May 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM
5/7 Cup of Coffee: Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada backed a masterful start by Trey Ball (pictured) to extend Salem’s win streak to eight games. Joe Kelly was solid in a rehab start for Pawtucket but a ninth-inning meltdown led to a 7-5 loss in extras. Greenville banged out 10 hits and held on for a 4-3 victory.
Joe Kelly surrendered a home run to leadoff hitter Byron Buxton to open his first rehab outing but rebounded to throw three clean innings. He allowed another hit and a walk on 52 pitches and will have at least one more rehab start. Roenis Elias piggy-backed Kelly, throwing the next five innings. Elias played with fire all night — allowing six hits and walking seven — but did not get burned until the ninth inning. With the PawSox ahead 4-1, Elias allowed three singles and a walk to open the frame. Pat Light came in to stop the bleeding but not without Rochester taking a 5-4 lead. Pawtucket pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning to send it to extras, but Light imploded in his second inning of work, allowing a single and three consecutive walks to give Rochester the decisive run.
Four PawSox — Deven Marrero, Marco Hernandez, Justin Maxwell, and Jantzen Witte — went 2 for 5 on the night, with Witte contributing three RBI. Sam Travis reached base four times in five trips with a double, a single and two walks.
Portland Sea Dogs vs. Reading Fightin’ Phils (PHI)
Portland’s game was rained out against Reading. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 5:05 pm.
Andrew Benintendi extended his hitting streak to 23 games, and Yoan Moncada cranked a long home run, but it was the pitching that stole the show for Salem. Trey Ball pitched six shutout innings, allowing only a pair of singles and striking out two. Ben Taylor pitched two perfect innings in relief, and Jake Drehoff struck out the side in the ninth to secure the shutout.
The Salem offense continued to mash. The team picked up a pair of runs in the first when singles by Benintendi and Mauricio Dubon set up Rafael Devers for a two-out, two-run single. Moncada hit his no-doubter with the bases empty in the second. Benintendi later added a two-RBI single and Nick Longhi blasted a two-run double as Salem ran away with it.
Eight of nine starters in the Drive lineup picked up hits in a balanced offensive display. The game still came down to the wire as Bobby Poyner induced a groundout to strand the tying run at third base in the ninth and pick up his fifth save. Greenville starter Roniel Raudes allowed one earned run and three hits in five innings to pick up his third win. It was the fourth time in five starts that Raudes has allowed one earned run or fewer. Relievers Austin Glorius and Victor Diaz combined for three innings of scoreless ball.
The Drive offense did its damage with four, one-run innings. Kyri Washington went 1 for 4 with an RBI, and Josh Ockimey mashed an RBI double in a 1-for-3 night. Tate Matheny scored a run in his two-hit effort, and Roldani Baldwin plated a pair of runs with a single and a groundout.
Player of the Night: Trey Ball was lights out in his second start of the season, an encouraging start to the year for the former first rounder. He faced just two batters over the minimum in six innings and avoided walks, a probable area for the young lefty. Through two starts, he’s allowed just five hits in 10 innings, and since walking the leadoff batter to open his first start, he has not allowed a left-handed batter to reach base.
Photo Credit: Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor