July 4, 2016 at 7:00 AM
7/4 Cup of Coffee: The PawSox won one of the wildest games of the year, thanks to a walk-off two-run homer by Henry Ramos (pictured, left) in the bottom of the 16th inning. Eduardo Rodriguez returned to Pawtucket for his first start since being sent down by Boston and was outstanding. Yoan Moncada also blasted another home run for Portland.
This game served as a reminder of why baseball is so beloved. Through 15 innings, Henry Ramos floundered at the plate, going 0 for 6 with two strikeouts. However, he was able to persevere, providing a walk-off two-run homer in the 16th inning after the PawSox. It was the second time that Pawtucket was down to its final three outs against Columbus. In the ninth, a Ryan Hanigan RBI single and Brennan Boesch's run-scoring double play tied the game, 3-3. Boesch had two hits, and Jose Vinicio went 3 for 6. Chris Marrero also blasted his 13th home run of the season.
Eduardo Rodriguez made his first start since being sent down to Pawtucket. He submitted a terrific performance, tossing seven scoreless frames and allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out four. That is certainly a good sign after he struggled mightily in the big leagues. The lefty was in line for the win, but Chandler Shepherd gave up three runs in the eighth inning. Noe Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings before Justin Haley made his first relief appearance since 2014. He was tremendous, striking out five in six innings while allowing just one run on four hits and a walk.
After Yoan Moncada blasted a leadoff home run in the first inning, the game was all Yard Goats. Portland was out-hit, 17-6, and Moncada's second homer in as many days was the Sea Dogs' only extra-base hit of the day. Eastern League All-Star Jake Romanski went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, and Andrew Benintendi had a pair of walks.
Jalen Beeks lost his touch in the third inning after starting with a pair of scoreless frames. He was lifted with one out in the fourth after allowing six earned runs on eight hits. Beeks had two walks and three strikeouts. Jake Drehoff allowed a pair of runs on six hits in his 2 1/3 innings of relief. Luis Ysla came and pitched well, striking out three without allowing a walk or a run in 2 1/3 innings. Eastern League All-Star Williams Jerez worked the final inning for Portland and did not allow a run while whiffing two.
Matt Kent was outstanding while improving to 7-3 on the season. He went 6 2/3 innings, did not allow a run, and surrendered just four hits. He also walked a batter and punched out six, while lowering his ERA to 2.98. Jorge Marban, working his way back from an injury that kept him out for most of May and June, made his first appearance with Salem this year and did not allow a run in 1 1/3 innings. Bobby Poyner tossed a shaky ninth inning, allowing one run on three hits.
Jose Sermo was the star offensively, going 2 for 4 with a solo home run and two runs scored. Bryan Hudson went 2 for 5 with an RBI and his 16th stolen base of the year, and Jordan Betts and Rafael Devers each went 1 for 3 with a walk.
The Drive out-hit the Tourists, 10-6, but were only able to put up two runs in the defeat, as they went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. Luis Alejandro Basabe was terrific out of the leadoff spot, going 3 for 4 with a double, a run, and an RBI. The No. 9 hitter, Jeremy Rivera, also collected three hits. Tyler Spoon and Kyri Washington each drew two walks, and Tate Matheny belted a double.
Dedgar Jimenez took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) in six innings. On the positive side, he struck out eight and walked just two. Trevor Kelley was very good in relief, tossing two shutout innings with three strikeouts. Adam Lau finished the game for Greenville with a shutout inning of his own.
Nick Lovullo was the spark for the Spinners, going 3 for 3 with an RBI, a run, and a stolen base. He was the only member of the Spinners to have a multi-hit game. Tyler Hill collected a hit and an RBI, and Carlos Tovar scored a pair of runs.
Josh Pennington started for Lowell and tossed four solid innings. He gave up just one run (it was unearned) and allowed four hits, two walks, and struck out three. Brad Stone picked up the win in relief, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Algenis Martinez grabbed his first save of the year with 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Player of the Night: Eduardo Rodriguez was sent down by the Red Sox after a disastrous outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. He might have regained some confidence on Sunday, tossing seven scoreless innings for the PawSox. He only allowed two hits and now has an ERA of 2.83 with Pawtucket in 2016.
Photo Credit: Henry Ramos by Kelly O'Connor