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April 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks tosses complete-game shutout

4/23 Cup of Coffee: Both Jalen Beeks (pictured) and Darwinzon Hernandez had impressive pitching performances, while Nick Longhi slugged a home run for Portland. Pawtucket continued to struggle at the plate and Greenville was able to squeak out a late win. 


Pawtucket's offensive woes continued in a loss to the Braves. Blake Swihart went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to lower his average to .189, and Deven Marrero went 0 for 4 with a strikeout as his average dropped to .103. Sam Travis went 2 for 4 but is still hitting only .175 with an OPS of .592. 

Edgar Olmos and Noe Ramirez were both able to keep Gwinnett off the board in relief, with Olmos going two innings with four strikeouts, while Ramirez threw one inning with two strikeouts. 


Jalen Beeks threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out seven. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was at the game and he noted that Beeks did not have his best stuff, but was still able to effectively use his four-pitch mix and keep hitters off balance.

He got all the run support he needed from Nick Longhi, who launched his second home run of the season in the fourth inning. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald tweeted that the home run traveled 406 feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph. Rafael Devers went 1 for 3 with a double and Cundall reported that he looked comfortable defensively and showed off a plus arm. Aneury Tavarez also had a solid day at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a double and a walk. 

The Sea Dogs managed only one hit, an infield single from Tavarez, as they fell to the Thunder. It was a bullpen game for the Sea Dogs, with Taylor Grover getting his first start of the season and striking out four over three scoreless innings. The Sea Dog's defense completely fell apart behind Jake Cosart as they committed two of their five errors in the game in the fourth inning leading to four unearned runs. Ty Buttrey had a solid outing out of the bullpen, tossing two hitless innings with three strikeouts. 


Salem Red Sox vs. Frederick Keys (BAL) (PPD)
The Salem game was rained out, and it will be made up on Sunday as part of a doubleheader starting at 2:00 p.m. 


Nick Lovullo knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth and Darwinzon Hernandez threw five no-hit innings to lead the Drive. Hernandez allowed only an unearned run after walking and hitting two batters and striking out five. He now has 25 strikeouts over the first 18 2/3 innings this season. Daniel Gonzalez went three innings and allowed his second run of the season, and Stephen Nogosek picked up his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. Lovullo went 2 for 4 with an RBI fielder's choice in the eighth to give Greenville the lead, and Carlos Tovar went 1 for 3 with a walk. 


Player of the Night: After getting roughed up for five runs in 3 2/3 innings last week against Trenton, Jalen Beeks rebounded nicely as he tossed a complete-game shutout. Beeks has now struck out at least seven batters in all three starts this season as he improved to 2-1 and dropped his ERA to 2.87. Beeks struggled in Portland last season, walking nearly four batters per nine innings with an ERA of 4.68, but so far this season he has shown an improved ability to miss bats which has helped negate his continued control issues. 

Photo Credit: Jalen Beeks by Kelly O'Connor