June 4, 2016 at 7:00 AM
6/4 Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon combined to go 7 for 7 with two walks to spark Salem’s come-from-behind victory. Pawtucket and Greenville lost tight games, with the latter falling apart in the ninth. Portland’s offense sputtered in a 5-1 loss.
Aaron Wilkerson turned in a solid start in his second start since his most recent call-up to Triple-A. But the Pawtucket bats were quiet, and Norfolk edged out the victory in the low-scoring contest. Wilkerson allowed seven hits but just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking none. In his relief, Robby Scott threw 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Ryan LaMarre created the first PawSox run in the top of the first with a single and stolen base, later scoring on a groundout. A seventh-inning double by Mike Miller paved the way for the second run. He scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Vinicio. But the PawSox mustered only six hits and every member of the team struck out in the narrow defeat.
Despite outhitting Hartford 9-7, the Sea Dogs struggled to string hits together in a 5-1 loss to open the series. The Yard Goats scored three runs in the first, which was plenty, as Portland’s lone run came on a fifth-inning single by Henry Ramos. Keith Couch battled through the early troubles to throw seven innings, but he was responsible for all five of the Hartford runs in the loss.
Ramos went 2 for 5 out of the leadoff spot with the lone RBI, driving home Tzu-Wei Lin. Andrew Benintendi and Ryan Court each reached base twice. Court’s single and double pushed his hit streak to nine games, during which he has hit .484.
Any talk of Yoan Moncada’s slump is long gone, as he continued his red-hot series with three doubles to lead Salem back from an 8-2 deficit for a thrilling 11-10 win. Salem scored five in the fifth, one in the sixth, and three in the seventh to vault over the Pelicans in the high-scoring affair. Moncada reached base in each of his five plate appearances, working two walks to go with his trio of doubles. He also stole his 32nd base of the season and scored four runs. Following Moncada’s example, Mauricio Dubon went 4 for 4 on the night with a double, a stolen base and three runs scored. Rafael Devers, Danny Mars, and Ben Moore each had two hits to help drive home the speedy Moncada and Dubon.
Travis Lakins was the sour part of the game for Salem, as he allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs in four innings of work. Simon Mercedes, who had been roughed up in Portland this year, made his 2016 Salem debut with two strong innings and notched the save.
The Drive banged out 11 hits, six of them for extra bases, and received a strong start from Logan Boyd, but the effort was erased when Asheville plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth to steal the victory. Boyd allowed one earned run in 6 2/3 innings — his longest outing of the year — but errors allowed two unearned runs to come home. He left the game with a 4-3 lead before Adam Lau surrendered three runs with two outs in the final frame.
Tate Matheny led the offense with three hits, an RBI, and a run scored. Luis Alexander Basabe picked up a pair of hits and an RBI, and Jayce Ray and Austin Rei each chipped in a double and a run scored.
Player of the Night: Yoan Moncada will not be happy to see the Myrtle Beach Pelicans leave town. In the last three games of their four-game set, Moncada went 7 for 10 with seven doubles and three walks, halting his mini-slump and powering Salem to three wins. While Moncada added a stolen base to show the range of his offensive skills, he continued to display his defensive shortcomings with his 10th error.
Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada by Kelly O'Connor