Red Sox Farm Action: PawSox Split; Sea Dogs Swept; Salem Sox Triumph

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IAugust 31, 2009

The Pawtucket Red Sox split a doubleheader against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY) down in Moosic, Pa., on Sunday. The PawSox took the first game, 5-3, but dropped the nightcap, 6-1.

Starting pitcher Randor Bierd (2-1) continued to pitch well since his promotion to the rotation. He has limited opponents to two or fewer runs in four of the six starts since his Aug. 6 debut vs Norwich.

This afternoon he notched the win with a solid 5.1-inning effort, allowing just two runs on five hits. The 25-year-old walked no one and struck out two.

Southpaw Javier Lopez pitched two-thirds of an inning without allowing a baserunner. Fernando Cabrera remained perfect, picking up his 21st save in 21 tries, despite allowing a run on two hits and a walk in his inning of work.

Offensively, left fielder Josh Reddick had a triple and a sacrifice fly, driving in two runs for the Sox. Third baseman Angel Chavez had two hits and scored two runs, and catcher Mark Wagner also had a pair of hits to go with an RBI.

Speedster Joey Gathright singled in his first game in a Pawtucket uniform after being acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles.

Pawtucket jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a walk, three singles, and a double in the first inning. They built a 5-0 advantage on Reddick’s sac fly (in the second inning) and RBI triple (in the fourth) before the Yanks chipped away with single runs in each of the last three innings to make it close.

Right fielder Shelley Duncan and designated hitter Yurendell de Caster homered for Scranton.

The nightcap was a pitchers' duel for the first five innings. PawSox starter Charlie Zink held the Yankees to a run over 4.1 innings, while Yankees starter Jason Hirsh pitched shutout ball for 5.1 frames.

The game was a 1-0 affair entering the bottom of the sixth inning. Hunter Jones allowed a triple, a walk, and a single in the frame.

Enrique Gonzalez relieved Jones with one out and baserunners at first and second base. He walked the first batter and then surrendered a grand slam to Duncan (the likely league MVP). It was Duncan’s 29th homer of the season.

Hirsh allowed just two hits in his outing—a double to Aaron Bates in the first and a single to Bubba Bell in the second. He improved to 4-0 with Scranton.

Dusty Brown knocked in the lone PawSox run with an infield single in the seventh off Edwar Ramirez.

The Sox head to Lehigh Valley for a two-game series that begins tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Righty Michael Bowden (4-6, 3.19) faces Drew Carpenter (10-5, 3.33).

The game will be broadcast on WHJJ-Providence (920 AM)...scroll down, find the link for the PawSox, and click.


The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) swept a pair from the Portland Sea Dogs on a gorgeous Sunday for baseball in NH’s Queen City. The Cats bested the Dogs in the doubleheader, 5-3 and 4-0. Portland has dropped the first four games of the five-game series.

Red Sox righty Daisuke Matsuzaka made a rehab start for the Sea Dogs in the opener. He struggled with his control and was hit hard in the first inning, allowing all five runs in the frame.

He settled in and pitched well in the second inning—his final inning—but by then the damage was done. He threw 58 pitches, 32 for strikes.

Portland grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off lefty Luis Perez (9-11). Left fielder Daniel Nava led off with a base hit and came around to score on DH Jon Still’s two-out RBI single. Still leads all Red Sox minor players with 85 RBI.

Matsuzaka surrendered five runs on four hits and three walks in the bottom of the inning. F-Cats left fielder Todd Donovan hit a home run on his third pitch of the game. Dice-K failed to retire any of the next four batters, allowing two walks, a single, and a run-scoring double to first baseman Scott Cooper.

Later in the inning, catcher Brian Jeroloman looped a two-run double to left-center field and third baseman Bryan Kervin knocked in the final run with a sacrifice fly.

