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July 15, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Johnson dazzles for Lowell, Ockimey belts long homer

7/15 Cup of Coffee: Despite the major league club being off, yesterday was one of the busiest days Boston has had all year. Eight minor league games were played, three high profile draftees were signed, and SoxProspects.com's former third-ranked prospect Anderson Espinoza was shipped to San Diego for left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. On the farm, Rafael Devers stayed hot, Josh Ockimey blasted a home run, and the Spinners received terrific pitching, including Brian Johnson's first start with Lowell, en route to a 1-0 win.


The PawSox were blanked by former SoxProspects.com fifth-ranked prospect (June 2014) Anthony Ranaudo, who tossed the first eight innings. Pawtucket mustered just three hits and a walk. Brennan Boesch hit a double and Rusney Castillo and Deven Marrero each collected base knocks.

PawSox starter Justin Haley took the loss despite pitching fairly well. He lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. He punched out six and walked one. Roman Mendez tossed two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts, and Pat Light surrendered a run in his lone inning of work.


Mitch Atkins started this one for Portland and gave up four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. On the plus side, he struck out six and did not issue a walk. Luis Ysla struck out two in his 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work. Austin Maddox chucked two perfect innings of relief with two strikeouts. Taylor Grover pitched the 10th and was hurt by his defense. After a leadoff single, New Hampshire attempted a sac bunt, but catcher Danny Bethea threw the ball away, allowing the go-ahead run to score. The Fisher Cats would tack on another run on a sac fly.

Tim Roberson and Cody Decker kept the Sea Dogs in the game with home runs, as both of their long balls brought Portland to within a run. Decker's was a two-run shot that scored Andrew Benintendi, who singled, walked twice, and drove in the game-trying run with a ground out in the bottom of the ninth. Tzu-Wei Lin tripled and walked while Yoan Moncada singled, walked twice, and stole three bases. His single was the first hit of his Sea Dogs career from the right side of the plate. He is now a perfect 7 for 7 stealing bases.


Rafael Devers has been on fire since the start of June, and he got the scoring started for Salem early in this one with a two-run double in the first inning. He finished 2 for 4. Danny Mars (pictured) and Joseph Monge were also 2 for 4, with Mars stroking a pair of triples and driving in a run. Mike Meyers also tripled and walked in four trips to the plate and David Sopilka knocked in two runs as part of his 1-for-2 day.

Salem received a very nice outing from Matt Kent, who threw five scoreless frames before being touched up for three runs in the sixth. He was pulled with two outs in the sixth and struck out five with one walk during his outing. Jaime Callahan came on for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before Simon Mercedes finished off his second save with a scoreless ninth.


The Drive rode Dedgar Jimenez' strong outing to a sweep of Greensboro. He lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Greenville also got some terrific bullpen work from Marc Brakeman and Adam Lau. Brakeman threw two innings without allowing a run or a hit and Lau earned his fourth save by getting the final two outs of the game.

All the Drive runs scored via the long ball. Trent Kemp belted a two-run homer in the fourth innings to give Greenville a 2-1 lead. Josh Ockimey would provide an insurance tally with a monster home run, his 15th, in the sixth. According to the Drive Twitter account, Ockimey's shot went 485 feet. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting posted a detailed scouting piece that includes video of the 20-year old yesterday as well.


Despite being out-hit 7-3, the Spinners squeezed out a 1-0 victory behind tremendous pitching. Brian Johnson, making his first start in Lowell after two outings with the GCL Red Sox, pitched five scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits, struck out five, and walked only one. Pat Goetze and Dioscar Romero combined to finish it off with four shutout innings. Goetze got the win with 2 2/3 innings of two-hit ball and Romero got the save with 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball.

There were no RBI in this game, as the lone run scored on an error in the eighth innings. Ryan Scott, Roldani Baldwin, and Victor Acosta each recorded singles.


The Sox held on for a three-run win behind a well-balanced offensive attack. Lorenzo Cedrola, Jhon Nunez, and Raiwinson Lameda all had two-hit games with a double, with Lameda knocking in three runs. Brandon Magee and Yomar Valentin, the eight and nine hitters in the lineup, each went 1 for 4 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.

Victor Garcia started and went four innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Ryan Oduber was stellar in relief, tossing 4 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run (two unearned) while striking out five and walking none. Hunter Smith picked up a one-out save with a strikeout.


The Red Sox used a four-run seventh inning to propel them to a win. They had just three hits, including a big triple from Eddie Reynoso, who drove in a pair of runs. Luis Hernandez walked twice and stole his eighth bag of the year.

Alejandro Rodriguez picked up the win, going six innings, allowing one run on five hits, four strikeouts, and no walks. He is now 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA on the year. Carlos Cortes got a three-inning save, allowing just one hit and no runs to lower his ERA to 0.51.

Bryan Mata threw five no-hit innings with five strikeouts for the Sox on his way to a win. Gary Calvo came on and threw two hitless innings of his own. He walked just one and struck out four. Roberto Medina and Warlyn Guzman finished it off, each throwing an inning, though Medina gave up both runs.

Eduard Conde, Ronaldo Pulgar, Fabian Andrade, and Rafael Rincones all recorded multi-hit games, with Conde stroking an RBI double. Pedro Castellanos also added a three-bagger.


Player of the Night: It's not often you see two triples in one game by the same player, but Danny Mars accomplished the feat Thursday. The two triples gave him a total of seven on the year. He is hitting .253/.321/.346 this season with 22 stolen bases for Salem.

Photo Credit: Danny Mars by Kelly O'Connor