May 5, 2015 at 7:00 AM
5/5 Cup of Coffee: It was a strong day down on the farm, as all three affiliates in action came away with a win. Salem completed a four-game sweep, the Greenville lineup continued its assault on South Atlantic League pitching, and Portland opened up its series with a win.
It was a successful homecoming for right-hander Mike Augliera, as the former Binghamton University ace returned to his old stomping grounds to deliver his strongest start of the 2015 season. Augliera allowed just one run on six hits in his five innings of work, walking two and striking out three to pick up his first win of the year. Kyle Kraus and Kyle Martin pitched a pair of scoreless innings apiece to nail down the victory, with Martin notching his second save of the season.
Reed Gragnani (pictured) led the charge at the plate, reaching base five times with two walks and three hits, including a double. Oscar Tejeda doubled as part of his 3-for-5 night, his ninth two-bagger in 19 games across two levels. Luis Martinez hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his first blast of the year.
Trey Ball and a trio of relievers led Salem to the four-game sweep. Ball overcame some shaky control, giving up just two runs in 5 1/3 innings despite issuing four walks and hitting a batter. Taylor Grover followed with 1 2/3 scoreless frames, Mike Adams struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth, and Austin Maddox got credit for the save with a perfect ninth.
Sam Travis, named last week's SoxProspect.com Player of the Week, delivered another multi-hit game. The first baseman was 2 for 4 with a triple and a pair of RBI, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Travis has two or more hits in six of his last seven games, and he was 10 for 17 with 8 RBI in the four-game series. Aneury Tavarez added a triple of his own, and Wendell Rijo delivered his seventh double.
After dropping the first game of its four-game set with Hagerstown on Friday night, the Drive scored 28 runs in the last three games to pick up the series win. Five Greenville players had multi-hit games on Monday afternoon, led again by Rafael Devers. Devers was 3 for 5 with a run scored, following Sunday's 5-for-6, two-homer performance. Mike Meyers was on base four times, going 2 for 4 with a double, triple, and pair of walks. Carlos Mesa and Michael Chavis both doubled twice, with Chavis halting a 2-for-22 skid in the process. Mauricio Dubon also doubled as part of his 2-for-6 afternoon.
Greenville starter Jalen Beeks was the main beneficiary of the offensive outburst, getting the win on a day when he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in five innings. Williams Jerez allowed six hits in his three innings of relief, but managed to come away allowing only one unearned run. Kuehl McEachern struck out one in a perfect ninth, earning him the save in his sixth consecutive scoreless outing.
Player of the Day: There were plenty of strong contenders, but a perfect game at the plate gives the nod to Reed Gragnani. The former Virginia Cavalier raised his on-base percentage 56 points (.321 to .377) by getting on base five times, providing the spark the Sea Dogs needed to take the series opener in Binghamton.
Photo Credit: Reed Gragnani by Kelly O'Connor