June 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM
6/10 Cup of Coffee: It was a huge night at the plate for several Salem hitters, including Rafael Devers (pictured) and Mauricio Dubon, in a slugfest win. Both DSL squads came away with solid wins with the first DSL team getting a solid pitching performance and the second team winning on the strength of an eight-run fourth. Sean O'Sullivan turned in another strong performance as the PawSox held off a late rally for the win. Greenville was roughed up and Portland fell short after a late rally.
Sean O'Sullivan was brilliant on the mound for the second straight outing, spinning eight-plus solid innings. O'Sullivan managed to strand six Toledo runners and was the beneficiary of a pair of key double plays. He attempted to finish the complete game but allowed the first two runners to reach in the top of the ninth. Kyle Martin allowed an inherited runner to score, but managed to induce a 1-6-3 double play to end the game and stranded the tying run on third. Deven Marrero went 2 for 3 with a run scored and Justin Maxwell drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly.
Portland dug itself too deep of a hole to climb out of as a late rally fell short. A nightmare fourth inning for Kevin McAvoy sank the Sea Dogs, as Bowie scored seven runs in the frame. Three of the seven runs charged to McAvoy scored as inherited runners thanks to a bases-clearing triple. Ryan Court continued his recent hot streak, going 3 for 4 with three runs scored. Court came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth representing the tying run but grounded into a game-ending double play. Jake Romanski and Aneury Tavarez each went 2 for 3 with two RBI.
The Red Sox pounded out 21 hits as eight of the nine starters collected at least one apiece. Rafael Devers had his biggest offensive night of the season so far, reaching base six times and going 5 for 5 with two RBI and a run scored. Devers' fifth hit was originally ruled an error but was changed by the scorer after the game. Mauricio Dubon went 4 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, two RBI and a stolen base. Danny Mars also had a four-hit night, going 4 for 6 with a run scored. Jordan Betts drove in three on a big bases-clearing double that put the game out of reach. Travis Lakins started off strong, allowing just two hits and striking out eight in the first four innings. The wheels came off in the fifth, however, as he finished with four earned runs on five hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He finished with nine strikeouts. Yankory Pimentel earned the win in relief with 2 2/3 innings of work.
Things fell apart late for Greenville as Drive pitchers allowed three runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. Dedgar Jimenez was solid through six innings of work, but a single and two doubles to lead off the seventh ended his night. He allowed five runs on nine hits, struck out six and walked none. Tate Matheny inched back towards a .300 batting average with a 3-for-4 performance with a double. He was stranded all three times he reached, though. Chad De La Guerra scored both of Greenville's runs on a 2-for-4 night for him.
Four different DSL 1 pitchers combined for a shutout, stranding nine Astros in the process. Alejandro Rodriguez worked around three walks and three hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. He struck out two. The combination relief of Oddanier Mosqueda, Carlos Cortes, and Angel Padron held the Astros scoreless. Cortes earned the win with two innings of work, walking one and striking out one. He did not allow a hit. Padron allowed a hit and hit one batter in the ninth, but induced a 1-6-3 double play to end the game. Willis Figueroa scored the eventual game-winner on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth. Luis Hernandez drove in an insurance run in the ninth.
The second DSL team rode five extra base hits and a big day from shortstop Yeison Coca out of the leadoff spot to the win. Coca went 3 for 5 with a triple and a run scored, driving in three. Right fielder Rafael Rincones drove in a pair with an RBI double, finishing 1 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk. Ronaldo Pulgar also plated two with a triple, going 1 for 4 with a run scored. Jose Gonzalez went five innings, allowing just one hit, no runs and struck out five to earn the win.
Player of the Night: Reaching base six times is a special feat and Rafael Devers was in need of such a boost. Devers raised his average all the way from .212 to .232 in one night with his five-hit effort. Devers had not even had a three-hit game this season until Thursday. After a dreadful start to the year, Devers now has three multi-hit games in June, has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games, and is hitting .448 so far this month.
Photo Credit: Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor
Photo Credit: Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor