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August 18, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Monge, Margot, and Mookie keep mashing

8/18 Cup of Coffee: There were good performances at all levels of the minors yesterday, highlighted by Joseph Monge's (pictured) five hits, home runs by Garin Cecchini,  Bryce Brentz, and Manuel Margot, and strong pitching from all five starters.


Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 5
A five-run ninth inning doomed the PawSox, as the RailRiders came back to steal the victory. Ryan Verdugo went the first four innings, allowing one run on three hits in his second start for the PawSox. Jose Valdez followed with three shutout innings, and Brayan Villarreal pitched a scoreless eighth before struggling in the ninth. He walked two and allowed a double, before Heath Hembree came in and allowed two walks and two singles to give the RailRiders the lead. Despite a Mookie Betts double in the bottom of the inning, Pawtucket could not get a run back. 

Betts went 3 for 5 with two more doubles, Garin Cecchini launched his seventh home run of the season, and Bryce Brentz went deep for the 10th time. Ryan Lavarnway went 2 for 3 with a walk and a passed ball behind the plate. 


Mike Augliera was fantastic, allowing one run on six hits over six innings, striking out six while picking up his sixth win of the year. Robby Scott and Aaron Kurcz finished off the game by combining for three shutout innings.

The Sea Dogs were all over San Francisco's top prospect Kyle Crick, knocking him out of the game after recording only five outs. Several Sea Dogs had good days, with Mike Miller going 2 for 5, Michael Almanzar driving in three runs, Kevin Heller drawing three walks, and David Chester hitting a solo home run.


Salem Red Sox 9, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX) 1
A late offensive surge helped support a strong pitching performance, as Salem moved to .500 on the season. Kyle Kraus improved to 6-3 on the year after twirling six innings of one-run ball. Jonathan Aro picked up the save after entering the game with a 2-1 lead and tossing three shutout innings to end it.

It has not taken Manuel Margot long to get acclimated to the Carolina League, going 3 for 4 with a home run, his second in three games with Salem. Salem also got home runs from Jantzen Witte and Jake Romanski, with Romanski also adding a double and a single. Carlos Asuaje went 1 for 5 with a double, and Jose Vinicio contributed two hits.


It was a tough-luck loss for Teddy Stankiewicz, as he allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings, walking none and striking out six. He threw 53 of his 78 pitches for strikes, while inducing eight ground outs to only three fly outs. German Taveras tossed the final two innings while keeping the Sand Gnats off the board. 

Danny Bethea was the lone bright spot on offense, as his two-run home run accounted for all of Greenville's scoring. Only four other Drive batters reached base in the game, and the team struck out 14 times while walking only once. 


Lowell Spinners 9, Hudson Valley Renegades (TB) 1
Aaron Wilkerson turned in another terrific performance, holding the Renegades scoreless over six strong innings. His ERA dropped to 2.06 in six starts, while striking out over one batter per inning. Williams Jerez rebounded from a rough first appearance with Lowell to strike out two in his lone inning of work on Sunday. 

The offense provided more than enough run support, led by Joseph Monge who went 5 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Jordan Betts and Alixon Suarez each had two doubles, while Mauricio Dubon raised his average over .300 by going 3 for 4 with a double and three runs scored. Dubon, who has stood out primarily for his glove so far at shortstop, has shown a strong ability to put the bat on the ball, though he has hit for limited power so far for the Spinners.


Player of the Day: There were several noteworthy performances across the system yesterday, but Joseph Monge's 5 for 5 performance stood out the most. The 19-year-old outfielder started the year in the GCL, and was promoted after posting an .843 OPS over 77 plate appearances. He is now batting .328 with a .767 OPS for the Spinners in 70 plate appearances.

Photo Credit: Joseph Monge by Kelly O'Connor