SoxProspects News

June 27, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: GCL kicks off with win; Ball overcomes wildness


6/27 Cup of Coffee: With the Gulf Coast League season kicking off, Monday was the first day of the year that all seven affiliates were in action. There was some weirdness on the mound, as Trey Ball (pictured) and Hector Velazquez, the two starters at the highest levels combined to walk nine batters and strike out only one in 11 innings, yet gave up only two runs. Shaun Anderson turned in a solid start for Salem, while the defense was Lowell's Achilles' heel for once again.
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With the score knotted at four in the 10th inning, Bryce Brentz took old friend Pedro Beato deep for his 15th home run of the year. Steve Selsky had homered earlier in the night, his 10th on the season, while Brian Bogusevic had a pair of hits including a double. Hector Velazquez got the start in his return from the major league squad, turning in five innings with four hits and two runs scored, walking four without recording a strikeout. Austin Maddox struck out four in two innings of hitless relief to get credit for the win.

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It was an odd start for 2013 first-round pick Trey Ball, who got the win. First, the good: Ball went six shutout innings, giving up only one hit, the second time this year he has gone six shutout frames in a start. The bad news was that Ball's control was wonky, as the left-hander issued five walks and he hit a pair off batters. The top of the order did most of the damage offensively. Leadoff man Danny Mars reached base four times, going 3 for 4 with a walk. Chad De La Guerra had a double and a walk as part of his 2-for-4 night. Michael Chavis was held hitless for the first times since his promotion, going 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts. 

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A strong start by right-hander Shaun Anderson led the Sox. Anderson allowed just two runs, both coming on solo homers, on four hits over six innings to pick up the win. He struck out two and walked one and has gone at least six innings in four of his six starts since his promotion for Greenville. Daniel McGrath followed out of the bullpen, striking out two and walking three in two hitless innings, and Trevor Kelley pitched the ninth for the save. Jordan Betts led the offense again, blasting a three-run homer as part of a 2-for-3 night. He is 11 for 19 with three homers since last week's All-Star game.

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The Drive fell to 1-4 in the second half with its loss in the series opener in Asheville. Logan Boyd turned in a solid start, allowing one earned run on three hits in six innings. Harrison Cooney took the tough-luck loss in relief, with an error leading to the only run he allowed in two innings. Tucker Tubbs doubled and homered to lead the offense. Lorenzo Cedrola also had a double as part of a three-hit night, and Tyler Hill knocked a pair of base hits along with two RBI.

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One day after committing five errors, Lowell's defense was again its undoing with four miscues in the first inning alone. The victim of those fielding lapses was starter Enmanuel De Jesus, who lasted only 2/3 of an inning, and only two of the seven runs allowed were earned. Undrafted free agent Durin O'Linger out of Davidson was solid out of the bullpen in his pro debut, allowing a run on three hits in four innings, striking out six. Devon Fisher struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief. A 13-hit attack on offense was not enough to overcome the defensive issues. Imeldo Diaz had a big night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two doubles, a walk, and three runs scored. 

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The Gulf Coast League season kicked off on Monday afternoon. Oddainer Mosqueda took the hill for the opener and tossed four shutout innings, scattering four hits. Kervin Suarez had a big game in his stateside debut, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Michael Osinski, drafted in the 31st round this year, made his professional debut as the designated hitter and went 1 for 4.

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The DSL Sox compiled only five hits in the loss. The lone run came in the ninth inning on a solo home run by Rafael Rincones. Starter Rafael Gomez took the loss, allowing two runs in four innings, striking out six against two walks.

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Player of the Day: The GCL Red Sox were victorious on opening day due in large part to the bat of second baseman Kervin Suarez. The 18-year-old was 3 for 4 with two doubles in his first game stateside. Last year in the Dominican Summer League, Suarez turned in a solid .274/.345/.351. A switch hitter, Suarez was originally signed in July 2015 out of Venezuela to a $100,000 bonus.

Photo Credit: Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor

 
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