Portland Sea Dogs beat Manchester Fisher Cats in 10
MANCHESTER - Sean Coyle made a triumphant return to the Portland Sea Dogs lineup on Friday night in front 3,741 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Coyle ripped a Randy Boone pitch into the left field corner for a two-out, run-scoring double in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Sea Dogs to a 4-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Coyle, an infielder and the designated hitter on Friday night, has been out most of the last month with a hamstring injury. His hit scored Travis Shaw, who had singled, gone to second on a fielder's choice and third on a wild pitch.
The Sea Dogs won their sixth straight game and 10th in their last 11 and improved to 32-15.
The Fisher Cats, who broke an 11-game losing streak on Thursday night, fell to 16-31.
Stephen Drew was a no show and Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero were back at their middle infield posts as the high-flying Sea Dogs made their first stop of the season in Manchester.
Drew, who signed with the Red Sox on Wednesday, went to South Carolina to play with the Single-A Greenville Drive on Friday night and begin preparation for his 2014 debut in Boston.
He's expected to spend the weekend in Greenville and play three games for the Drive and then move on to either Portland or Pawtucket.
Speculation had been that he might start out with Portland against the Fisher Cats this weekend.
Betts played several games in center field this week and the plan is to have him play both in the infield and outfield. He was 0-for-5 against the Fisher Cats.
Marrero sat out the last two games after jamming his finger.
Coyle also had the first hit of the night and scored the first run.
Coyle, who was hitting .316 when he went on the disabled list on May 2, replaced Michael Brenly on the active roster. Brenly went on the disabled list.
Coyle led off the second inning with a single and scored one out later on Hissey's triple to left center. Coyle scored on Shannon Wilkerson's sacrifice fly to right.
The Sea Dogs rallied for a two-out run in the third for a 3-0 lead. Henry Ramos and Blake Swihart singled and Ramos scored when Coyle reached on a fielding error on third baseman Andy Burns.
Ryan Schimpf drilled a ball over the fence in right field to get one back for the Fisher Cats in the bottom of the fourth.
New Hampshire tied it in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Nashua's Kevin Nolan was hit by a pitch and after a fly out, Matt Newman singled. Kenny Wilson lined a shot to right field and ended up with a two-run triple when Henry Ramos dove in an attempt to make a play and the ball got behind him.
A COUPLE of top prospects square off in Game 2 of the series tonight at 7:05. Left-hander Henry Owens (4-3 with a 3.22 earned run average) goes for the Sea Dogs against righty Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 2.98). The web site soxprospects.com lists Owens as the No. 2 prospect in the Red Sox organization. . . . The other matchups for the weekend have Portland lefty Brian Johnson (3-0, 2.01) against righty Deck McGuire (3-4, 2.98) on Sunday at 1:35 and Portland righty Keith Couch (6-0, 2.39) against righty Scott Copeland (3-4, 4.44) on Monday, also at 1:35. . . . After this weekend, the Sea Dogs visit Northeast Delta Dental two more times this season. They are in for four games from July 17-20 and three from August 22-24.