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May 19, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Moncada era begins; phenom scores twice in slugfest

5/19 Cup of Coffee: It was the most anticipated debut the Red Sox system has had in a long time. Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada (pictured, left) made his first game appearance on Monday, but fellow teenager Rafael Devers stole the show as the Drive dropped its slugfest. In the only other game on the schedule, Eduardo Rodriguez delivered a quality start to lead Pawtucket. 


Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez turned in yet another strong start as Pawtucket opened up its road trip with a win. In 6 2/3 innings, Rodriguez allowed three runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out four. The 22-year-old induced 10 ground ball outs, and threw 67 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Jonathan Aro allowed one run in 1 1/3 in his second outing out of the PawSox pen, and Heath Hembree struck out a pair in a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save. 

Every member of the Pawtucket lineup had at least one hit as part of a 15-hit attack. Jeff Bianchi made his return from the disabled list with a 3-for-5 night, driving in a pair. Luis Jimenez also had three hits, including a two-run triple and an RBI single. Bryce Brentz hit a solo home run in the seventh, his organization-leading fifth of the season. 


The long-awaited first appearance of Yoan Moncada came as Greenville kicked off its homestand on Monday. His introduction to American baseball came in a sloppy mess of a game, as Lexington overcame six errors to win, and Greenville scored seven third-inning runs despite having only two hits in that frame.

Moncada grounded to short in his first plate appearance, and walked and scored on a Derek Miller double in that wild third inning. After grounding out again in the fifth, the 19-year-old reached on an error and came in to score on a home run by Michael Chavis. The game ended with Moncada on the on-deck circle, giving him a first-game line of 0 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. He also committed an error at second base.

Not used to being anything other than the main attraction, Rafael Devers (pictured, right) continued his assault on South Atlantic League pitching. The third baseman was 2 for 4 with two doubles, a walk, and three runs scored. He now has eight doubles in his past 12 games, and 11 on the season.

It was a tough day on the mound for Greenville hurlers, as Lexington mounted a 17-hit barrage. Reed Reilly entered the contest with a 2.73 ERA but allowed seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. Reliever Carlos Pinales fared no better, giving up six runs (three earned) on six hits in his two innings of work. Mario Alcantara was able to stop the onslaught, firing two scoreless frames to lower his ERA to 0.82 on the year.


Player of the Day: Rafael Devers is making himself a regular in this space. Devers had his sixth multi-hit game of May, raising his season line to .331/.360/.492. His consistently strong production since debuting last year makes it easy to forget how young he is, as the Dominican product will not even turn 19 until October.

Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor