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August 21, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dubon collects four hits in Portland's slugfest

Cup of Coffee 8/21: It was a successful day for most of the Red Sox affiliates as every team except Pawtucket and the GCL Red Sox were victorious. Mauricio Dubon (pictured, right) turned in a marquee performance on Saturday night, going 4 for 5 with four runs scored in Portland's win. Salem won both games of a doubleheader thanks to strong starting pitching performances by Matt Kent and Trey Ball. Josh Pennington was lights out for Lowell, and Bobby Dalbec continued his offensive tear for the Spinners. 


Henry Owens, who was scheduled to start, was scratched before Saturday night's game, so Chandler Shepherd was called on for spot duty, making only the second start of his minor league career. Shepherd cruised through three scoreless innings but allowed three runs in the fourth. Overall, the right-hander threw 3 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on five hits and no walks, while punching out four. Noe Ramirez allowed a run on four hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Kyle Martin added three shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out four. The PawSox collected only three hits, one apiece from Ryan LaMarre, Marco Hernandez, and Chris Young.


The Sea Dogs turned in a phenomenal offensive performance, scoring 10 runs on 16 hits. Portland scored at least one run in each of the first six innings. Mauricio Dubon led the way from the two-hole in the lineup, going 4 for 5 and scoring four runs. Cole Sturgeon also produced, going 3 for 4 with two runs, two doubles, an RBI, and a walk. Rainel Rosario was only 1 for 5 but laced a two-run triple in the third inning. The Sea Dogs did it all despite a rough night for Yoan Moncada, who was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts and a walk. 

Starting pitcher Keith Couch struggled, lasting only three innings while allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks. Taylor Grover picked up the win in relief, going three innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks. Ty Buttrey allowed a run in two innings, and Ben Taylor recorded his fifth save with a scoreless ninth. 


In the first game of a doubleheader, Nick Longhi propelled Salem to victory. Knotted, 2-2, in the sixth inning, the first baseman ripped an RBI double, which plated Mike Meyers. Longhi proceeded to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jose Sermo, giving the Red Sox a two-run lead. Left-hander Matt Kent pitched well; he went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out five. Yankory Pimentel collected his fourth save of the season with a single shutout frame. 

The Red Sox eked out another tight win in the second game of the doubleheader. Salem trailed, 2-1, entering the seventh inning when Jordan Betts belted a tying blast to left field. Deiner Lopez followed with a single. He advanced to second on a groundout before scoring on a triple by Rafael Devers. Southpaw Trey Ball had a quality start, throwing six strong innings and allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four. Jamie Callahan picked up his sixth save of the season with a scoreless bottom of the seventh. 


The Drive picked up their first two runs on a throwing error in the second inning. Greenville piled on a couple more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Nick Lovullo and a sacrifice fly by Luis Alexander Basabe. Mitchell Gunsolus drove in Kyri Washington with a single in the sixth inning; Austin Rei also scored, thanks to an error on the play. Washington, who was 2 for 4, was the only player in Greenville's lineup with multiple hits. 

Starting pitcher Enmanuel De Jesus collected his second win of the season with a five-inning performance. He lowered his ERA to 4.08 by allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk. Stephen Nogosek pitched two lights-out innings of relief, allowing only a hit while striking out three. Gerson Bautista allowed a run in an inning of work, and Victor Diaz tossed a shutout inning pick up his 10th save of the year. 


The Spinners received strong pitching in a clean win against Brooklyn. Starting pitcher Josh Pennington threw six solid innings, allowing just a run on four hits while fanning six. Twelfth-round pick Matthew Gorst was fantastic in relief, tossing three innings and striking out four while allowing just a hit. 

First baseman Tucker Tubbs was right in the middle of the action for Lowell, kicking things off with an RBI double in the first inning. Tubbs doubled to lead off the fourth inning and scored on a single by Carlos Tovar. The Spinners picked up additional runs on a Chris Madera sacrifice fly in the fifth and an RBI force out by Tovar in the sixth, which scored Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec was 2 for 4 with a run and a double. 


Aside from a two-run, three-hit fourth inning, starting pitcher Robby Sexton was excellent for the GCL Sox. In five innings, he allowed two runs on four hits while striking out nine and walking none. Denyi Reyes followed him in relief, pitching three innings and allowing one unearned run on three hits while punching out three. Though the lineup recorded eight hits, they were only able to score one run (an eighth-inning RBI groundout by Juan Carlos Abreu). Right fielder Juan Barriento was 3 for 4 and scored the Sox' only run.


Ritzi Mendoza improved to 7-0 with an excellent pitching performance, limiting the DSL Marlins to one unearned run on five hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out three and lowered his ERA to 1.13. Ramses Rosario (three strikeouts) tossed two shutout innings, and Carlos Cortes threw one scoreless frame to close out the win. With the game tied, 1-1, in the bottom of the fifth, Kervin Suarez gave the Red Sox the lead with an RBI single; he then scored on a passed ball. Marino Campana and Ramfis Berroa each had RBI doubles in the sixth inning.

The pitching staff turned in a shutout performance, led by starting pitcher Warlyn Guzman, who pitched five shutout innings and struck out six. Victor Familia threw a pair of dominant frames, striking out four. Gregory Santos and Joan Martinez each added a scoreless inning. Marcos Martinez started the scoring in the second inning with a two-run single. The DSL Red Sox2 kept rolling with three runs in the fourth. Reinaldo Ugueto had an RBI double, and Pedro Castellanos had a two-run double. The team had four multi-hit performances, including Ugueto, Castellanos, Martinez, and Keibert Petit


Player of the Night: Mauricio Dubon has been impressive since his midseason promotion to Portland and he turned in one of his finest performances of the season on Saturday night. The shortstop was 4 for 5 and scored four runs, pacing a 10-run outburst by the Sea Dogs. The 21-year-old is now hitting .332/.365/.525 in 49 games with Portland, far and away his best performance at any level of the minor leagues thus far. 

Photo Credit: Mauricio Dubon by Kelly O'Connor