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SoxProspects News

July 13, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rivera extends hitting streak to 10 games, mixed results for Espinoza

7/13 Cup of Coffee: Anderson Espinoza missed plenty of bats Tuesday, but was still roughed up by Greensboro. Kevin Steen and Jhonathan Diaz did not fare much better for Lowell and the GCL Sox, respectively, while Rayniel Adames had another good start in the Dominican Summer League.

Juan Barriento and Juan Hernandez vaulted their batting averages over .400, and Greenville's Tate Matheny and Jeremy Rivera (pictured, left) each belted two doubles.

It was another curious game for Anderson Espinoza, who racked up the strikeouts but still gave up four runs over five innings. He punched out seven and walked two while allowing six hits. Espinoza entered the game with a .352 batting average against on balls in play, which hints that the 18-year-old has been getting a bit unlucky on the mound this year, especially when considering that his ground-ball percentage is near 50 percent. That ground-ball rate combined with his 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings is why the advanced statistics look favorably on the top prospect. Austin Glorius followed with three innings of one-run ball, and Victor Diaz picked up his fifth save with a scoreless ninth. 

Jeremy Rivera went 2 for 3 with two doubles, two RBI, and a walk, and Tate Matheny went 2 for 5 with two doubles (though he also struck out three times). Trent Kemp went 1 for 2 with an RBI and a walk, and Luis Alexander Basabe added his sixth triple of the season. 


Kevin Steen had an up-and-down outing, striking out four over 4 1/3 innings while allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. Our Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was in attendance, and he tweeted that Steen was sitting at 88-90 mph with his fastball, and touching 92, while struggling to locate it. Brad Stone did not allow a hit in his 1 2/3 innings of relief, and Matthew Gorst threw a scoreless seventh inning in his professional debut. 

Eight of Lowell's nine batters had one hit, but they were not able to successfully string those hits together. Carlos Tovar had the only extra-base hit with a double in the seventh, and Jerry Downs added a walk and a stolen base to his single. 


Jhonathan Diaz was roughed up as the Red Sox dropped their third straight game. Diaz gave up six runs on seven hits in only two innings as his ERA shot from 0.75 to 1.93. The left-hander walked one and struck out three. Jordan Weems was dominant in relief, tossing four scoreless innings while surrendering only one hit. After starting the year as a catcher in Portland, Weems has acclimated well to pitching, as he's given up only two runs over his first 10 innings. 

The Red Sox pounded out 12 hits, but left 10 men on base. The heart of the order provided most of the action, with Juan Barriento going 3 for 5 to raise his average to .417 while also adding two outfield assists. Imeldo Diaz and Rafael Oliveras each had two hits, and Yomar Valentin had a double and a walk. 


The offense could not come through to support a great start from Rayniel Adames. Adames fired five innings of one-hit ball, holding the Astros Blue scoreless while walking one and striking out four. Adames has struggled a bit with his control this season, but he had everything working in his second straight scoreless appearance. Oddanier Mosqueda gave up one run in his three innings, and Eduard Bazardo gave up two runs in the 10th, which proved to be the difference.

Kervin Suarez was the only player to record a multi-hit game, as the shortstop went 2 for 4 with a run scored out of the leadoff spot. Daniel Rincon and Ramfis Berroa each had a hit and a walk, and Willis Figueroa had two walks in his three plate appearances. 

Led by a 20-hit attack, the Red Sox were able to put this game away in a hurry. Eight players had at least two hits, and the Sox put up 10 runs over the first four innings. Juan Hernandez led the way, going 3 for 4 with a double, two walks, and two RBI. Rafael Rincones went 4 for 6 with a stolen base, Ronaldo Pulgar went 3 for 6, and Everlouis Lozada went 2 for 6 with a double and a walk. Luis Rivero was the only pitcher to have success, moving to 2-0 with two scoreless innings of relief. 


Player of the Night: Jeremy Rivera extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Rivera has six multi-hit games during this hitting streak, and his batting average has spiked from .217 to .260. The 21-year-old shortstop is in his first full season in the minors after two years in short-season ball. He does not seem to be wearing down as he passes his previous high in games played. 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Rivera by Kelly O'Connor