Catcher Juan Apodaca hit a two-run home run off Perez in the fourth inning to cut the deficit in half, but that was the end of the Sea Dogs offense—they had only one more baserunner (on a walk) throughout the remainder of the game.

NH closer Danny Farquhar fanned the side in the seventh to earn his 13th save of the year.

In the nightcap, the Fisher Cats built a 4-0 lead after five innings. Portland scored twice in the sixth inning, but the rally fell short as lefty Wilfredo Ledezma struck out both third baseman Jorge Jimenez and Still with center fielder Ryan Kalish (single) on first base to end the ballgame. Ledezma (1-1) pitched the final three innings to earn the win.

Lefty pitching prospect Felix Doubront (8-6) suffered the loss for Portland, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and one walk in five innings.

The Fisher Cats took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when DH Brian Van Kirk led off with a double and scored on a single by left fielder Todd Donovan. They added a couple of insurance runs in the fourth inning when right fielder Nick Gorneault skied a two-run homer down the left-field line.

In the fifth inning, Doubront hit second baseman Brad Emaus and committed a throwing error to allow Emaus to score all the way from first base.

The Sea Dogs scored twice with two outs in the sixth inning. Right fielder Jason Place was hit by a pitch, shortstop Iggy Suarez walked, and second baseman Ryan Khoury delivered a two-run double to right field.

The Sea Dogs play their final road game of the season on Monday night against the Fisher Cats from Stadium at 7:05 p.m.

The game will be broadcast on WBAE (1490 AM)...scroll down, find the link for the Sea Dogs, and click.


The Salem Red Sox won their third straight one-run game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC), knocking off the visitors, 3-2, to take three out of four games in the series on Sunday.

With the win, the Sox surged ahead of the Kinston Indians for the final playoff spot in the Carolina League’s Southern Division; they are now a half-game ahead of the Indians with only eight games remaining in the regular season.

Starters Dave McKae and Danny Duffy each gave their teams masterful efforts.

McKae was dominant in his six innings on the mound for the Sox, blanking the Rocks on just two hits. He struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk. He faced just one batter over the minimum in his outing.

Duffy was a just as dominant until he made one bad pitch in the sixth inning. The southpaw struck out eight, including six in a row at one point (whiffing the side in both the fourth and fifth innings).

But with one out in the sixth, third baseman Jon Hee found a middle-in fastball that he liked and blasted his third home run of the year to left field.

The solo shot bounced off the top of the outfield wall and bounced over it to break the scoreless game and give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.

The advantage was short-lived. Wilmington scored a run off reliever Armando Zerpa in the top of the seventh inning. Following a one-out walk to Mike Moustakas, Clint Robinson’s single moved the tying run to third.

Nick Van Stratten then drilled a screaming liner right back to the mound, which deflected off Zerpa’s glove toward second base. Zach Borowiak flipped to Ryan Dent to force Robinson at second, but Moustakas came across to even things at one.

Knotted at one into the eighth, the Blue Rocks struck again on a leadoff double from Paulo Orlando, a single by Anthony Seratelli, and a wild pitch (on a strikeout) by reliever Travis Blackey that allowed the lead run to cross the plate.

The Sox scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game. Ryan Dent hit a broken-bat single to left-center field and then stole second base.

With two out, Anthony Rizzo ground a single by a diving Clint Robinson at first base to bring home the tying run. Rizzo moved to second base on the throw home. Rizzo stole third base and, a couple of pitches later, scored on a wild pitch.

With one week left in the season, the Sox hold a half-game edge on the Indians and trail the first-place Dash by one game.

The Red Sox begin the final week of the regular season on Tuesday night with a doubleheader against the Dash in Winston-Salem.

Eammon Portice will face Jacob Rasner in the first game, while Jose Capellan will start on three days’ rest against Levi Maxwell in the second game. The action is set to begin at 6:05 p.m.

The games will be broadcast on WFIR (960 AM)...scroll down, find the link for the Salem Red Sox, then click.


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