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June 5, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kemp and Matheny homer, DSL season kicks off

6/5 Cup of Coffee: All five active Red Sox affiliates won on Saturday, with the PawSox picking up a high-offense win, while Salem and Greenville delivered in the clutch to win close games. Both DSL squads took home victories in their season-opening contests. The battery of Sean O'Sullivan and Dan Butler led the PawSox to their win. Salem walked off when top prospect Yoan Moncada scored on a wild pitch and Anderson Espinoza (pictured) started for Greenville but it was Trent Kemp and Tate Matheny who stole the show in a comeback win for the Drive.


The PawSox lineup exploded on Saturday night in Norfolk, scoring 11 runs and recording 16 hits. Catcher Dan Butler was the standout for Pawtucket, going 2 for 4 and blasting a three-run homer in the ninth. Bryce Brentz (2 for 5 with a run, a double, and an RBI) and Chris Marrero (2 for 4 with a run, a double, an RBI, and a walk) had impressive games in the middle of the lineup. Both Rusney Castillo and Sandy Leon were removed from the game as a precaution in the wake of injuries to Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan in Saturday's major league game.

Sean O'Sullivan took the hill for the PawSox and threw seven solid innings, allowing two runs on nine hits. Kyle Martin struggled in relief, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks in 1 2/3 innings pitched. However, left-hander Wesley Wright was able to close out the game with a scoreless 1/3 of an inning. 


The Red Sox picked up an exciting walk-off win on Saturday night when Yoan Moncada came in to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Joseph Monge had a good game for Salem, going 1 for 3 with a walk and driving in a run with a triple in the sixth inning.

Salem rode a strong performance by starting pitcher Daniel McGrath to the win. McGrath tossed six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks, punching out six. He lowered his ERA to 4.58 on the season and he now has an 11/7 K/BB in 17 2/3 innings this season. Mario Alcantara picked up the win in relief, allowing a run in three innings while striking out two. 


The Drive delivered a thrilling comeback win on Saturday evening, coming through late despite falling behind 4-0 after the first three innings. Anderson Espinoza started for the Drive but didn't turn in his best performance, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits in four innings. The 18-year-old now has a 3.70 ERA in 52 2/3 innings for Greenville. Kuehl McEachern threw three impressive innings of relief, allowing a run and striking out four. Jeffry Fernandez and Victor Diaz threw a shutout inning apiece to close out the game. 

It took Greenville until the sixth inning to score their first run, which came on a solo shot by Tate Matheny. The Drive then tied the score in the seventh inning on a three-run homer by Trent Kemp. Asheville took the lead again in the bottom of the frame, but the Drive once more tied the game in the eighth and took the lead for the final time on an RBI single from Luis Alejandro Basabe in the ninth. Matheny and Kemp were each 2 for 3 with a home run and a walk, and Kemp also added a double.


DSL Red Sox1 7, DSL Athletics 1
The Dominican Summer League schedule kicked off in impressive fashion, as a quartet of Red Sox1 hurlers combined on a one-hitter. Starter Juan Perez spun five shutout innings, allowing the lone hit and striking out two while walking three in his professional debut. Angel Padron struck out a pair in two perfect innings of relief. The Athletics only run came off Geraldo Perez, who did not allow a hit in his inning but did walk three and hit a batter, before Antonio Police tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

Simon Muzziotti, ranked the 24th-best international player of the 2015-16 class by Baseball America, was 3 for 5 with a double and two runs scored. Kervin Suarez doubled twice as part of a 2-for-5 day, and Eduardo Torrealba and Carlos Pulido had two hits apiece.

DSL Red Sox2 4, DSL Phillies2 2
It was a sweep for the two DSL affiliates on opening day. The Red Sox most highly touted international signee this year was Albert Guaimaro, who Baseball America rated number 15 in the class. Making his professional debut batting third and playing center field, Guaimaro went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Pedro Castellanos, Antonio Pineiro, and Rafael Rincones each added two hits, with Pineiro stealing a base.

Gregory Santos got the start, allowing two runs on three hits in four innings, striking out three and walking a pair. Andres Jimenez allowed one hit in two shutout innings, while Ryan Oduber got the win for his three innings of scoreless relief.


Player of the Night: Trent Kemp was drafted as a toolsy high school outfielder in 2014 and struggled mightily with Lowell last season. However, he has turned a corner this season and had a great game on Saturday night, going 2 for 3 with two runs, three RBIs, a double, a home run, and a walk. Kemp is now batting .252/.354/.465 with six home runs this season and displays an intriguing combination of speed and power.

Photo Credit: Anderson Espinoza by Kelly O'Connor