actually, solid pitching was pretty hard to come by as well, as all five teams in action on Sunday were dealt losses. Mookie Betts' brief return to the Sea Dogs on a rehab assignment may have been the biggest news of the day, but Manuel Margot (pictured left) returned to the Portland lineup with a bang. Meanwhile, Trey Ball struggled mightily in Salem and Williams Jerez was roughed up in a rare ugly outing.
The PawSox' losing streak reached seven games as they were unable to generate much offense on Sunday, collecting just three hits across the board. Jonathan Roof drove in the team's only run on a solo home run, his first of the season, and just the team's third home run in their last 18 games. Jemile Weeks reached base twice with a single and a walk.
Zeke Spruill made his ninth start of the season and took the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk, fanning five. Reliever Pat Light had an unusual outing, throwing two scoreless, hitless innings and striking out four batters, but walking three. Walks have been a bit of an issue for Light with Pawtucket, and he's averaging just under one per inning.
Manuel Margot returned to the Sea Dogs lineup and provided much of the offense for the Sea Dogs, going 3 for 4 with three doubles, a run scored and RBI. But his day may have been overshadowed by Mookie Betts' rehab assignment, as he went 2 for 4 with a solo home run in his one game back with the Sea Dogs. He'll return to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
But despite the best efforts of Betts and Margot, they just couldn't dig the team out of the hole the pitching staff dug. Mike McCarthy went just four innings and struggled with command, walking four and allowing three runs on four hits. Mike Augliera allowed two runs in his two innings of work, and Williams Jerez had a tough outing, recording only one out and allowing five runs on five hits and a walk.
Trey Ball struggled through one of his worst outings of the season, giving up six runs on eight hits and lasting just four innings. It's the first time in nearly two months Ball has been unable to go more than four innings, and the six earned runs tie a season-high for him. Reliever Brandon Show did not fare much better, permitting four runs on seven hits in his two innings of work.
That left a big deficit for the Salem offense. They scored three runs in the eighth on a double from Cole Sturgeon, a bases-loaded walk from Jordan Procyshen and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jordan Betts. Mauricio Dubon went 2 for 4 with a walk and Deiner Lopez added two singles from the leadoff spot. Zach Kapstein reached three times with two hits and a walk.
The Drive scored three runs in the top of the sixth and headed into the bottom of the frame with a 4-1 lead, but starter Ben Taylor gave up two hits and a walk and reliever Carlos Pinales allowed two inherited runners and a runner of his own to give Lexington the lead and eventual win. It was Pinales' third blown save and fourth loss of the season.
The Drive took advantage of five walks and a huge bases-clearing double from catcher David Sopilka in the sixth. Rafael Devers drove in the other run, going 2 for 5 with two singles. Joseph Monge went 1 for 3 with a double, and Yoan Moncada was hitless, but walked twice.
The Spinners got some offense from the bottom of their order, with Austin Rei belting his second home run of the season, a solo shot, in a 2-for-4 day, and Aneudis Peralta going 3 for 3 from the nine hole. Other than that, offense was scarce for Lowell, with just three hits spread throughout the rest of the lineup.
Austin Glorius, a new addition to the Spinners roster, made his first start (second appearance) and lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits (including two home runs) and two walks. New York-Penn League All-Star Edwar Garcia, the only Spinners pitcher named to the team, was roughed up in his inning and a third, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks.
Player of the day: Manuel Margot missed four games after being hit with a pitch in the arm on Tuesday night, and he made his presence known with a big day at the plate. And perhaps the 20-year-old needed a spark, since he'd been slumping to the tune of a .197 average over his last 15 games. Margot has now hit 19 doubles, 13 with Portland, in 83 games this season. Also noteworthy about Margot's day is the fact that he made the start in right field, just his third career start at that position and first since July 12, 2012 in the DSL.
Photo credit: Manuel Margot by Kelly O'Connor