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July 22, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Aybar, Espinoza lead the GCL Red Sox

7/22 Cup of Coffee: The lower levels of the system had more success than the upper levels yesterday, with the short-season teams going 4-1 while Pawtucket and Salem were blown out. The Sea Dogs won again in their last at-bat, Anderson Espinoza fired four more innings without allowing an earned run, and Christopher Acosta returned to the mound in the Dominican Summer League. In the Gulf Coast League, Yoan Aybar (pictured) continued to put up strong numbers as he performed well in both games of a doubleheader. 


Two runs in the top of the ninth kept the PawSox from being shut out, but they were still pummeled by the Tides. Keith Couch was rocked for nine runs on 10 hits over three innings as he dropped his ninth decision of the season. With the bullpen stretched out, Jeff Bianchi came on to pitch for the second time this season, and he set the side down in order in his lone inning of work. 

Garin Cecchini stayed hot, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk in the losing effort. Humberto Quintero hit a two-run home run in the ninth, and Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1 for 4. 


Tzu-Wei Lin tripled to lead off the bottom of the tenth and scored the winning run on a wild pitch as the Sea Dogs walked off for the second straight night. Justin Haley turned in one of his better starts of the year, going five innings and allowing two runs while striking out seven. Kyle Martin and Madison Younginer combined to toss five scoreless innings to keep the game tied and give the offense a chance to work it's magic. 

Lin paced the offense with two hits, while Carlos Asuaje and Tim Roberson also had multi-hit games, with Roberson slugging a double. Manuel Margot went 0 for 5, and he is now hitting .211 over his last nine games. 


The Pelicans only scored in three innings, but they put up crooked numbers in each of those on their way to a blowout win. In his worst start of the season, Kevin McAvoy lasted only 3 2/3 innings before being pulled after he served up nine runs on nine hits. Taylor Grover followed and gave up three runs over 2 1/3 innings before Mike Adams came in and went two scoreless innings to stop the bleeding. 

The offense could not get anything going, and they failed to record a hit from the fifth inning on. Mauricio Dubon was on base twice, going 1 for 3 with a walk, and Mario Martinez went 2 for 4. 


This one was close throughout, with the Spinners bullpen helping them hold on to a one-run victory. Dioscar Romero started the game and allowed only one run despite walking five and allowing three hits over four innings. The bullpen took over from there, with Logan Boyd, Taylor Nunez, and Bobby Poyner combining to allow five hits over the final five scoreless innings. 

Lowell only managed to put eight runners on base in the game, with Luis Alexander Basabe reaching base a team-high three times via two hits and a walk. One of the hits was a double, which was only his second two-bagger of the year despite having six home runs and two triples. Chad De La Guerra also had two hits while Josh Ockimey went 1 for 3 with his first stolen base of the year. Andrew Benintendi was hitless in this game, but a walk extended his on-base streak to eight games, and he has reached base safely in 13 of his 14 games as a Spinner. 


Behind another strong start from Anderson Espinoza, the GCL Red Sox made quick work of the Rays. Espinoza allowed only an unearned run over four innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out two as he lowered his ERA to 0.90. While his numbers in the GCL this year are undeniably impressive, three of his five starts have come against the Rays, who are hitting .193 as a team and average only about 2.4 runs per game. Jalen Williams tossed the final three innings, facing the minimum while striking out three.

The Red Sox scored early, racing out to a 6-0 lead after only two innings. Jerry Downs, went 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk, scoring three times while driving in two runs. Kyri Washington went 2 for 4 with three RBI, and Yoan Aybar went 2 for 4, though he was just getting warmed up for the second game. 

This game was over quickly as well, as the Red Sox were up 9-0 by the top of the third. Aybar went 3 for 3 with a walk, and he scored three times. After his 5 for 7 performance yesterday, Aybar is now batting .404 in his 47 at-bats since turning 18 on July 3. Darwin Pena had two doubles, and Washington went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Andy Perez, who was recently signed as an undrafted free agent, went 3 for 4 with a double in his debut, adding a stolen base, though he was also picked off first base. 

Josh Pennington struck out three over two scoreless innings, and Carlos Garcia was the victim of some shoddy defense as he gave up two unearned runs in his two innings. Nick Duron closed it out, giving up just a solo home run over the final two frames. 


The Red Sox were doubled up by the Mets, but the team's top rated prospect returned to the mound after over a month off. Eduard Bazardo went the first five innings, striking out seven but allowing three runs on six hits. Making his first appearance since June 17, Christopher Acosta pitched one inning of relief, allowing an unearned run while walking one and striking out two. The Red Sox had the lead after six innings, but Luis Colmenares was lit up for six runs, five earned, over two innings.

Shortstop Luis Benoit had three hits and three RBI, while Eddy Reynoso and Luis Yovera each went 2 for 4. 

A late rally proved to be the difference, as the Red Sox scored two late runs to top the Yankees. Gary Calvo got the start and gave up only one hit over three shutout innings. Jose Gonzalez went the next 3 1/3 innings, working around eight baserunners to give up only one run, but with the Red Sox up 3-1 in the top of the eighth, Victor Diaz gave up two runs to tie the game. 

After two walks put the go-ahead run in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth. Carlos Pulido singled to put the Red Sox ahead. Gerardo Carrizalez followed with another RBI single to provide some insurance as he notched his second RBI of the game. Juan Hernandez was on base three times in the winning effort, going 1 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored. 


Player of the Night: In a Scouting Scratch back in March, Scouting Director Ian Cundall named Yoan Aybar as a young player to keep an eye on due to his impressive raw tools. Aybar has turned those tools into production so far in the GCL, and after going 5 for 7 yesterday, the center fielder is now batting .351/.370/.432 in 20 games this season. It is easy to overlook Aybar since he only received a modest $450,000 bonus when he signed in 2013, but if he can grow into his frame and add some power, he has some of the highest upside in the lower levels of the system. 

Photo Credit: Yoan Aybar by Kelly O'Connor

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