August 2, 2015 at 7:00 AM
8/2 Cup of Coffee: It was a crazy night for a handful of the minor league affiliates, with the PawSox and Spinners mounting comebacks en route to one-run victories and Salem riding an offensive barrage to an eight-run blowout. Lowell first baseman Josh Ockimey (pictured) finished a home run short of the cycle, while Pawtucket first baseman Marco Hernandez' three-run home run in the top of the ninth helped his team overcome a three-run deficit entering the inning.
The PawSox scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to overcome a 6-3 Buffalo lead, and then weathered a Bisons rally to secure a wild victory. Home runs from shortstop Deven Marrero and third baseman Marco Hernandez were the catalysts for the ninth-inning explosion, with Hernandez' three-run shot giving the Red Sox an 8-6 lead after left fielder Garin Cecchini's RBI single shortened Buffalo's lead to one run. Marrero finished the night 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Hernandez went 1 for 4 with four RBI. Cecchini went 1 for 4 and chipped in three RBI of his own.
Right-hander Keith Couch was a punching bag through five innings of work, allowing five runs on eight hits and walking two against two punchouts. Reliever Heath Hembree turned things around with a scoreless inning before making way for right-hander Pat Light, who earned the win after allowing one run on one hit across two frames. Right-hander Jonathan Aro – who was optioned from Boston earlier in the day – earned his second save of the season, allowing one run on three hits and striking out one.
The Sea Dogs dropped their fourth game in their last five after failing to complete a comeback against Harrisburg. Down by one run entering the bottom of the ninth, Portland ended the night in anticlimactic fashion, going three-up-three-down to seal the loss. The Senators jumped out to an early lead thanks to a rough outing from starter Danny Rosenbaum, who dropped to 0-3 after allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and a career-high six walks in three innings of work. Harrisburg's two-run top of the first included a wild pitch from Rosenbaum and a throwing error from right fielder Aneury Tavarez. Right-hander Mike Augliera entered in the top of the fourth and gave the Sea Dogs more than a fighting chance, tossing four perfect innings complete with four strikeouts.
First baseman Sam Travis extended his hitting streak to nine games after finishing 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Designated hitter Tim Roberson went 1 for 4 with an RBI double, while left fielder Keury De La Cruz finished 1 for 4 with a triple and a run scored. Catcher Luis Martinez went 1 for 4 with an RBI, which came in the bottom of the fourth on a groundout and shortened the Senators lead to one.
The Red Sox offense opened strong and finished strong, scoring four runs across the first and second innings and posting five more across the eighth and ninth in a runaway victory. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon highlighted Salem's 15-hit night, going 3 for 6 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Right fielder Kevin Heller went 1 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored, and is now batting .464 (13 for 28) with 10 RBI in his last 10 games. Designated hitter Zach Kapstein also chipped in a multi-hit performance, finishing 2 for 4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Five Salem players posted multi-hit games in the win.
Left-hander Daniel McGrath drew the start and allowed the extent of Potomac's offense, giving up all three runs on six hits and four walks across four innings of work. Right-hander Brandon Show earned his first win of the season after tossing four shutout innings and striking out one, extending his streak to 17 1/3 innings without an earned run since joining Salem from Lowell on July 4. Right-hander German Taveras shut things down by throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
Left-hander Jalen Beeks' quality start helped the Drive get off on the right foot in August, as the 2014 12th-round pick tossed seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits while striking out three. Beeks – who improved to 9-4 with the victory – hasn't drawn a loss since June 21, and leads the South Atlantic League with 116 2/3 innings pitched. Left fielder Bryan Hudson also helped Beeks out with a pair of impressive catches. Reliever Michael Gunn sewed up the victory by throwing the final two frames, giving up one run on two hits against one strikeout.
Second baseman Yoan Moncada paced Greenville's offense, going 3 for 5 with two doubles. Third baseman and newly-minted No. 1 prospect Rafael Devers finished 1 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Catcher David Sopilka also showed well, going 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. First baseman Cisco Tellez went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
First baseman Josh Ockimey finishing a home run short of the cycle highlighted a come-from-behind victory for Lowell, which rode a late rally to overcome a 4-1 deficit. The win moved the Spinners into a tie for first place in the New York Penn League's Stedler Division. Ockimey made the difference for Lowell, finishing 4 for 4 with a double, two triples, an RBI and two runs scored to lead an otherwise pedestrian Spinners offense. The 2014 fifth-round pick scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth on a single from designated hitter Mitchell Gunsolus, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored. Left fielder Brandon Magee followed up his strong showing on Friday by going 1 for 2 with an RBI and a walk.
Starter Dioscar Romero struggled through three innings of work, allowing four runs on three hits and four walks while striking out two. Reliever Logan Boyd picked up the slack, allowing Lowell's offense to go to work by tossing four scoreless innings and punching out three and improving to 2-0. Right-hander Edwar Garcia was equally strong, earning his fourth save after allowing two hits across two more scoreless frames.
GCL Red Sox vs. GCL Twins (Postponed)
The Red Sox' matchup with the GCL Twins was postponed due to wet grounds at jetBlue Park. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 8.
Center fielder Marino Campana led the way in a losing effort for the Red Sox, finishing 2 for 4 with an RBI. The Red Sox had their chances but failed to capitalize, going 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Designated hitter Keibert Petit went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored, while shortstop Luis Benoit finished 1 for 2 with a double and two walks.
Starter Eduard Bazardo drew the loss, falling to 2-5 after giving up all four runs on five hits and striking out two. Left-hander Luis Colmenares righted the ship, tossing four scoreless innings and punching out three. Right-hander Roberto Medina fared even better, striking out four batters across two scoreless frames.
Third baseman Stanley Espinal's two-run home run helped the Red Sox edge out the Tigers in a down-to-the-wire extra innings contest. The win came thanks to a walk-off sacrifice fly from second baseman Freiberg Marin (0 for 1, two RBI) in the bottom of the 11th that broke a 4-4 stalemate. Designated hitter Rafael Toribio also contributed offensively, finishing 2 for 3 with a walk.
Right-hander Gary Calvo put together a strong start, tossing four innings and allowing two runs on two hits while striking out five. Reliever Jose Gonzales didn't fare as well, allowing two more runs on six hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings of work. Luis Rivero, Victor Diaz and Jervis Torrealba combined to keep the Tigers off the board across the final 4 2/3 frames.
Player of the Night: Home run short of the cycle or not, Lowell first baseman Josh Ockimey's performance last night was still one to remember. Ockimey – who impressed with his power in a pre-draft workout at Fenway Park last year – finished with nine total bases (a single, a double and two triples) along with an RBI, and was key to helping the Spinners' grab a one-run victory over State College. And while hitting for the cycle would be a historic personal milestone for any player, going 4 for 4 and helping your team win isn't a bad accomplishment either.
Photo Credit: Josh Ockimey by Kelly O'Connor