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July 23, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Benintendi, Heller, bullpens highlight day for system

7/23 Cup of Coffee: The GCL Red Sox and the DSL Red Sox2 were the only teams in the system to come away with a win. Andrew Benintendi has found his power stroke, as he homered for the third time in the past four games for Lowell. Jackie Bradley Jr. also continued to swing the bat well for Pawtucket, who received great bullpen performances including a perfect four innings from Matt Barnes. Good outings out of the pen were also a theme for Portland, Lowell, Salem, the GCL Red Sox, and the first DSL Red Sox team. Kevin Heller (pictured) had a huge game for Salem and eighth-round draft pick Logan Allen also made his GCL debut and pitched well.


The PawSox played dug themselves into a big hole after the first two innings. Robby Scott, who has had two previous stints with Pawtucket this season, made his first start of the year after being a very effective left-handed reliever for the Portland Sea Dogs for a majority of 2015. He did not fare well, surrendering six earned runs in two innings. Heath Hembree came on for a scoreless third inning before Matt Barnes tossed four perfect innings out of the pen. He threw just 32 pitches during his four innings of work. Newly acquired Ronald Belisario made his second appearance with the PawSox and did not allow a baserunner in his one inning of work.

Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his torrid stretch by going 2 for 3 with a walk and a triple. Garin Cecchini also went 2 for 3 with a walk.


The Sea Dogs were unable to generate much offense in a losing effort against the Thunder. Aneury Tavarez provided the only run for Portland by connecting on his second home run of the season. Manuel Margot and Henry Ramos also added doubles.

Danny Rosenbaum, making his third start for Portland, took the loss. He went four innings and gave up three earned runs on three hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. Heri Quevedo had another strong relief appearance, going two shutout innings. He now has seven innings pitched with eight strikeouts in three relief appearances. He's allowed just four hits and one run in those appearances, but has eight walks. Williams Jerez also continued to throw well, lowering his ERA with Portland to 2.16 with two scoreless innings. John Cornely surrendered two runs in the ninth.


Salem dropped a close one, as all 11 runs scored in this game came in the first four innings. Kevin Heller hit a solo home run in the second and Forrestt Allday hit a three-run blast in the third. Heller ended up going 4 for 4 and Dustin Lawley went 3 for 4 with an RBI double. Cole Sturgeon and Wendell Rijo also hit doubles.

Daniel McGrath had pitched well for Salem, but he did not have his best stuff against Wilmington. He went 3 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits and six earned runs. Brandon Show was very effective out of the bullpen in his third appearance with Salem. He did not allow a run in 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed just two hits and a walk. He has yet to give up an earned run with Salem. Chandler Shepherd also had a scoreless frame.


Pitching was not strong for Greenville all night in this one. Jeffry Fernandez lost for the eighth time on the year and upped his ERA to 6.07. He went four innings and allowed four earned runs and walking six batters. Michael Gunn was knocked around in his 1 1/3 innings of work, surrendering five earned runs. Carlos Pinales also allowed two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Cisco Tellez had a great night offensively, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a two-run home run. Deiner Lopez also went 3 for 4. Yoan Moncada went 1 for 3 with a pair of walks and Rafael Devers added a double.


Andrew Benintendi went deep for the third time in the last four games, but it wasn't enough to push the Spinners past the ValleyCats. He also walked as part of a 1 for 3 game, and now has a .426 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage. Luis Alexander Basabe also chipped in with an RBI double . Tate Matheny and Chad De La Guerra each went 1 for 3 with a double. 

Javier Rodriguez pitched five innings and gave up four runs (two earned) while striking out five and walking just one. Daniel Gonzalez came on in relief and pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up one run on two hits and struck out three. Daniel Zandona finished off the game pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and struck out two. 

The Red Sox used a seven-run fourth inning to propel themselves to an easy 8-2 win. Kyri Washington had a big game by going 2 for 3 with a walk and his first home run of the year. Andy Perez also went 2 for 5 with a triple out of the leadoff spot. Yomar Valentin and Devon Fisher added doubles.

Logan Allen, a left-handed pitcher the Red Sox drafted this past June, made his GCL debut. He started the game and went just one inning, but threw a perfect inning by inducing two groundouts and a strikeout. Enmanuel De Jesus picked up his second win of the year by going four innings in relief. He allowed two earned runs, both coming via the solo home run. Algenis Martinez closed it out with a scoreless sixth.


The Red Sox scored in the top of the first, but that would be all for the offense in a 2-1 loss. Leadoff man Willis Figueroa walked twice and scored the lone run. Luis Yovera went 1 for 4 and drove in the only run. Dawill Aponte had a great day at the dish, going 3 for 4 with a  triple.

Alejandro Rodriguez was a tough-luck loser in this one, going five innings and allowing just two earned runs. He punched out four and walked none. Hildemaro Requena also pitched well, going three innings and allowing no runs and just one hit.


DSL Red Sox2 5, DSL Mets2 4
The second DSL Red Sox team won a crazy game, their eighth win in their last nine games. The Red Sox gave up a run in the 11th inning to break a 1-1 tie, but came right back and tied it again in the bottom half of the frame. They would then win in walk-off fashion in the 14th. Three different pitchers went at least four innings, including starter Yorvin Pantoja. He did not allow a run on four hits, three walks, and three strikeouts. Angel Padron relieved him and had a rough outing, allowing three earned runs in two innings. Nicolo Clemente allowed an inherited runner to score, but ended up throwing four innings while allowing three hits, no walks, and no earned runs. Luis Rivero picked up the win despite giving up the run in the 11th inning. He would go on to throw a scoreless frame in the 12th, 13th, and 14th innings.

Five members of the Red Sox had two hits, including Lorenzo Cedrola, who tripled, walked, and raised his batting average to .344. Imeldo Diaz, Stanley Espinal, Juan Hernandez, and Geraldo Carrizalez also had two-hit games.


Player of the Night: Kevin Heller, a part of the Red Sox system since 2012, began the season in Portland. He did not perform, with a .445 OPS in 13 games. Ever since then, he has hit the ball very well in Salem. The 25-year old moved his batting average in Salem from .291 to .307 with a  4 for 4 game. The long-ball was his third of the year and his overall line now stands at .307/.410/.430 with Salem.

Photo Credit: Kevin Heller by Kelly O'Connor