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June 3, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Moncada paces Salem in doubleheader

6/3 Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada reached base five times with four extra-base hits between both games of Salem's double header. Pawtucket pitching walked a tightrope for 14 innings but managed to pull out the win. Portland lost a high-offense showdown while the Greenville pitching staff helped the Drive to victory.


The PawSox came away victorious in a marathon game on the road. Pawtucket pitching gave up 15 hits and walked seven, but somehow managed to strand a whopping 17 Norfolk runners and allow just one run. Mike Miller finally broke the stalemate with an RBI double in the top of the 14th, scoring Jose Vinicio. Ryan LaMarre then drove in Miller for an insurance run. All three Red Sox outfielders - LaMarre, Justin Maxwell, and Bryce Brentz made incredible diving catches to save runs and keep the game tied. Pawtucket caught Norfolk's Mike Yastrzemski in a rundown trying to score from third in the bottom of the 10th. Maxwell also threw out the potential winning run at the plate in the 12th. Pawtucket pitching held Norfolk to just 1 for 24 as a team with runners in scoring position. Roman Mendez picked up the win with three scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out three. William Cuevas scattered seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing one run, two walks and collecting four strikeouts.


The Sea Dogs' bats came alive on Thursday, but unfortunately for them, Reading's bats did more damage as Portland dropped a slugfest. Four different Sea Dogs had multi-hit games. Designated hitter Rainel Rosario did the most to help the cause with a 3-for-4 game including a three-run home run and two runs scored. Andrew Benintendi, Jake Romanski, and Sean Coyle all had a pair of hits and scored at least once. Kevin McAvoy was roughed up in three innings of work, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout. Mike McCarthy did not fare much better in 2 1/3 innings of relief, allowing seven more runs on seven hits, walking three and surrendering a grand slam and a two-run homer.


Yoan Moncada kicked off the doubleheader sweep with a bases-clearing double in the second inning, setting the tone for the day. Moncada drove in two more on another double in the sixth and Jordan Betts added the final tallies with another two-run double. Moncada finished game one of the doubleheader 2 for 4 with five RBI. Ben Moore also had a solid game at the plate, going 3 for 3 with two runs scored. Matt Kent had a solid outing on the mound, scattering five hits over six innings. He allowed just one run, walked two, and struck out four.

The bats kept raking for Salem in the nightcap of the doubleheader, as the Red Sox pounded out 13 hits. Every Red Sox player had at least one hit in the game. Moncada was at it again with a 2-for-3 night which included a walk, a pair of doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. Mauricio Dubon and Nick Longhi each drove in a pair. Yankory Pimentel limited the Pelicans to two runs on just three hits in five innings of work. He struck out five and walked two. Bobby Poyner picked up the save with two no-hit innings of relief, despite walking three.


Greenville also joined the hit parade on Thursday, racking up 11 hits as a team. Kyri Washington put the Drive up for good in the fifth with a two-run triple. He finished 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. Tate Matheny hit his third home run of the season with a solo shot in the seventh. Matheny finished 1 for 3 with a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored. Dedgar Jimenez picked up the win, grinding through five innings, but it was Anyelo LeClerc who was the pitching star for Greenville. LeClerc earned the save with four scoreless innings of relief, allowing just two hits, striking out six and walking none.


Player of the Night: With four extra-base hits and six RBI, Yoan Moncada was the runaway choice for Player of the Night. The big day may be the cure for Moncada's recent skid in which he was 2 for his last 21 entering Thursday. Moncada's slash line now sits at .297/.422/.470 and is second in the Carolina League with 45 runs scored.

Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada by Kelly O'Connor