SoxProspects News

June 27, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Cup of Coffee: Perez fires gem; Betts starts in right


6/27 Cup of Coffee: On a day with three top-15 prospects on the mound, it was a pair of lesser-known arms who stood out. Randy Perez and Joe Gunkel each tossed six shutout innings for Lowell and Salem, respectively, leading those teams to victory. An early grand slam carried Pawtucket to a win, while Portland pounded out 13 hits to back Henry Owens. Greenville dropped a back-and-forth contest, the DSL Red Sox late rally fell short, and the GCL Red Sox were shut out.

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Pawtucket scored five in the first and hung out to drop the Norfolk Tides (NYM), 7-3. The big blast was a grand slam off the bat of Garin Cecchini, his third of the season. Travis Shaw and Carlos Rivero had two hits apiece for the PawSox, with Shaw delivering a double, and Rivero driving in a pair. Mookie Betts (pictured, left) was 0 for 2, ending his hitting streak at nine games, but he walked twice and scored both times and now has reached base in all 22 games he has appeared in for Pawtucket. More notably, Betts got his first career start in right field after having played exclusively second base and center field this season. Andres Torres, the former San Francisco Giant signed to a minor league contract earlier in the month, made his PawSox debut and went 0 for 4.

On the mound, Matt Barnes allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking three. He allowed a solo homer in the fourth, the first time he has been taken deep since May 27. After struggling in May, Barnes has rebounded a strong 3.42 ERA in June. Dalier Hinojosa pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings of relief, and John Ely allowed a run in his two innings of work.


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A 13-hit attack led Portland to a 9-4 win against the Reading Fightin Phils (PHI). The top of the order carried its weight, as the first four hitters in the lineup were a combined 9 for 15 with three walks, seven runs scored and six RBI. Sean Coyle remains hot, going 3 for 4 with a double, walk, and three RBI. Derrik Gibson was 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and a walk out of the leadoff spot. Deven Marrero and Blake Swihart had two hits apiece for the Sea Dogs, while Matt Spring added an insurance run with an eighth-inning solo homer.

The offensive attack was more than enough to carry Henry Owens to his organization-leading 10th win of the year. Owens, who had allowed only two runs over his last seven starts, gave up a pair of two-run homers on the night. Overall, he completed six innings, allowing those four runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked only two, the sixth consecutive start he has walked two or fewer batters. Noe Ramirez tossed three shutout innings to get credit for the save.

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In a pitchers duel, Salem walked off with a 2-1 win over the Carolina Mudcats (CLE). With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Mario Martinez singled and advanced to second when Kevin Heller was hit by a pitch. Ryan Dent ripped his 20th double of the season to left to plate Martinez with the winning run. Dent and Reed Gragnani had matching lines, with both going 2 for 4 with a double. On the mound, Joe Gunkel was fantastic in his second start since his promotion, sprinkling four hits across six shutout innings, striking out four and walking two. Carolina tied the game with an unearned run off of Matty Ott in the eighth, but Ott was credited with the win, giving up only one hit and striking out four in his three innings.

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Greenville fell 9-4 to the Asheville Tourists (COL). Trey Ball continues to struggle to find consistency. The 2013 first rounder fell to 1-7 on the year, giving up 10 hits and six runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked only one, but his ERA on the 2014 season is at a soaring 7.27. Jonathan Aro was able to largely quell the Tourists, giving up just one run on four hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief, striking out four on the way. Leading the way at the plate was Wendell Rijo, who went 2 for 4 with a double and pair of runs scored. With a second-inning single, Manuel Margot extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

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A trio of Lowell arms combined for a five-hit shutout, defeating the Tri-City Valley Cats (HOU), 3-0. Randy Perez (pictured, right) was excellent, setting career highs with six innings and six strikeouts. The 20-year-old lefty allowed only four hits, and walked one, picking up his first win of the young season. Ellis Jimenez was perfect in his two innings of relief, and Carlos Pinales fired a scoreless ninth for the save. The Spinners offense produced only five hits, but it was more than enough punch on this particular night. Nick Longhi was 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI, and he has begun his 2014 with an impressive 14-for-40 run. Cole Sturgeon, the Red Sox 10th-round pick out of Louisville, made his professional debut. Sturgeon started in center field and went 0 for 4.

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Little went right for the GCL Red Sox in a 9-0 loss to the GCL Rays. Starter Jeffry Fernandez allowed four runs on six hits in four innings, taking the loss. Pat Goetze was unable to slow the Rays offense, giving up five runs (four earned) in his four innings of work. Center fielder Derek Miller had three of the five Red Sox hits. Victor Acosta doubled for the third time in two games. Trenton Kemp debuted at designated hitter, going 0 for 3 with a walk.

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After falling behind 7-0 early on, the DSL Red Sox had a valient rally that fell short, losing 7-6 to the DSL Cardinals. Enmanuel De Jesus took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in 2 2/3 innings. On the positive side, De Jesus struck out two without issuing a walk, and has 18 strikeouts against only six walks 19 1/3 innings this season. Darwinzon Hernandez was excellent in relief as the offense chipped away at the lead. Hernandez fired 3 1/3 shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out four.

Raiwinson Lamenda was 3 for 5 at the plate, scoring two runs and adding a double. Juan Hernandez was on base four times, going 2 for 3 with two walks. Rafael Devers, whose impending promotion to the Gulf Coast League was reported a week ago, remains in the Dominican where he was 1 for 5 with a run scored.

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Player of the Day: Randy Perez had the strongest start of his career in a shutout victory for Lowell. The 20-year-old lefty, originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2011, fired six scoreless innings, striking out six. Across two levels, Perez has a 2.39 ERA and 1.047 WHIP since the start of 2013.

Photo Credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor; Randy Perez by SoxProspects, LLC

 
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