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August 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: De Jesus, Owens prevail in pitchers duels

8/10 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was at the forefront Tuesday, with left-handed starters Enmanual De Jesus (pictured, left) and Henry Owens turning in the strongest outings to lead Greenville and Pawtucket, respectively. Portland fell despite a late rally, while Lowell's was more successful. The GCL Sox were swept in their doubleheader while the DSL squads came away with a wins.


Henry Owens continues to be difficult for Triple-A hitters to handle, despite some spotty control. The 6-foot-7 lefty walked four in his six innings of work, but shut out the Bulls on only three hits while striking out seven. Chandler Shepherd and Heath Hembree continued their domination out of the Pawtucket bullpen. Shepherd tossed a scoreless seventh, lowering his ERA to 2.08 in 12 appearances since his promotion from Portland. After striking out two in a perfect ninth inning, Hembree now has nine strikeouts, one hit, and no walks in five innings since rejoining the PawSox in late July.

Brennan Boesch and Christian Vazquez both homered for Pawtucket. Boesch hit a two-run blast in the second, and Vazquez had a solo shot in the fourth. Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4, registering his eighth multi-hit game in his last 12 contests.


A spirited comeback by Portland set up a heartbreaking walk-off loss. The Sea Dogs scored two runs in each of the final two innings to pull even with Erie, but surrendered a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth. Tim Roberson and Jake Romanski submitted identical lines, both going 2 for 4 with a double and run scored. Mauricio Dubon also doubled as part of his two-hit night, and Rainel Rosario drove in a pair.

Coming off the strongest start of his career, Teddy Stankiewicz struggled for Portland. A pair of home runs allowed were the main culprit, as Stankiewicz surrendered five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Mitch Atkins did yeoman's work to keep the game close, submitting 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Prior to surrendering the walk-off double, Luis Ysla was having a very strong evening, striking out four against only one walk in 1 2/3 innings.


Jose Sermo continues to pile-up the extra-base hits, as he ripped his 10th double in Salem's loss. In 121 at-bats since joining the organization in late June, Sermo already has 17 extra-base hits. Jayce Ray reached three times, going 2 for 3 with an walk and two RBI. Danny Mars also had two hits for the Sox. Matt Kemp cruised through five innings, allowing one run. However, he left with the bases loaded in the sixth, and his line was hit when all of the baserunners socred. Yankory Pimentel took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in addition to the three inherited runs he allowed to score.


After initially struggling following his promotion from Lowell, Enmanuel De Jesus turned in his second consecutive excellent start. De Jesus allowed an unearned run on five hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked only one. He now has pitched 13 1/3 innings without surrendering an earned run, going back to his July 30th start. Adam Lau pitched a scoreless seventh, and Steve Nogosek struck out a pair and walked one in two scoreless innings. The strong performance picked up an offense that could muster only five hits. Nick Lovullo doubled and scored in the third, good for Greenville's only extra-base hit, while Michael Chavis recorded the Drive's only RBI.


A three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning enabled the Spinners to open up a two-game lead in the Stedler Division. Trailing, 6-5, a C.J. Chatham single scored Steven Reveles to knot the score at 6-6. Two batters later, Ryan Scott plated Chatham and Matt McLean to put Lowell in front for good. McLean and Chatham had two hits and a walk apiece, while Bobby Dalbec drove in two.

Hunter Smith got the start, allowing four runs on four hits in four innings while striking out three and walking two. The two runs allowed by reliever Matthew Gorst in 2 2/3 innings equaled the total he surrendered in his seven previous appearances. Big right-hander Dioscar Romero got the win after giving up two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.


After Monday's rainout, the GCL Sox were swept in their doubleheader to knock their division lead to a precarious single game. Robby Sexton allowed two runs on three hits in three innings. The 2016 14th-round pick struck out three batters without issuing a walk. Junior Espinoza allowed two runs in three innings, and Francisco Soto took the loss with a run allowed in 1 1/3 innings. Stanley Espinal was 2 for 4 with his ninth double, and Raiwinson Lameda and Juan Carlos Abreu had two hits each.

Little went right for the Sox in the nightcap. The lineup scraped together only two hits, including another double by Stanley Espinal. Starter Denyi Reyes took the loss, giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.


Despite being held to five hits over 11 frames, the Red Sox came away with the walk-off win. Jose Mejias led off the bottom of the 11th with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice, went to third on a Luis Hernandez base hit, and scored on a Carlos Pulido sacrifice fly. Pitching was again the story for the Sox. Juan Perez scattered three hits across five scoreless innings. Oddanier Mosqueda followed, giving up a run on one hit in three innings. Three shutout innings from Juan Florentino earned him the win. 

Unlike their counterparts, the Red Sox2 team had plenty of hits to go around. Seven members of the starting lineup had multi-hit games; the team totaled 15 overall. Everlouis Lozada was 2 for 6 with three runs scored, two stolen bases, and an RBI. The offensive outburst was more than enough support for starter Warlyn Guzman. Getting a spot start rather than in his usual bullpen role, Guzman got the win after allowing a run on three hits in five innings while striking out seven against two walks. Jose Zacarias and Roberto Medina combined for four shutout frames out of the bullpen.


Player of the Day: It was a second consecutive excellent performance for Enmanuel De Jesus, who is showing he belongs in the South Atlantic League after a rude welcoming. Through four starts, his ERA sat over 7.00, but he has knocked that number down to 4.45. Signed to a $787,500 contract in 2013, De Jesus has climbed into the Top 50 of the SoxProspects.com rankings, currently sitting at 49th.

Photo Credit: Enmanuel De Jesus by Kelly O'Connor