June 1, 2016 at 7:00 AM
6/1 Cup of Coffee: The calendar turns to June following some impressive performances to close out May. Marc Brakeman submitted his best start as a pro and was supported by the Drive's 14-hit barrage, which was led by Josh Ockimey (pictured, left). Henry Owens straightened out after a very shaky start to grab the win for the PawSox. Portland was saddled with the only loss despite a 12-hit evening.
It has been a rough go for Henry Owens since he was optioned from the major league club. Entering last night, the 6-foot-7 lefty had a 5.75 ERA and more walks than strikeouts over his last four starts. Tuesday started out looking like more of the same. Through 2 2/3 innings, he'd given up four runs while walking three and hitting a batter. Owens turned the corner with a strikeout to end the third inning, starting a string of 10 in a row he retired. Overall, he allowed four runs on three hits in six innings, finishing with four strikeouts against the three walks. Noe Ramirez followed, striking out a pair and allowing two hits in a scoreless seventh. Kyle Martin closed out the win with two scoreless innings, striking out two.
Long balls from a trio of minor league veterans led the offense. Chris Marrero blasted his 10th homer of the season -- and 8th of May -- in the third inning to put the PawSox in front. Ryan LaMarre and Justin Maxwell then delivered back-to-back homers in the fifth.
Portland starter Ty Buttrey had an outing like Owens's in reverse, staying in command through four innings before things quickly fell apart. In a disastrous fifth inning, Buttrey allowed three hits, walked three, and uncorked a wild pitch on his way to surrendering three runs. Overall the big righty allowed four runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking four. Rob Wort bailed Buttrey out of a bases loaded jam by inducing a fly out to end the fifth. But he then gave up a pair of runs of his own to take the loss. Williams Jerez fired a pair of scoreless innings in relief.
The day after his seven-game hit streak came to an end, Sean Coyle got back on track, doubling as part of a 2-for-5 evening. Ryan Court was 3 for 4 with a double of his own, while Tzu-Wei Lin and Cole Sturgeon had two hits apiece.
A 14-run, 11-hit attack powered the Drive to a blowout, with Josh Ockimey notching three hits, a walk, and three RBI on Tuesday. Ockimey closes out May with 27 hits and 23 walks in 26 games. Jayce Ray was 3 for 4 with a double, and Chad De La Guerra also doubled as part of a 2-for-6 performance. Every Greenville hitter reached base in the romp. Luis Alejandro Basabe, the only player who did not record a base hit, walked twice and scored both times.
The offensive explosion was more than enough for Greenville starter Marc Brakeman. The 2015 16th-round pick out of Stanford was off to a tough start in his first full pro season, with a 5.72 ERA through nine outings despite solid peripherals. Brakeman turned in by far his best appearance of the season, allowing just one run on five hits in six innings, walking one and striking out nine. Austin Glorius allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings of relief, and Jeffry Fernandez tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the win.
Player of the Day: Nearly every member of the Greenville starting lineup could have fit in this space, but the nod goes to the Drive's starting pitcher. Marc Brakeman completed six innings for the first time in 10 pro appearances, striking out nine and cutting his ERA by more than half a run. A dominant performance in the Cape Cod League in 2014 generated some buzz that Brakeman could be a potential first-round pick. But injuries caused him to miss the start of the 2015 season and ineffectiveness after returning made him drop him to the 16th round, where the Red Sox picked him and gave him an over-slot $225,000 bonus.
Photo Credit: Josh Ockimey by Kelly O'Connor