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August 3, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada and Tim Roberson have big days in Portland slugfest

8/3 Cup of Coffee: Brian Johnson went just four innings and threw 60 pitches in a PawSox win despite allowing just one run. The Sea Dogs lost in a slugfest that totaled 28 runs between the two teams, and a big inning helped the Drive eke out a win. The Red Sox offense was shut down, while the Spinners had a deep hole to dig out of after their starter lasted just two-thirds of an inning.


With Henry Owens tabbed to make the start for the Red Sox on Tuesday, Brian Johnson made his scheduled start, but threw just 60 pitches over four innings before being lifted. There's a possibility that Johnson could be a candidate to take Joe Kelly's spot in the rotation on Friday in Detroit. In his short outing, he allowed one run on two hits and three walks, fanning three. Dayan Diaz was excellent in relief, going four innings and allowing just one hit and two walks. Noe Ramirez earned his first save with the PawSox with a scoreless ninth.

Offensively, the PawSox stranded 10 men on base and went just 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, but pushed across two runs in the eighth against Joba Chamberlain to grab the lead. Deven Marrero and Sandy Leon walked and Marrero scored on Allen Craig's second single of the afternoon. Leon scored on Garin Cecchini's fielder's choice. Besides Craig, Jeff Bianchi was the only other PawSox player to have a multi-hit day, going 2 for 3 with a walk.


It was a wild one in Portland, to say the least. The two clubs combined for 40 hits on the day, with Harrisburg outhitting the Sea Dogs 22-18. Four runs in the 11th off John Cornely and Jorge Marban did in the Sea Dogs in the end. Starter Luis Diaz was roughed up, allowing six runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Kyle Martin gave up four runs on two home runs in the seventh and was charged with a blown save.

On the bright side, the Sea Dogs got to heralded Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito for six runs on seen hits and three walks over five innings. Tim Roberson (pictured, above) continues to swing a very hot bat, going 4 for 6 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Sam Travis, who has now reached base safely in 34 of 36 games with Portland, went 2 for 5 with a home run (his second with the Sea Dogs) and four RBIs. Henry Ramos drove in two runs with two singles and a double, and Manuel Margot went 1 for 5 with a double, walk and two runs scored. Oscar Tejada went 3 for 6 with a triple.


A day after scoring 11 runs, the Red Sox were blanked by the Nationals, managing just five hits. Cole Sturgeon had a nice day, going 2 for 3 with a walk, and Yolian Cerse doubled in a 1 for 3 day, but otherwise, the lineup didn't produce many highlights.

Starter Ty Buttrey went seven full innings for the first time since mid-June, but wasn't sharp, permitting all five runs on 10 hits, though he allowed just one walk. Both the 10 hits and five earned runs allowed tie his season-high marks.


A six-run sixth inning propelled the Drive to their third straight win as Greenville got production and stole two bases from the top and bottom of their lineup. Yoan Moncada went 2 for 3 with two walks, driving in a run atop the order. Michael Chavis singled twice and drove in a run, and eight-hitter J.T. Watkins had two hits, including a double, and drove in a pair. The Drive went just 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position, however.

Jamie Callahan earned the win in relief despite allowing three runs on five hits in his 2 2/3 innings of work. Starter Jeffry Fernandez lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks, although just one run was earned. It was a sloppy game on both sides, as Lexington made three errors and the Drive made two (Moncada and Watkins, both throwing errors).


An inability to get anything going with runners in scoring position hurt the Spinners, as they went 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine men on base. Third baseman Victor Acosta had the only multi-hit game for Lowell, going 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Kyri Washington had a big three-run double to drive in the Spinners' only runs.

Javier Rodriguez was unable to get out of the first inning, recording two outs but allowing four walks and two hits en route to his third loss of the season. Daniel Gonzalez had to go 5 2/3 innings in relief, allowing two runs on just three hits and one walk. Trevor Kelley pitched a scoreless inning and two-thirds to close things out.


Player of the day: Tim Roberson has been lighting it for Portland recently, hitting .447 (21 for 47) over his last 11 games. That average is by far the highest in the Eastern League since July 20. More than half of Roberson's 22 RBIs on the season have come in his last 11 games (12). The 26-year-old's average, which currently sits at .361 with a .381 OBP and .492 slugging percentage, has not dipped below .300 since May 11.

Photo credit: Tim Roberson by Kelly O'Connor