SoxProspects News

September 1, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: DSL teams start semifinals; Downs and Dalbec continue hot stretches


9/1 Cup of Coffee: Both DSL squads began their semifinal series on Wednesday. Ugly starting pitching in Portland, Greenville, and Lowell led to blowout losses, but a ferocious comeback helped Michael Kopech and Salem avoid a similar fate. Bobby Dalbec and Jerry Downs (pictured, right) stayed sizzling hot despite Lowell’s loss, and Pawtucket suffered a narrow defeat. 

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Despite outhitting Lehigh Valley, 8-5, Pawtucket fell short. Henry Owens surrendered four runs on five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six. The bullpen did not allow a hit or walk the rest of the way. Roman Mendez went 1 1/3 innings, and Joe Kelly (two strikeouts) set down the side in order in the eighth. The PawSox tied the game, 3-3, with a three-run sixth inning. Chris Marrero doubled home Ryan LaMarre and Christian Vazquez before Jantzen Witte plated Marrero with a sacrifice fly. Marrero and Vazquez each had two hits, while Rusney Castillo reach twice on a single and a walk.
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It was an ugly night for Portland pitching, as the Sea Dogs allowed runs in six of eight innings on the road. Keith Couch coughed up seven runs on three home runs in 4 1/3 innings. Ty Buttrey went just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits, and Austin Maddox surrendered two runs in two innings. The blowout overshadowed a solid offensive night for the Sea Dogs, who pounded out six runs on 11 hits. Aneury Tavarez submitted a 4-for-5 performance, while Nate Freiman and Mauricio Dubon had two hits each. Yoan Moncada struggled out of the leadoff spot, going 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. It was later announced that Moncada would join the big league club in Oakland on Friday.

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The winner of Wednesday night's wild game will be determined Thursday, as the contest was suspended in the 11th inning due to rain. The Red Sox trailed, 7-0, in the fourth before clawing their way back. Trailing, 7-3, in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Sermo blasted a three-run home run before Mike Meyers doubled home Nick Longhi (who also doubled) to tie the game. Longhi and Meyers each finished 3 for 5, while Jordan Betts and Deiner Lopez both went 2 for 5 with a double. It was a bizarre and disappointing outing for Michael Kopech. Kopech allowed just one hit, but it was grand slam that came on the heels of five consecutive walks in the first inning. All told, he went 2/3 of an inning and allowed six runs. The bullpen did yeomen’s work to allow the offense to mount the comeback, as Yankory Pimentel, Jeffry Fernandez, and Jake Cosart combined for 9 1/3 inning of four-hit ball and didn't allow an earned run. Cosart has not allowed a run in six outings with Salem, spanning 13 innings. 

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The Drive endured a wire-to-wire blowout; Greenville fell behind, 5-1, after two innings and never recovered. The offense managed just three hits, including an RBI double off the bat of Roldani Baldwin. Kyri Washington went 2 for 4 with a triple. Josh Ockimey left the game after getting hit by a pitch on his right elbow; he did score the team’s only run. Starter Enmanuel De Jesus struggled mightily, allowing seven hits and five runs in 1 2/3 innings. Kuehl McEachern was terrific out of the bullpen, retiring the first 10 batters he faced and striking out four. After Adam Lau coughed up four more runs, Stephen Nogosek went 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball. 

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The Spinners had their six-game winning streak snapped, but their magic number is down to one with five games to play. Bobby Dalbec refuses to cool off; he posted a 2-for-4 night, his third multi-hit game in a row and ninth in his last 14 contests. He also blasted a home run, his seventh of the season, to up his slugging percentage to an absurd .675 in 30 games with Lowell. Jerry Downs has started a hot streak of his own, using a 3-for-4 night to earn his fourth straight multi-hit game. Downs also launched his fourth home run of the season and has hit .469 with two home runs in his last nine games. Despite the exploits of Dalbec and Downs, the Lowell pitchers could not keep the game in reach. Starter Darwinzon Hernandez recorded only one out and allowed four runs. Reliever Brad Stone surrendered five additional runs. 


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GCL Red Sox vs. GCL Orioles (Postponed)
Rain kept the GCL Red Sox off the field. Meanwhile, the GCL Twins lost their matchup with the GCL Rays, meaning the Red Sox moved into sole possession of first place by half a game with a doubleheader tomorrow to close the season.  

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The Red Sox rolled to a victory in their first taste of playoff baseball this season. After receiving a first-round bye, the Red Sox jumped to a 1-0 lead in the semifinal series thanks to an 11-run attack. Carlos Pulido led the charge, smacking a double and a triple in a 3-for-4 night. Marino Campana went 2 for 3, and Kervin Suarez reached base twice, had two RBI, and scored a run. Juan Perez was dominant in his start, tossing seven shutout innings. He struck out seven and allowed just three baserunners. Geraldo Perez surrendered two runs in the eighth, but Antonio Police struck out the side in the ninth to nail down the win.  

The Red Sox will have to come from behind to advance in their best-of-three semifinal series with the Rangers. The Red Sox bats were utterly silent. Only one Red Sox, Kleiber Rodriguez, managed to record a hit. Rodriguez finished 2 for 3 with two singles. Ronaldo Pulgar and Reinaldo Ugueto each contributed walks. Luis Rivero turned in a solid start, going four innings while striking out five and allowing just one earned run. Jose Zacarias mirrored the starter with four innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen.

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Player of the Day: Starting pitching makes all the difference in the playoffs, and Juan Perez showed up big for the DSL Red Sox1. A day after his 20th birthday, Perez tossed seven shutout innings, struck out seven batters, and didn't issue a walk. Perez may be even better than his 2.35 ERA suggests; he posted an incredible 0.90 WHIP and held opposing batters to a .514 OPS this season.


Photo Credit: Jerry Downs by Kelly O'Connor

 
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