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July 5, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Benintendi blasts first professional home run

7/5 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket, Portland and Salem were all handed big Independence Day losses, with Salem being blown out by 15 runs. 2015 first-round draft pick Andrew Benintendi (pictured, right) smashed his first professional home run en route to a Lowell victory, while Greenville second baseman Yoan Moncada continued to gain momentum after a slow start at the plate.


Left fielder Carlos Peguero's power surge wasn't enough to overcome 12 runs from division rival Syracuse. Peguero upped his home run total to six with a pair of blasts, and finished 2 for 4 with four RBI. The 6-foot-5 slugger has a .309/.368/.662 slash line since joining the PawSox last month. Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had two hits in his first game back with Pawtucket after a short stint with the big club, while shortstop Jemile Weeks and catcher Matt Spring each went 1 for 4 with a double.

Keith Couch dropped to 3-8 after a five-inning start, which featured 10 hits and eight runs for the Chiefs. Jess Todd threw an inning after coming on in the bottom of the sixth, giving up two runs on two hits. Reliever Pat Light entered in the bottom of the seventh and allowed two hits, two runs and three walks in 2/3 of an inning. While the damage had already been done, right-hander Jonathan Aro cleaned things up late, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings.


The Mets' power bats made the difference in a relatively tame offensive night, with two of their six hits leaving the park. One of the home runs came off the bat of Gavin Cecchini, brother of PawSox infielder Garin Cecchini. Jantzen Witte led Portland with two hits, finishing 2 for 4 with an RBI double. Right fielder Cole Sturgeon also had a double and went 1 for 3 with a run scored.

Right-hander William Cuevas dropped to 7-5 after giving up four runs on four hits and striking out five. Reliever Mike McCarthy tossed the final three frames, allowing one run on two hits.


Salem was pummeled en route to its biggest margin of defeat of the season, with Lynchburg smashing 20 hits and scoring in all but two innings. The Hillcats now boast a 9-2 record against Salem this season. The Red Sox managed just four hits, all of them singles. Designated hitter Mauricio Dubon went 1 for 3, as did first baseman Jordan Betts and third baseman Jose Vincio.

Starter Kevin McAvoy drew his seventh loss of the season in the rout, going 4 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on six hits while striking out five. 22-year-old right-hander German Taveras struggled mightily in one inning of work, entering in the bottom of the fifth and allowing six runs on eight hits. Chandler Shepherd threw the final 2 1/3 innings, in which the Hillcats scored four more runs on six hits.


Greenville had its chances but failed to get on the board until the bottom of the eighth inning, finishing a dismal 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Second baseman Yoan Moncada continued his journey north of the Mendoza Line, going 2 for 3 with an RBI hitting out of the leadoff spot. The 20-year-old Cuban has posted a .289 batting average (11 for 38) in his last 10 games, and is sitting on a .234/.321/.331 slash line this season. Left fielder Bryan Hudson had the Drive's lone extra base hit, going 1 for 3 with a double.

Starter Dedgar Jimenez was strong, tossing four scoreless innings and punching out four before making way for left-hander Jake Drehoff. The 2013 12th-round pick dropped to 1-1 after throwing 3 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on four hits. Kuehl McEachern closed things out, allowing four hits and a run across the final 1 1/3 innings.


Center fielder and 2015 first-round pick Andrew Benintendi's first professional home run highlighted a close win for Lowell, which tightened its grip on first place in the New York-Penn League Stedler division. The highly-touted Arkansas product went 2 for 4 with two RBI, and has wasted no time getting to work since joining the Spinners on July 1. Second baseman Hector Lorenzana also chipped in a dinger, finishing 1 for 4 with three RBI, while first baseman Josh Ockimey went 1 for 4 with an RBI double.

Right-hander Dioscar Romero drew the start, going four innings and allowing one run on three hits and five walks. Right-hander Edwar Garcia improved to 2-0 after throwing three relief innings, giving up two runs on one hit while striking out two. 2015 14th-round pick Bobby Poyner got his first professional save after tossing a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning.


The Twins handed the Red Sox their second loss in as many nights, posting 14 hits while holding their opponent to just three. Red Sox shortstop Carlos Tovar went 1 for 4 with an RBI double, while catcher Devon Fisher finished 1 for 2 with two walks.

The Red Sox utilized four pitchers in the defeat, with starter Gerson Bautista drawing the loss, his first of the season. The 6-foot-2 right-hander allowed four hits and three runs across four innings, striking out two and walking three.

The floodgates opened after right-hander Jalen Williams entered in the top of the fifth. The Twins roughed up the 2013 16th-round pick to the tune of eight hits and seven runs, with all of the runs coming in the top of the sixth. Williams was replaced by right-hander Pat Goetze, who paired with right-hander Yankory Pimentel to round out the contest. Goetze threw two scoreless innings, while Pimentel allowed two more hits and a run in the game's final frame.


DSL Red Sox2 5, DSL Rangers 4
Center fielder and leadoff man Lorenzo Cedrola paced the Red Sox at the plate, going 3 for 5 with an RBI triple and two runs scored. Right fielder Ramfis Berroa went 2 for 4, while designated hitter Juan Barriento finished 1 for 5 with an RBI double. Starter Denyi Reyes went six strong innings in his start, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out five to improve to 5-0.


Player of the Night: He's only played two games, but Andrew Benintendi has been as advertised for the Lowell Spinners. Apart from hitting his first home run last night, the 20-year-old Ohio native is already 4 for 8 and showing few signs of difficulty dealing with New York-Penn League pitching. It's a small body of work, but it will nevertheless be interesting to see how Benintendi continues to progress this summer.

Photo Credit: Andrew Benintendi by Kelly O'Connor

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