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July 14, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Espinoza scoreless streak ends in GCL Sox win

7/14 Cup of Coffee: For the first time since his promotion to the Gulf Coast League last month, Anderson Espinoza allowed a run. Even without the young phenom's usual perfection, the GCL Red Sox cruised to victory. The DSL RedSox2 picked up a win as a trio of hurlers combined for a four-hit shutout, while their Red Sox1 counterparts walked off with a victory in the 10th inning. Portland, Salem and Lowell were all on the wrong end of the box score Monday


The Mets completed the four-game sweep over Portland at Hadlock Field on a day where little went right for the Sea Dogs. Things got off to an auspicious beginning as Marco Hernandez led off the bottom of the first with a single, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Hernandez then came around to score on a Sam Travis base hit, giving Portland the 1-0 lead. Travis had three hits on the afternoon and drove in both Portland runs. 

Mike Augliera could not hold that early lead, as Binghamton touched him for three runs in the second and never looked back. Augliera allowed six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, on his way to his professional-baseball leading 13th loss of the year. Mike McCarthy allowed a run in 2 1/3 of relief, followed by a scoreless inning apiece by Jorge Marban and John Cornely


Trey Ball turned in a solid start in a losing effort for Salem. The 21-year-old lefty gave up three runs on five hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two. All three runs allowed by Ball came on a pair of home runs. For the second consecutive season, Ball seems to be making adjustments after initially struggling at his new level. In eight starts since the start of June, Ball has a 2.42 ERA and 1.097 WHIP. Chandler Shepherd followed in relief, firing two hitless innings and striking out one without allowing a walk. 


It was a difficult start for Jake Cosart, as the Scrappers delivered a steady assault on the 2014 third-round pick. Cosart pitched only 2 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out three. Ben Taylor continues the solid start to his pro career, allowing a run on three hits in three innings, walking one and striking out six. In 10 innings across four appearances, Taylor has allowed only two runs and struck out 17 against two walks. 

At the plate, Victor Acosta and Chad De La Guerra had two hits apiece, with De La Guerra adding his sixth double of the season. Austin Rei took a beating, catching all nine innings and twice getting hit with pitches. Luis Alexander Basabe walked four times and he has now reached base in 14 straight.


It was a major milestone for Anderson Espinoza. In his fourth start since coming stateside, the Venezuelan righty gave up a run. After a scoreless first inning, the Orioles touched Espinoza for a run in the second, despite not getting the ball out of the infield. Espinoza's relative "struggles" continued in the third when he allowed a leadoff double, his first extra-base hit since joining the GCL. Overall, he allowed two runs on two hits in four innings, seeing his ERA balloon to 1.13. Espinoza also walked three and struck out a pair. 

Algenis Martinez got the win in relief, allowing a run on two hits in two innings. Carlos Garcia struck out one in two perfect innings out of the bullpen, and Nick Duron struck out the side around one walk to close things out in the ninth.

After seeing his 11-game hitting streak halted on Saturday Yoan Aybar (pictured, above) got himself back on track, leading the Sox offense on Monday. Aybar drove in two and scored two more, going 2 for 3 with a double, walk, sacrifice fly and stolen base. Yomar Valentin, the 20th-round pick and son of longtime major leaguer Jose Valentin, made his professional debut. Getting the start at shortstop, Valentin was 1 for 4 with a double, RBI and steal. 


DSL Red Sox1 4, DSL Mariners1 3 (10 innings)
Anderson was not the only Espinoza to take the mound on Monday, as Junior Espinoza (no relation) got the call for the Red Sox1 squad. The 17-year-old allowed two runs on six hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked one. Edison Batista allowed an unearned run on two hits in three innings, and Warlyn Guzman tossed three scoreless frames to earn the win.

With the score knotted at three, a wild 10th inning gave the Sox the victory. Eduard Conde led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and the bases were then loaded with nobody out after singles by Samuel Miranda and Marino Campana. With things looking up, Eddy Reynoso then grounded into an extremely rare 5-6-2 double play, cutting down both lead runners. However, Luis Yovera stepped up with two-outs, delivering a base hit that scored Campana with the winning run.

It was a dominant performance by a trio of Sox hurlers, highlighted by starter Victor Garcia. The 18-year-old allowed just one hit in six shutout innings, striking out six and walking three. Garcia has allowed no earned runs in six of his eight stars, and he posts a microscopic 1.08 ERA on the year. The Brewers luck didn't change against a pair of relievers, as Ramses Romero, making his Red Sox debut after being traded from the Nationals in exchange for an international signing bonus slot, scattered two hits in two scoreless frames, and Nicolo Clemente struck out one in the ninth. 

It was the Stanley Espinal show at the plate, as the third baseman was 5 for 5, driving in three runs, scoring one, and stealing his first base of the year. Lorenzo Cedrola added three hits including a double, driving in and scoring two apiece.


Player of the Day: Yoan Aybar was the talk of the offseason, and his early-season play for the GCL Red Sox indicates he's worthy of that hype. The number 28 prospect in the Boston system went 2 for 3, raising his average to .320, with his second double and third stolen base. He has a base hit in 12 of his 14 games, and multiple hits in three of his last five.

Photo Credit: Yoan Aybar by Kelly O'Connor