SoxProspects News

August 17, 2012 at 7:12 AM

Cup of Coffee: Revenge for Bogaerts against Gerrit Cole; De La Cruz hits two bombs to power Greenville


8/17 Cup of Coffee: On an eventful night down on the farm, a 15-hit outburst led Greenville, a pair of Portland pitchers knocked off a premier Pirates prospect, while Salem, the Red Sox of the GCL and DSL also received top-notch work on the mound. A late rally doomed Pawtucket, while Lowell faced a former top pick.
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Pawtucket failed to hold an early 4-1 lead and dropped a 5-4 decision to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY). Daniel Bard struggled mightily in relief, taking the loss. In Bard's 1.0 inningof work, he allowed three unearned runs, walked two, hit a batter and committed a throwing error. Bard has 12 walks in 5.2 innings in his last six outings. Chris Carpenter followed with a hitless eighth inning, running his scoreless streak to nine consecutive appearances. Andy LaRoche and Juan Carlos Linares both homered for Pawtucket.
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The contest between Portland and the Altoona Curve (PIT) was billed as a rematch between Pirates top prospect and 2011 #1 overall draft pick Gerrit Cole and Red Sox top prospect Xander Bogaerts. The two faced off in the Futures game at All-Star weekend, with Cole getting the strikeout. The matchup and game lived up to the hype, as the Sea Dogs were limited to four hits but knocked off Cole and the Curve for a 2-1 victory

Cole was very impressive, pitching perfect baseball for 4.2 innings, until Bogaerts - who else - ripped a double off of the billboards in right field. Cole got out of that jam by inducing a ground ball. The Sea Dogs struck the following inning, as Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled, with both moving up to second and third on a throwing error by old friend Oscar Tejeda. Vazquez came in to score on a Marquez Smith ground out, and Bradley dashed in with the go ahead run on a wild pitch, giving Portland a 2-1 lead that it would not relinquish. 

Not wanting to be overshadowed, Sea Dogs pitching out-dueled the Altoona ace. Jeremy Kehrt got the start, allowing just one run on five hits in 5.1 innings, striking out four while walking two. Jason Urquidez notched the win in a dominant relief outing, giving up only one hit in 3.2 innings pitched, striking out seven of the 13 batters he faced. Urquidez is now 3-2 with an impressive 2.08 ERA in 39.0 innings since being plucked from the independent Atlantic League in June.
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Keith Couch showed a big reason why he is a "manager's dream" as columnist Jon Meoli wrote on Tuesday, tossing a gem to lead Salem to an 8-5 win over the Potomac Nationals (WAS). Couch picked up his ninth win of the season, throwing 8.0 strong innings, giving up only one run on seven hits, striking out four without walking a batter. His final strikeout gave him an even 100 on the season, placing him eighth in the Carolina League. Marco Duarte made his return from a 50-game suspension and showed some serious rust, allowing six hits, including a three-run homer, and four runs in only 0.2 of an inning. With the tying run at the plate, Andrew Jones came on to retire the final batter of the game. 

The bats provided plenty of offense, with six doubles among the 10 overall hits. Felix Sanchez led the way, going 2 for 3 with a walk, double, run scored and three RBI. Heiker Meneses and Drew Hedman also doubled as part of two-hit nights for both.
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Greenville pounded out 15 hits in a 10-5 victory over the Asheville Tourists (COL). As has often been the case for the Drive in 2012, leading the barrage was Keury De La Cruz (pictured). The All-Star left fielder homered twice and drove in seven runs during his 3 for 5 night. Garin Cecchini and Cody Koback also went 3 for 5 for Greenville. Starting pitcher Jason Garcia picked up the win, striking out seven while allowing 3 runs in 5.0 innings. Nathan Striz pitched 2.0 perfect innings to pick up his seventh save.
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Lowell's six-game winning streak came to an end, as they lost for only the third time in August, dropping a 5-3 decision to the Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL). It was an intriguing pitching matchup, pitting supplemental first round pick Pat Light against Aberdeen's Branden Kline, a second rounder making his professional debut. Kline was originally drafted out of Johnson (MD) High School by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, but they were unable to come to terms and Kline enrolled at the University of Virginia. After an impressive career with the Cavaliers, Kline eventually made it to Lowell - in an opposing jersey. Light outpitched Kline, allowing only one run on two hits in 3.0 innings, striking out six of the eleven batters he faced and leaving with a 3-1 lead. The bullpen could not hold on, however, with both Raynel Velette and Yunior Ortega giving up a pair of runs. 
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The GCL Red Sox used stellar pitching to knock off the GCL Orioles, 6-2. Ty Buttrey induced three consecutive groundouts in his efficient inning of work. Sergio Gomez followed with 5.0 innings, allowing a run on three hits, striking out six without walking a batter. Gomez was credited with his fifth win of the year while lowering his ERA to 2.75. On offense, Kevin Heller went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI, while Nathan Minnich went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks.
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More excellent pitching came out of the DSL, where the Red Sox took a 9-4 victory over the DSL Marlins. Seventeen-year-old bonus baby Dioscar Romero continued his run of strong outings, picking up the win. Romero allowed only one unearned run in 5.0 innings, striking out four. After a difficult first half, Romero has been dominant since the All-Star break, allowing only two earned runs in 30.2 innings across six appearances. During that time, he has compiled a 4-0 record, 0.85 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts against only five walks. It was also a big night for the bats, which pounded out 12 hits against Marlins pitching. Leading the way was Robert Del Rosario, who went 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Andres Garcia and Manual Margot also reached base three times apiece, both going 1 for 3 with two walks. 
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Player of the Day: On a night with several outstanding performances on the mound, the offensive explosion by Keury De La Cruz stands out. The left fielder went 3 for 5 with two home runs and seven RBI to lead the Drive.  De La Cruz now has a .316/.362/.553 line on the year, ranking third in the South Atlantic League in slugging, fourth in RBI (77), second in hits (136), and third in home runs (18)

Photo credit: Keury De La Cruz by Kelly O'Connor

 
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