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July 19, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Moncada homers twice, Kopech strikes out nine

7/19 Cup of Coffee: Yoan Moncada (pictured) launched two home runs to raise his July OPS to 1.480 and Michael Kopech set a career-high with nine strikeouts as the top prospects put on dazzling performances. Joe Kelly continued to look good in relief, Kyri Washington slugged his 13th home run for Greenville, and Pedro Castellanos continued his domination of the Dominican Summer League


William Cuevas's return from Boston did not go as planned, as he was roughed up in Pawtucket's loss to Toledo. Cuevas went the first six innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits while striking out five without walking a batter. Joe Kelly had another promising relief appearance as he struck out the side in his lone inning of work, and he now has eight strikeouts and only two hits allowed over his last five innings. 

Ryan LaMarre did his part to keep Pawtucket in it, going 4 for 5 with three doubles and an RBI. This is the third straight multi-hit game for LaMarre, but it was only his second game this season with multiple extra-base hits. Mike Miller added three singles and a walk, and Marco Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI. 


Two home runs from Yoan Moncada highlighted a solid victory for the Sea Dogs. Jalen Beeks turned in a quality start, allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings. Both runs came on solo home runs, raising his total to 12 home runs allowed in 18 starts this year, but he also struck out four to raise that total with the Sea Dogs to 24 in 24 1/3 innings. Luis Ysla added a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 1.77 over his last 20 1/3 innings.

It was the first multiple home run game of Moncada's professional career as he finished the night 2 for 5 with four RBI. While his overall numbers with Portland are impressive, his numbers in July are astonishing, as he improved his line to .405/.528/.952 with six home runs in 42 at-bats. Mauricio Dubon went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, Aneury Tavarez went 3 for 5 with a triple and a stolen base, and Rainel Rosario went 2 for 4 with a double. 


It was another great start for Michael Kopech, but he was not able to get any run support as the Red Sox fell to the Nationals. Kopech had a career-high nine strikeouts over five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, while walking three and allowing three hits. While there were no reports of him hitting 105 mph, there were several of him hitting 100 while complementing it with a high-80s slider. Bobby Poyner struggled in relief, surrendering four runs in only two innings. 

The Red Sox could not get much going on offense, with Danny Mars's three hits and Reed Gragnani's solo home run representing most of the damage. Rafael Devers went 2 for 4, and he is now batting .386 in July. 


It was another rocky start for Enmanuel De Jesus as the Drive could not keep up with the Suns. De Jesus allowed five runs on seven hits over four innings, as he has now allowed eight runs in only nine innings with Greenville. Jeffry Fernandez did not fare much better, allowing two runs in his two innings of work. Jake Cosart was able to cool off the Suns, striking out two over two perfect innings. Cosart has now struck out 26 over his last 17 1/3 innings, while allowing only 11 hits and three runs in that span. 

The Drive managed to score six runs with only five hits thanks to some incredible timely hitting, as Kyri Washington, Mitchell Gunsolus, and Trent Kemp each had two-run home runs. For Washington, the home run was his 13th of the season, and he is only two behind Josh Ockimey for the team lead. 


A six-run third inning was more than enough to support Daniel Gonzalez, as Lowell won for the fifth time in six games. Gonzalez tossed the first six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out five. The performance raised his ERA to 1.75 with the Spinners, and this was his first time allowing a run since June 27. Pat Goetze allowed two hits over his two shutout innings, and Stephen Nogosek allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth.

The 11-hit attack was led by Chris Madera as he launched a grand slam in the third inning that broke the game open. Jerry Downs went 2 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice fly, Ryan Scott went 2 for 4 with a double, and Nick Sciortino went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. 


A late rally fell just short as the Red Sox saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Jhonathan Diaz got the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings. There was a silver lining for Diaz, as he matched his career-high with eight strikeouts while walking only one. Jordan Weems was dominant out of the bullpen, tossing three hitless innings while striking out three and walking two. 

Down by two in the ninth, the Red Sox pushed one run across the plate with a Stanley Espinal single, but the tying run was stranded on second as Juan Barriento lined out to end the game. Lorenzo Cedrola was on base three times, going 2 for 3 with an RBI double and a walk, and Samuel Miranda went 1 for 2 with two walks. The double was only Cedrola's fourth extra-base hit of the season, but the 18-year-old is second on the team with a .389 on-base percentage and the two hits raised his average to .317.


It was a sloppy game from the Red Sox, as they fell to 27-10 on the season. Edilson Batista got the start and allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits over three innings. Ramses Rosario followed with three innings of one-run ball, and Antonio Police took the loss after walking three and giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings. In all, the pitchers walked seven batters and the defense committed two errors, and former Red Sox prospect Albert Guaimaro drove in four runs for the Marlins. 

The Red Sox almost staged an impressive comeback. They fell behind by four runs quickly and came all the way back, as Ramfis Berroa launched a game-tying two-run home run in the top of the eighth. Willis Figueroa followed with a single and a stolen base, but he was stranded at second base, and the bullpen went on to give up two more runs. Berroa, Figueroa, and Ricardo Cubillan all went 2 for 4, with Cubillan adding a double. 

Four errors led to four unearned runs as the Red Sox dropped a tough one to the Rays. Rayniel Moreno allowed two runs, one earned, over five innings, walking one and striking out six. Moreno has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his nine appearances, and his ERA sits at 2.10. Luis Rivero and Shair Lacrus combined to allow three unearned runs in four innings of relief.

Yeison Coca went 2 for 3 with a triple and a walk, and Pedro Castellanos went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple to lead the offense. Castellanos continued his assault on the Dominican Summer League, as Monday's performance raised his line to .331/.396/.525 with 10 walks and only 12 strikeouts in 139 at-bats. 


Player of the Night: Yoan Moncada is doing his best to stake his claim as the unanimous top prospect in baseball, as he hit his sixth and seventh home runs with Portland on Monday while playing in only his 21st game. Moncada is now batting .329/.415/.683 with the Sea Dogs while facing competition that is almost three-and-a-half years older than him. His first home run went to left field and his second went to right field, and the video of the second home run that was posted to Twitter by Nick Steenstra is a must-watch. 

Photo Credit: Yoan Moncada by Kelly O'Connor