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June 8, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Washington powers Drive to doubleheader sweep

6/8 Cup of Coffee: A dominant performance at the plate by Kyri Washington (pictured, left), the highlight of Tuesday's games, helped Greenville sweep a doubleheader. Salem was also victorious in its contest, while Pawtucket and Portland came up short. The DSL squads were washed out of their scheduled action.


The PawSox saw their three-game winning streak come to an end despite a 10-hit effort. Leadoff man Ryan LaMarre was on base four times, going 3 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, but the rest of the lineup failed to get him home. Jantzen Witte hit a solo homer in the second as part of a two-hit night, and Chris Marrero delivered a pair of hits for Pawtucket. Bryce Brentz continues to rack up the doubles, notching his 10th in only 95 at-bats.

It was a tough night for starter Joe Kelly, who took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He exited the game with what Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles called a right groin injury. Robby Scott did yeoman's work out of the bullpen, stranding two runners in the fifth and ultimately turning in 3 1/3 hitless innings. Aaron Wilkerson pitched the ninth in his first relief appearance of the season, allowing one hit and striking out two without issuing a walk.


It was a tough afternoon for the Sea Dogs, who surrendered runs in each of the first five innings to dig a hole they could not escape. One of the few bright spots was Cole Sturgeon, who fell a single short of hitting for the cycle. Sturgeon scored a run and drove in a pair to go with his double, triple, and homer. Ryan Court continued to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 3 with a walk. Over his last 12 games, Court is 20 for 42. 

Mitch Atkins struggled on the hill, allowing six runs on nine hits in three innings, his ERA ballooning by more than a run. It was a tough introduction to Double-A ball for reliever Taylor Grover, who was promoted from High-A Salem on Sunday. In his Sea Dogs debut, the 2013 10th-round pick allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in three innings. He surrendered a solo home run and struck out three without issuing a walk. On Monday, the Sea Dogs announced they would begin transitioning Ty Buttrey to a bullpen role. In his first relief appearance since 2014, when he was a Lowell Spinner, Buttrey went two innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit. He walked one and struck out one. 


A solid all-around effort helped Salem in a matchup of division leaders. Yoan Moncada delivered his 21st double and stole his 34th base of the season as the 21-year-old continues to pace the Carolina League in both categories. Rafael Devers went 2 for 4 as he works out of an early-season slump. Danny Mars and Nick Longhi added two hits apiece.

Starter Matt Kent (pictured, right) turned in a strong outing, striking out a career-high seven batters. He didn't issue a walk and allowed just one run on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Fresh off being named SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week, Mario Alcantara turned in another 1 2/3 shutout innings. Bobby Poyner found his control again, striking out three in 1 2/3 perfect innings after issuing his first three walks of the entire season in his previous outing. 


A five-hit attack was enough for Greenville to prevail in the first game of its doubleheader. One of those hits was a three-run homer off the bat of Kyri Washington. Washington's blast followed a Josh Ockimey double and a Tate Matheny base hit, giving starter Roniel Raudes more than enough of a cushion. Raudes, named to the South Atlantic League All-Star squad earlier in the day, continues to impress. The second-youngest player in both the League and the Drive rotation allowed just one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. A model of consistency, Raudes entered the game with a 5.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and kept that up by striking out five while walking one. 

It was more of the same in the nightcap, as the difference was a Washington three-run blast. The left fielder's eighth round-tripper of the season came in the fifth, breaking a 2-2 tie. Washington also singled in the third, and followed with steals of both second and third base. Luis Alejandro Basabe doubled and walked as part of a 2-for-3 game. That line was nearly matched by his brother, Luis Alexander Basabe, who walked, notched two singles, and stole a base. 

The Drive switched up pitching roles a bit, as Austin Glorius made his first start of the season and was piggybacked by usual starter Marc Brakeman. Glorius allowed two runs (one earned) in three innings, striking out four and walking one. Brakeman was credited with the win for his three shutout frames. He allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out three. Anyelo Leclerc got the save, striking out two in a perfect ninth. 


DSL Red Sox1 vs. DSL Dodgers2, Postponed (rain)
The third day of gameplay in the Dominican Summer League for the DSL Red Sox1 was a washout. A makeup date has not been announced. 

Between the two scheduled games for the Red Sox DSL affiliates, they only managed to play one inning, but it was a doozy. The game log is worth checking out. Jose Zacarias faced four batters in the first, giving up singles to three of them. All of the outs in the inning were made at home plate or third base, none coming on force plays. The third came on a runner trying to go from first to third on a single to the shortstop.

The game was suspended in the top of the second when the baseball gods intervened and decided everyone involved should start fresh another day.


Player of the Day: Unlike the Ninja Turtles, whose threads he sports in the above picture, Kyri Washington has been anything but a flop this June. The 21-year-old was 3 for 7 in the Drive's doubleheader, with two three-run homers and three stolen bases. In four June contests, he is 7 for 15 with four extra base hits, a walk, nine runs batted in, and only one strikeout, good for an impressive .467/.500/1.067 slash line. 

Photo Credits: Kyri Washington, Matt Kent by Kelly O'Connor