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May 2, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ball dominates, Devers homers for Portland

5/2 Cup of Coffee: Monday had only two games on the docket but no shortage of strong performances. Leading the way were Trey Ball (pictured) and Roniel Raudes, who both opened May with good starts after uneven Aprils. Ball helped Portland to a shutout, while Raudes' Salem squad rallied for an extra-inning victory.


The Sea Dogs made their first appearance at finally-completed Dunkin' Donuts Park and celebrated with a shutout of their cross-New England rivals. Left-hander Trey Ball had his strongest start of the season, scattering four hits over six innings, striking out six, walking two, and getting eight outs on ground balls. Jake Cosart followed, striking out the side in the seventh, but getting into trouble with three walks in the eighth. Josh Smith escaped, pitching out of the bases loaded jam. Rafael Devers homered for the third time this season, turning on a 95-mile-per-hour fastball to straightaway center field. Tzu-Wei Lin singled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, and Nick Longhi added a double as part of the offensive effort.


While not as dominant as Ball, Roniel Raudes turned in a very solid outing. He did allow eight hits in his 5 2/3 innings, but he also struck out seven without issuing a walk or surrendering a home run. Jordan Weems earned the win with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings. Michael Chavis stayed hot, going 2 for 5 with a walk, run scored, and RBI. Josh Ockimey reached base four times with a single, two walks, and hit batsman. The decisive run came as Tate Matheny ripped a two-out, 10th-inning double to score Deiner Lopez.


Player of the Day: The Red Sox have been waiting patiently for Trey Ball to begin converting his immense raw tools into baseball performance. Despite an uneven start to the year, there have been some signs that it is beginning to happen. The tall lefty has 21 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings, the highest total for any four-start stretch of Ball's career. He also has allowed only one home run on the season.

Photo Credit: Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor