July 6, 2016 at 7:00 AM
7/6 Cup of Coffee: On a day when no teams above rookie ball played at home, several affiliates still came away with victories. Pawtucket and Lowell both bludgeoned their opponents with 15 and 14-hit attacks, respectively. Greenville took a more nuanced approach, using some quality pitching and a patient approach to prevail. Portland fell despite another strong performance from the usual suspects, while the start of a rehab assignment for Brandon Workman overshadowed a loss for the GCL Sox. Both DSL squads again won, and might never lose again. The two teams have a combined 22-game winning streak.
The veterans ruled the day, using a 15-hit attack to slay the Knights. Chris Marrero (pictured, above left) led the way, going 4 for 5 with a double, triple, and three runs scored. Fellow minor league free agent signee Brennan Boesch homered and drove in three runs in his second game since completing a rehab assignment. Dan Butler was 2 for 4 with a walk; the backstop's batting average is now above .300. The PawSox also got power from an unexpected source, as Jose Vinicio led off the third inning with a blast over the right field fence.
The offensive outburst came at a key time, as William Cuevas turned in an uneven outing, allowing four runs on nine hits in six innings. He walked three, struck out two, and hit a batter. Robby Scott struck out a pair in two perfect innings of relief, and Chandler Shepherd struck out one in a scoreless ninth.
Despite taking a tough walk-off loss, the trio of rising stars in the Portland lineup continued to do what they've done all season. Andrew Benintendi keeps showing that his slow start immediately after his promotion to Portland was little more than a blip. The outfielder homered and doubled as part of a 2-for-4 performance, driving in a pair and scoring a run. He is now hitting .330/.395/.626 in his last 31 games. Yoan Moncada singled and walked, and has now reached base in 10 of his first 21 July plate appearances. Mauricio Dubon kept pace with his two more highly-touted teammates, as the shortstop was 2 for 4 with a triple, RBI, and run scored.
After delivering a quality start in seven of his first eight appearances of the year, Teddy Stankiewicz has done so in just one of eight since. He allowed four runs on six hits in five innings on Tuesday, walking two and striking out a pair. Unfortunately, the only hit Ben Taylor allowed in his two innings of work was a solo home run that tied the game. Nik Turley threw a scoreless eighth, but Austin Maddox surrendered the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to take the loss.
Salem Red Sox at Carolina Mudcats (BAL), postponed
Rain prevented the Carolina League rivals from going at it on Tuesday. They will take part in a doubleheader on Wednesday, beginning at 5:00.
In contrast to Pawtucket and Lowell, which slugged their way to victory, Greenville's decisive 10th-inning rally came without a hit. The inning began with three consecutive walks, to Luis Alejandro Basabe, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Josh Ockimey. After a Kyri Washington pop out, Michael Chavis then walked to score the go-ahead run. Tate Matheny then hit a sacrifice fly with what proved to be vital insurance. It was the third walk of the day for Luis Alejandro, who also had led off the game with a triple.
Jose Almonte bounced back from a pair of tough outings to turn in a strong start. The 20-year old allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out four without issuing a walk. Marc Brakeman was outstanding in relief, facing the minimum through three innings while striking out three and allowing one hit. The only baserunner he allowed was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning when he attempted to score the winning run on a wild pitch. After Greenville scored the two tenth-inning runs, Rome got one back off Victor Diaz, who held on for his fourth save.
A six-run sixth inning highlighted Tuesday's offensive explosion for Lowell. Chris Madera delivered the biggest hit, a bases-clearing triple that blew open the game. Madera scored three times as part of a 2-for-5 night. Tyler Hill and Roldani Baldwin were both 3 for 5, and both drove in a pair of runs. Tucker Tubbs added two doubles.
It was a solid outing for Kevin Steen, one that was stronger than the line score indicated. Overall, he allowed three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Steen held the Doubledays scoreless through five; he was not as sharp after returning to the mound following the 35-minute top of the sixth inning. He allowed a walk and two hits in the bottom of the frame, and two inherited runners came around to score. Casey Janssen returned to Auburn as he continues his rehab. Janssen made his pro debut for the Doubledays 12 years ago after the Blue Jays picked him in the fourth round of the 2004 draft. He allowed a hit in 2/3 of an inning, and was not charged with a run; Janssen did allow both runners Steen bequeathed him to score. Pat Goetze struck out three in two scoreless innings, and Gerson Bautista struck out a pair in a hitless ninth.
Brandon Workman (pictured, right) made an important step in his long road back from Tommy John surgery, pitching in his first official game since September 18, 2014. Workman threw two innings, allowing a run on four hits. He struck out three and did not issue a walk. Yorvin Pantoja followed in what would have been his normal day to start. He turned in his second solid performance since his promotion from the Dominican Summer League, allowing three runs on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out seven. Lorenzo Cedrola led the offense, going 3 for 5 with a run scored, while Stanley Espinal and Juan Barriento had two hits apiece.
Red Sox pitching threw seven hitless innings on their way to a 14th consecutive victory. Ramses Rosario got the start, turning in five frames while striking out four, walking three, and inducing nine ground ball outs. Carlos Cortes allowed an unearned run in his two innings, striking out and walking two apiece. The Royals broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the eighth off Juan Florentino, but they could not draw any closer. Florentino pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his seventh save. Eddy Reynoso was 2 for 3 with a two RBI, and Luis Hernandez doubled and stole a base.
With only a mere eight-game winning streak, and an .808 winning percentage, the second DSL squad continues to lag behind their counterparts. Pitching was again the story for the Sox, with Rayniel Moreno giving up just one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six and didn't issue a walk. For his efforts, Moreno's ERA actually rose -- from 0.92 to 1.05. Warlyn Guzman allowed one hit in two scoreless innings, and Joan Martinez struck out two in a hitless ninth to earn the save. Yeison Coca tripled and drove in a run as part of a two-hit day. Reinaldo Ugueto also had two hits for the Sox.
Player of they Day: There were several worthy options on Tuesday, but a four-hit, three-run performance from Chris Marrero earns the nod. Marrero had cooled off some in late June after a strong run to start the season, but he now has two doubles, a triple, and two home runs in his last three games. Those five extra-base hits are more than he had registered in his 30 previous games.
Photo Credit: Chris Marrero, Brandon Workman by Kelly O'Connor