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July 7, 2016 at 7:13 AM

Cup of Coffee: On tough night for affiliates, Devers shines through


7/7 Cup of Coffee: It was a down night overall for the affiliates, as only the GCL Red Sox were able to muster a victory. Two top lefties struggled in Pawtucket and Salem, while Greenville, Lowell, and both DSL squads were shutout. 

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Henry Owens took the hill for Pawtucket, going six innings, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks while uncorking three wild pitches and striking out six. Wesley Wright took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk in his two innings of relief.

Pawtucket got on the board quickly, as Jose Vinicio led off the game with a single, stole second base, advanced to third, and came home when Charlotte's catcher dropped a third strike and threw to first. The Knights would retaliate with three runs in the second, aided by three wild pitches from Owens. In the fourth, Pawtucket cut the lead to 3-2 on Chris Marrero's solo blast. Down, 5-2, in the seventh, the PawSox briefly tied the game on Chris Dominguez's three-run home run. The Knights plated three in the bottom half of the inning, and held the lead the rest of the way. Henry Ramos added a solo home run in the eighth to cap the PawSox' scoring. Pawtucket struck out 12 times and was just 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

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It was a tough night at the plate for Portland, which managed just four hits in their loss to New Hampshire. Kevin McAvoy took the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings of work. Williams Jerez added two innings of relief, allowing a run on two hits while punching out three. Cody Decker's fourth inning solo home run was the lone bright spot for the Sea Dogs, who have now dropped four straight.

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In Game One of a doubleheader, the Mudcats walked their way to victory as they were issued nine free passes. Trey Ball lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on three hits and seven walks. Ball was particularly wild in the third when he walked five batters, including two with the bases loaded. Anyelo Leclerc added three innings of relief, allowing just two hits and two walks. Salem's lone run came in the sixth on a Nick Longhi RBI single.

Red Sox pitching failed them again in Game Two, as Carolina pounded out 14 hits and 11 runs in the shortened seven-inning contest. Bobby Poyner took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in three innings. Making just his second appearance for Salem, Jorge Marban was torched for five runs on five hits in just an inning of relief. The star of the game offensively for Salem was Rafael Devers, (pictured, above) who went 3 for 4 with three doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI. Overall the Red Sox were a woeful 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

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Despite tying Rome in the hit column, Greenville struggled to break through, going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Anderson Espinoza fell to 4-8, allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings. Jeffry Fernandez added three scoreless innings of relief, allowing a hit and a walk while lowering his ERA to 2.91. Jeremy Rivera (3 for 4, double) and Luis Alexander Basabe (2 for 3, double) led the Drive offensively. 

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Auburn pitching limited the Spinners to just two hits as they were blanked, 1-0. Jacob Dahlstrand was the tough-luck loser, allowing one run on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. Joe Kelly began his rehab with an inning of relief, allowing a walk and striking out one. Casey Janssen also added an inning of scoreless relief. Singles by Carlos Tovar and Isaias Lucena were the only offense for Lowell, which will look to get back on track with the start of a six-game homestand on Friday.

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In the lone victory for the affiliates on Wednesday, the GCL Sox rode stellar pitching and just enough offense to a 2-1 victory over the Orioles. Jhonathan Diaz picked up his first win of the season, going five innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Hildemaro Requena collected the save, going four scoreless innings, striking out three. The Red Sox took care of all their offense in the first two innings, plating a run in the first on a Stanley Espinal RBI single and a run in the second on a fielding error.

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In another close contest, the Red Sox found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 game. Rayniel Adames pitched well, allowing a hit and three walks while striking out three in four innings. Antonio Police added 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out four. Manuel Ramirez took the loss, allowing the game's only run on a hit and three walks in his lone inning of work. The Red Sox collected just five hits, and only saw one runner advance to second base.

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A scoreless battle finally went the way of the Rays as they broke through in extra innings to end the Red Sox' eight-game winning streak. Jose Zacarias pitched well, allowing just one hit and striking out two in his six innings. Ronald Gutierrez added two innings of scoreless relief, allowing a hit and a walk while punching out two. Shair Lacrus took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks in two innings out of the bullpen. While the Red Sox only had three hits, they did receive eight walks, but were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.

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Player of the Night: Rafael Devers gets the nod after going 4 for 8 with three doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI as Salem dropped both ends of a doubleheader. The 19-year-old has improved rapidly since slumping through the start of the season.

Photo Credit: Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor

 
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