July 7, 2015 at 7:00 AM
7/7 Cup of Coffee: Portland and Greenville battled to close wins, and relied on timely power from players like Rafael Devers (pictured, right) and Jake Romanski. The PawSox had trouble getting their offense off the ground, while catcher Austin Rei, the Red Sox' second overall pick in the 2015 draft, made his professional debut for Lowell.
The basement-dwelling Chiefs hung on to complete the series sweep, limiting the PawSox to five hits and keeping them off the board until the top of the sixth inning. Second baseman Jonathan Roof had Pawtucket's lone multi-hit game, going 3 for 3 with a double. The PawSox missed left fielder Carlos Peguero's power bat, as the 28-year-old journeyman – who has six home runs and 19 RBI in 21 games played – finished 0 for 4 with four strikeouts. Right fielder Daniel Nava and designated hitter Rusney Castillo each chipped in an RBI, but finished the afternoon hitless.
Starter Brian Johnson lasted five innings in his 16th start of the season, drawing the loss to drop to 8-6. The 6-foot-4 left-hander held his own on the bump, holding Syracuse to five hits and two runs while striking out five. Reliever Edwin Escobar came on in the sixth inning and contributed 2/3 of an inning of work. The left-hander gave up a double, two hit batters and the game winning run in that span, and was replaced by right-hander Noe Ramirez in the bottom of the sixth. Ramirez tossed a tidy 2 1/3 innings to close out the contest, holding the Chiefs scoreless and allowing one hit and two walks against three punchouts.
The Sea Dogs weathered a late Binghamton rally to take the rubber match, thanks in large part to a solid performance at the dish from catcher Jake Romanski. The 2013 14th-round pick went 3 for 4 with two RBI and a solo home run, which came with two outs and was his first at the Double-A level. Other notables included shortstop Marco Hernandez, who went 2 for 5 with a triple, and left fielder Cole Sturgeon, who finished 1 for 2 with an RBI triple. Center fielder Manuel Margot extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1 for 4 and swiping his fifth base of the year.
Starter Luis Diaz broke a lengthy winless drought, earning his first victory since July 5, 2014. The right-hander improved to 1-7 this season after a six inning outing that included 10 hits, three runs and four strikeouts. Relievers Robby Scott and John Cornely held the line down the stretch, limiting the Mets to just one hit and one run across the final three frames. Scott's two innings of work included three punchouts.
Monday's contest between Salem and Lynchburg was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as a doubleheader on July 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Right fielder Joseph Monge's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth proved decisive for the Drive, who overcame two late Savannah rallies to earn a tight win. Third baseman Rafael Devers and designated hitter Michael Chavis helped by chipping in big offensive nights. Devers finished the night 2 for 4 with a two-run home run – a 420-foot shot – and three RBI, while Chavis went 2 for 5 with a home run of his own along with two RBI. Second baseman Yoan Moncada had a solid all-around performance, batting 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring two runs, stealing his 11th base of the year and flashing his glove in the infield.
Right-hander Reed Reilly turned in a six-inning start, giving up three runs on eight hits and four strikeouts. Reliever Carlos Pinales tossed one inning in relief, setting things up for closer Mario Alcantara, who overcame a blown save to earn his fourth win of the year.
Lowell managed just six hits and struggled to produce runs outside of a three-run top of the seventh to close out its three-game set against Tri-City. The game was catcher and 2015 third-round pick Austin Rei's professional debut, but the University of Washington product struggled at the plate, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. First baseman Tucker Tubbs – this year's ninth-round pick – hit his first professional home run, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored. Designated hitter Henry Ramos went 2 for 3 and chipped in an RBI.
Starter Danny Rosenbaum split the game with right-hander Daniel Gonzalez, with each pitcher tossing four frames. Rosenbaum dropped to 0-1 after allowing six runs on eight hits and striking out one, while Gonzalez struck out a season-high seven batters against three hits and one run.
The Red Sox got back to their winning ways after dropping back-to-back games against the GCL Twins, with four pitchers combining for 10 strikeouts in the shutout victory. Starter Daniel McGrath made his third appearance for the GCL outfit, where he's playing on a rehab assignment from Salem. The 6-foot-3 Australian faced 10 batters in three innings of work, striking out four and allowing just three hits. Right-hander Kevin Steen relieved McGrath in the top of the fourth, tossing four frames and giving up one hit while punching out four en route to his third win of the year.
Third baseman Roldani Baldwin paced the Red Sox at the plate, going 1 for 3 with an RBI double. First baseman Jerry Downs reached base three times, finishing 1 for 2 with a pair of walks.
Catcher Samuel Miranda led the way offensively, going 3 for 5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Outfielder Mario Campana wasn't far behind, finishing 2 for 3 with an RBI double and three runs scored. The Red Sox had plenty of chances to extend their lead, but finished just 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Starter Roniel Raudes improved to 3-1 after striking out five batters across five frames. The 17-year-old Nicaraguan has 0.82 WHIP through 29 1/3 innings pitched this season.
First baseman Gerardo Carrizalez went 2 for 3 in the victory, while shortstop Imeldo Diaz and designated hitter Rafael Toribio each contributed an RBI. Left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez drew the start, allowing seven hits, two runs and two walks against two strikeouts. Right-hander Victor Diaz improved to a perfect 4-0 after giving up only one hit across the final two frames
Player of the Night: In a one-run game, every RBI counts, and Rafael Devers made a significant contribution in that area last night. He earns Player of the Night honors after putting on an offensive show for the Drive, hitting his seventh home run of the season and chipping in three RBI. The 18-year-old slugger, who sits at No. 3 in the SoxProspects.com ranking and is headed to Major League Baseball's All-Star Futures Game on July 12, has a .288/.318/.432 slash line this season.
Photo Credit: Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor