Red Sox: The Sox stranded the go-ahead run in scoring position in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings before Mike Timlin surrendered the winning run with none out in the bottom of the 11th as the Rays edged the Sox, 5-4, in front of 30,290 in St. Petersburg, FL. It was the third straight loss for the Sox following a seven-game winning streak. The Sox nearly turned the game into a rout in the second, when they scored three runs on two hits and three walks against starter Matt Garza, but Dustin Pedroia popped out with two runners on to end the inning. The Rays scored once in the third and twice in the fourth off Tim Wakefield to take the lead before Julio Lugo drove home the tying run in the sixth on a fielder's choice grounder. Manny Ramirez went 3-for-5 to raise his AL-best average to .370 while Kevin Cash remained hot with a 3-for-3 effort. Cash, who entered the season with a .167 average in 359 big league at-bats, has hit in six straight games and is hitting .323 in 31 at-bats. Lugo had two RBI without a base hit. Wakefield allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and five walks while striking out one in six innings. The Sox will attempt to snap their losing streak tonight, when Clay Buchholz is scheduled to take the mound against the Rays.
Triple-A Pawtucket: Chris Smith and Edgar Martinez combined on a two-hitter and Mike Lowell had two RBI in his first rehab game as the PawSox beat Syracuse, 6-1, in front of 8,777 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. Smith allowed just one hit—a leadoff single in the fifth inning—and walked three while striking out two in lowering his ERA to 1.71. He has allowed just 20 baserunners (14 hits and six walks) in 21 innings over four starts, a far cry from last year, when he allowed 12 hits in five innings for the PawSox. Martinez allowed one run on one hit and walked none while striking out five over three innings to notch his first save. He entered the game with just two strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings over his first five appearances. Keith Ginter had three hits, his third multi-hit effort in his last six games, and a stolen base while Chris Carter had two hits and an RBI. Jonathan Van Every hit a solo homer. Lowell, who is expected to play for the PawSox through the weekend, was 1-for-5. The PawSox begin a nine-game road trip tonight in Buffalo, where Devern Hansack is scheduled to come off the disabled list.
Double-A Portland: Sandy Madera continued his torrid hitting with a pair of homers and the Sea Dogs hit four round-trippers overall to overcome a season-high five errors and defeat Binghamton, 6-4, in front of 5,718 at Hadlock Field in Portland, ME. Madera has hit in each of his first nine games with the Sea Dogs and raised his average to .422 with the 2-for-4 effort. He also stole a base. Jeff Corsaletti and Bubba Bell each hit two-run homers while Aaron Bates was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Jose Vaquedano earned his fourth win—the most ever recorded in a single month by a Sea Dogs reliever—by allowing just an unearned run on one hit and one walk while striking out four in three innings. Beau Vaughan struck out the side in the ninth for his third save. Matt Goodson was staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but he departed after allowing a homer and a triple to start the sixth. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four in five innings. The Sea Dogs host Binghamton again today, when Michael Bowden is scheduled to start.
Single-A Lancaster: The JetHawks snapped out of an offensive funk, but Travis Beazley allowed five runs in the first inning and the JetHawks never led in a 7-5 loss to Lake Elsinore in front of 2,791 in Lancaster, CA. Beazley had a feast-or-famine effort: He allowed hits to the first five batters he faced and gave up six hits overall in the frame but threw no-hit ball over his final four innings and retired the final eight batters he faced. He walked two and struck out three. The JetHawks stormed back with four runs in the second, an inning sparked by Jorge Jimenez' three-run homer, and tied it in the fifth on Jon Still's sacrifice fly. But Lake Elsinore took the lead for good in the seventh against losing pitcher Richie Lentz, who allowed one run on one hit and five walks while striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. Lentz entered the game with a 20/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12 innings. Reid Engel had two hits while Chih-Hsien Chiang had two hits and an RBI for the JetHawks, who scored just two runs in their previous three games. The JetHawks will host Lake Elsinore again tonight, when Tony Bajoczky is scheduled to start.
Single-A Greenville: Starting pitcher Jose Alvarez gave up seven runs in two innings and the Drive were limited to five hits in an 11-3 loss to Asheville in front of 5,737 in Greenville, SC. Alvarez gave up six hits—including three homers—and walked two while striking out three. Alvarez has a 10.20 ERA despite a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 18/6 in 15 innings. Chad Povich was solid in relief as he allowed one run on two hits and no walks while striking out five in four innings. He has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 18/2 in 16 innings. Ryan Kalish and Oscar Tejeda each had an RBI for the Drive while Mike Jones extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double. The Drive, which has been outscored 22-9 in the last two games, begins a three-game series against Hickory tonight.
Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at email@example.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.
Diehard spoke recently with Double-A Portland manager Arnie Beyeler about the Sea Dogs' historic 8-7…