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August 6, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Offense explodes for Portland, Salem, Greenville, Lowell

8/6 Cup of Coffee: Offense was a major theme yesterday, with four teams scoring at least seven runs. Wendell Rijo (pictured), Cole Sturgeon, and Nick Longhi all recorded four-hit games. Yoan Moncada, Josh Ockimey and Andrew Benintendi also had big nights. Tzu-Wei Lin and Carlos Asuaje tripled and Keury De La Cruz homered to give Portland a thrilling win. Aaron Wilkerson made his debut for Portland and Logan Allen pitched well in his third start. Matt Barnes also made his first start in over three months and Ryan Cook made his debut.


Matt Barnes found himself back in the PawSox rotation and made his first start since May 1. He was not sharp, lasting just 3 1/3 innings and allowing five hits, three walks, and four earned runs while taking the loss. Pat Light relieved Barnes and dominated, striking out six batters in 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Tommy Layne, who was recently sent down from Boston, had a rough outing. He allowed three earned runs on four hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning. Newly acquired reliever Ryan Cook made his debut in a PawSox uniform by throwing 1 1/3 perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Pawtucket didn't do much offensively until the eighth inning. Sandy Leon and Allen Craig each had RBI singles in the inning. Leon finished 3 for 4 on the day. Jeff Bianchi and Garin Cecchini also added doubles.


The Sea Dogs had a nice game with the bats and were able to hold off the SeaWolves for a one-run victory. The scoring started in the second when Tzu-Wei Lin tripled home a run. Lin then came around to score on a two-run shot from Keury De La Cruz, his sixth of the year. After Portland fell behind by two, Carlos Asuaje ripped a two-run triple to tie the game. Tim Roberson, who has been on fire, gave Portland the lead with an RBI single in the seventh. Henry Ramos also went 2 for 3 with a  double and a walk.

Aaron Wilkerson was called up to Portland and made his Double-A debut. This is Wilkerson's third level of 2015, starting the year in Greenville and moving to Salem before he arrived with Portland. He was unable to find a good rhythm in this one, allowing five earned runs on five hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. Mike Augliera continued his nice stretch out of the bullpen, earning the win and going 2 1/3 innings while giving up one earned run and striking out three. Williams Jerez also pitched well, allowing no runs in 1 2/3 innings. Jorge Marban struck out the final batter of the game to earn his fifth save.


Crooked numbers were a theme in this wild affair all the way around. The two teams combined for 16 runs, 32 hits, 10 errors, and 28 men left on base. The Red Sox had a great output on offense, banging out seven runs on 18 hits. However, their defense was abysmal, committing seven errors. Wendell Rijo stood out with the bat, going 4 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Cole Sturgeon also went 4 for 5 with a double and scored two runs. Mauricio Dubon, Jordan Betts, and Zach Kapstein each added two-hit games.

Teddy Stankiewicz, who can be heard on the most recent SoxProspects.com podcast, started and turned in a quality start. He went six innings, allowing four runs (three earned), while striking out four and walking just one. Kyle Kraus had some tough luck in this game. He was charged with a blown save and a loss, but allowed just one earned run in three innings while striking out two and walking none. However, the defense behind him cost the Red Sox four additional unearned runs, and that turned out to be a difference in the game.


The fans in West Virginia saw another crazy game, with the Drive losing a slugfest on a walk-off in the 12th inning. Yoan Moncada continued to be a major force on offense, going 3 for 7 with a double, two stolen bases, and three RBI. Nick Longhi also had a big night, going 4 for 7 with a double, two RBI, and three runs. Rafael Devers added a pair of doubles while Danny Mars and Mike Meyers each collected two hits.

Dedgar Jimenez did not fare well, allowing six earned runs (seven total) on eight hits. He walked one and struck out just one. Mario Alcantara came on and didn't do much better, allowing three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Michael Gunn and Ryan Harris both went two innings and allowed an earned run, with Harris taking the loss.


The offensive parade continued in Lowell, as they had 12 runs on 12 hits. Josh Ockimey got things started in the first inning with a two-run homer, his second of the year. Jeremy Rivera had a nice night out of the leadoff spot, going 3 for 5 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Victor Acosta went 2 for 4 with a double, three runs and three RBI. Andrew Benintendi also had a 2 for 4 night, scoring twice and stealing two bases. Kyri Washington added a two-run double.

The pitching was rock solid for Lowell, as Jose Almonte started and went four innings while allowing three hits and no runs. He struck out five. Matt Kent got the win and lowered his ERA to 1.20 after pitching four shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, no walks, and struck out four. Austin Glorius closed it out by striking out the side in the ninth.


The GCL Red Sox were able to shutout the Rays behind the great pitching of Logan Allen, Enmanuel De Jesus, and Nick Duron. Allen made his third start of the year, and in the first one he went an inning, in the second one he went two innings, and in this one he went three. The 2015 draft pick struck out five and walked just one while allowing no runs in his three innings of work. De Jesus got the win by going 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. Duron finished off the final 2 1/3 innings without allowing a walk or a hit.

Sean Coyle, who is rehabbing, had a big impact by going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Rafael Oliveras also added a pair of hits. Trent Kemp went 1 for 2 with a double, a walk, and an RBI as well.


The DSL Sox were blown out and did not receive great pitching or hitting. Jose Zacarias started and took the loss after going four innings and allowing seven hits and four runs (one earned). He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Shair Lacrus pitching just 1/3 of an innings, but gave up three earned runs on two walks and three hits. Carlos Cortes went the final three innings and also gave up three earned runs.

Marino Campana had the only multi-hit game, going 2 for 3. Eddy Reynoso added a double and Luis Yovera had the only RBI.


The second DSL team lost a tough one-run game in seven innings. Denyi Reyes started and lasted just two innings while surrendering 10 hits and five earned runs. Ramses Rosario went the final 4 2/3 innings and pitched well. He allowed just one earned run and struck out four while walking one.

Nobody had a multiple-hit game, but seven of the nine starters had at least one hit for the Red Sox. Lorenzo Cedrola upped his average to .321 after a 1 for 3 performance. Marcos Martinez drew the only walk for the Sox, and finished 1 for 2.


Player of the Night: On what was a big night for the entire system offensively, Wendell Rijo stood out. The 19-year old went 4 for 5 with his 22nd double of the season. He also drove in a pair of runs and pushed his batting average from.248 to .257.

Photo Credit: Wendell Rijo by Kelly O'Connor