May 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM
5/22 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates split four games, but the bats were roaring across multiple levels. Pawtucket racked up 14 hits in a 7-3 win while Greenville hit a pair of home runs each game of its doubleheader, including a two-homer game for Trent Kemp (pictured) in a 7-0 win in game two. Salem is the exception to the offensive fireworks, mounting little at the plate in a 6-0 loss.
Every member of the Pawtucket lineup contributed hits to the squad’s 14-hit, seven-run offensive outburst. The PawSox scored in the first and fourth innings but did not take the lead for good until their three-run sixth inning. A two-run double off the bat of Sam Travis broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the decisive blow. Sandy Leon drove in a run with a sac fly and Chris Marrero contributed an RBI as the PawSox piled on late. Chris Marrero finished the night 3 for 4 with a walk, and Travis and Chris Dominguez each turned in 2-for-5 performances — though both also committed errors in the field.
Sean O’Sullivan started for the PawSox, but his return to Triple-A was short-lived. He went just four innings, surrendering seven hits, a walk, and two earned runs. Robby Scott picked up the win with a valuable 3 1/3 innings in relief, and Pat Light retired the final four batters for the save. Light’s final fastball of the game even registered at 101 miles per hour on the stadium gun.
Portland Sea Dogs vs Altoona Curve (PIT), Postponed
Portland and Altoona postponed their game due to rain and will play a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 4 p.m.
Salem’s potent offense never showed up against Winston-Salem Saturday. The lineup managed just two hits, drew zero walks, and did not have a baserunner after the third inning on their way to being shut out. The game started triumphantly, with a Yoan Moncada triple to centerfield, but after he was stranded, the offense flattened. Moncada reached later on a hit by pitch and stole second and third, pushing his total to 30 swipes for the season.
Dedgar Jimenez allowed three runs in five innings of work, and reliever German Taveras surrendered the same total in just 1 1/3 innings. Austin Maddox was the lone bright spot on the hill, tossing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with three strikeouts.
The Drive scored only two runs in the front end of their twin bill, but they were both loud. Catcher Austin Rei mashed his second home run of the year to left field in the fourth inning, and Tate Matheny followed him two innings later with a solo shot to right-center, also his second blast of the season. Despite a number of threats from the Drive offense, the long balls accounted for all of the production in the seven-inning affair. Luis Alejandro Basabe finished the night 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Starter Marc Brakeman allowed four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, but Jake Cosart was strong in 2 1/3 innings of relief, holding the Legends hitless and striking out four.
Greenville rebounded in the nightcap to stomp Lexington, 7-0, behind a power display from Trent Kemp. Kemp cracked a pair of two-run home runs and finished the game 2 for 3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Matheny contributed both of the other Greenville runs with a two-RBI single while Luis Alejandro Basabe went 3 for 3 in the winning effort. The pitching was also stellar behind Kemp and Co. After working out of the bullpen this season, Adam Lau got the start for the Drive and turned in four scoreless innings. Austin Glorius pitched the next two frames without allowing a hit, and Kuehl McEachern finished off the shutout with a clean seventh.
Player of the Night: When you club two round-trippers in the same game like Trent Kemp, you deserve Player of the Night. Despite a low average (.221), Kemp has been getting on base and hitting for power, which has led to an above league average OPS of .772. Kemp was drafted in the 15th round in 2014 as a skilled but underdeveloped high school outfielder. He remains a work in progress, but days like Saturday give a glimpse of the young outfielder’s potential.
Photo Credit: Trent Kemp by Kelly O'Connor