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July 3, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kopech goes six strong, Nava returns to Pawtucket

7/3 Cup of Coffee: A mixed night on the farm included a pair of solid efforts from former first-round picks Michael Kopech (pictured) and Trey Ball, while Pawtucket and Lowell were both blown out. Daniel Nava made his return to the diamond as he begins his rehab stint with the PawSox, and the GCL Red Sox got another good pitching performance as they moved to 10-0 on the year. 


Not much went right for the PawSox, as they were clobbered by the RailRiders. Making his third straight start, Zeke Spruill was lit up for 10 runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Edwin Escobar did not have any better luck, as the RailRiders got to him for four runs on five hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Dayan Diaz was able to save the rest of the bullpen with three scoreless innings to end it. 

Of Pawtucket's five hits, two came from Allen Craig, who is looking to bounce back from hitting .235/.376/.333 over 81 at-bats in June. Daniel Nava made his first rehab appearance since being put on the disabled list at the end of May, going 1 for 3 with two strikeouts. The Red Sox announced that Nava will get reps at both first base and in the outfield, and they have 20 days before they have to make a decision about calling him up to Boston.


Portland Sea Dogs 6 New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 5 (16 innings)
Mike Augliera got the start, tossing five innings while allowing three runs, two earned, with four strikeouts. Williams Jerez allowed one run in his two innings of work, and this marked the first time since his first two appearances of the season that he allowed runs in back-to-back games. Madison Younginer was handed a one-run lead, but a walk followed by back-to-back singles in the ninth tied the game and sent it to extras. Robby Scott and Jorge Marban combined to throw 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and then outfielder Cole Sturgeon came on to throw three innings, allowing only one hit and one walk in what is one of the best pitching performances from a position player in recent memory.

After throwing his three innings, Sturgeon came to bat in the bottom of the 16th and led off with a single. He moved to third on a single from Marco Hernandez, and then scored the winning run on a wild pitch.Sam Travis had his best game in Double-A, going 4 for 7 with a double, and Jantzen Witte drove in two runs as part of a 3 for 7 day. After scoring two runs in the seventh, it took the Sea Dogs nine innings until they were able to push another run across.


Salem's game with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (CHC) was suspended in the fifth inning due to lightning. Salem was leading 1-0, with Trey Ball going the first 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run before the game was called. Ball walked one and struck out two while allowing two hits. The lone run for Salem came on a solo home run from Wendell Rijo.


Greenville Drive 2, Hickory Crawdads (TEX) 1 (13 innings)
Behind the right arm of Michael Kopech, the Drive outlasted the Crawdads in a low-scoring affair. Kopech went the first six innings, walking one and giving up one run while striking out five. There is more on Kopech at the bottom of the article. Carlos Pinales kept the Crawdads at bay with four one-hit innings, and Mario Alcantara earned the win with three hitless innings.

Despite Yoan Moncada, Michael Chavis, and Rafael Devers combining to go 0 for 14 with eight strikeouts, the Drive still collected 11 hits. Nick Longhi, Javier Guerra, Mike Meyers, Bryan Hudson, and Joseph Monge all had two apiece, with Meyers' RBI double plating the go-ahead run in the top of the 13th. 


It was another shaky start for Jake Cosart, who did not make it out of the second inning in a loss to the Tigers. Cosart gave up four hits, including two home runs, while walking two and allowing seven runs in only 1 1/3 innings. Matt Kent struck out four and gave up only one run in three innings, and Daniel Zandona rebounded from his rough outing on Tuesday to throw a shutout inning last night. 

A two-run home run by Mitchell Gunsolus in the ninth inning was the only sign of life from Lowell, with the team only managing three hits. The home run was Gunsolus' first as a professional, and he also added a walk. 


The Red Sox extended their winning streak to 10 games, using a late rally to top the Orioles. Josh Pennington kept his ERA at zero with three innings of one-hit ball, walking one and striking out five. He has now struck out nine batters in his five innings since coming back from Tommy John surgery. He was followed by Emmanuel De Jesus, who surrendered only an unearned run over three innings, but the Orioles got to Brad Stone for two runs in the seventh to tie the game. 

After run scoring singles from Trent Kemp and Devon Fisher put the Red Sox ahead in the fourth, they had to come back after the Orioles tied the game. Luis Alejandro Basabe put the Red Sox ahead with an RBI single in the eighth, and Jerry Downs added an insurance via a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Basabe and Kemp each led the way with two hits, while Down had a single in addition to his sacrifice fly. 


The Red Sox could not get anything going on offense, mustering up only four hits in a loss to the Twins. Starter Eduard Bazardo allowed a run in each of the first three innings, but the bullpen held the Twins scoreless over the next five innings, with Luis Colmenares tossing four of those. Willis Figueroa walked three times out of the leadoff spot, while Samuel Miranda and Elwin Tejeda each had a double. 

Led by Juan Barriento's magnificent game, the second DSL squad tripled up the Marlins. The defense tried to sabotage Gary Calvo, committing three errors in the third that led to three unearned runs. Jose Gonzalez came on in relief and fired five shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out four. 

Barriento impacted the game in every way, going 4 for 4 with a walk while scoring and driving in three runs. On top of that, he also stole a base and notched an outfield assist. Jose Lozada also pitched in with three hits, and Lorenzo Cedrola added two. The win improved their record to 21-7


Player of the Night: In his longest outing as a professional, Michael Kopech allowed only one run over six innings, walking one and striking out five. The 19-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.89 over 56 innings, tallying 63 strikeouts to only 18 walks. His 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings currently leads the Red Sox system for pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched, and his 2.9 walks per nine is impressive for a pitcher whose biggest question entering the season was his control. 

Photo Credit: Michael Kopech by Kelly O'Connor