SoxProspects News

June 20, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome returns to mound in Lowell opener


6/20 Cup of Coffee: The Lowell Spinners kicked off their 2017 season on Monday, with rehabbing left-hander Jay Groome (pictured) on the hill. Groome was cruising into the third inning when the game was suspended by rain. The PawSox were shut down by a one-time phenom, while more rain temporarily interrupted a Sea Dogs slugfest that saw home runs from Rafael Devers and Nick Longhi. Salem got some attention Monday night as the Carolina League's top players descended on the city for the start of All-Star festivities, with the home run derby taking place on Monday night.

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Former first overall pick Mark Appel (PHI) shut down the PawSox, who collected only five hits on the night and did not advance a player past second base until the ninth inning. Allen Craig picked up three of those hits, all singles, to raise his average to .265. A 16-game hitting streak came to an end for Rusney Castillo, though the center fielder did walk and steal a base. Shawn Haviland surrendered three solo home runs, giving up five runs in total in six innings. He struck out six without issuing a walk. Josh Smith fired three shutout innings of relief, allowing only one hit.

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The Sea Dogs erupted on their similarly-named rival, scoring six runs before and after a third-inning rain delay. Nine of Portland's 15 hits went for extra bases, and every starter reached base at least once. Rafael Devers and Nick Longhi both continue to swing hot bats. Devers homered for the fourth time in six games, his 14th of the season, and added a triple to the effort. Longhi homered for the second straight game along with doubling for the ninth time in June. Danny Mars had a three-hit evening, and Jake Romanski ripped his first double since coming back from his suspension. Starter Teddy Stankiewicz cruised through the first two frames before hitting a wall in the third, giving up four runs before rain halted play with two outs. Jake Drehoff took over after the delay, striking out seven and allowing two runs in 4 1/3 to earn the win. Jake Cosart finished things off with two hitless innings.

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The Salem Red Sox are hosting the 2017 Carolina League All-Star festivities at Haley Toyota Field. Monday was the beginning of the celebration with the home run derby, with Jose Sermo representing the home team. The highlight came when Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez blasted a ball into the light tower above left field (with video by recent Baseball America Managing Editor and recent SoxProspects.com podcast guest JJ Cooper.). In the final, Carolina Mudcats Jake Gatewood defeated Sicnarf Loopstok of Lynchburg by a total of 15-14. 

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Opening day at LeLacheur Park was suspended due to rain in the top of the third inning. Top pitching prospect Jay Groome made his first start since leaving his April 10 outing with Greenville with an injury. In 2 1/3 innings, Groome allowed one walk, one hit, and he struck out three of the nine batters he faced. SoxProspects.com Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino tweeted that two of those strikeouts came on curveballs, and the third on a fastball. The game will be completed on Tuesday before the regularly schedule contest.

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The Sox exploited some Rays wildness to score five runs in the final two innings, taking advantage of four walks and a hit batter. Eduard Conde had a fifth-inning solo homer as part of a two-hit day, and Reinaldo Ugueto had a triple and three runs driven in. Manuel Ramirez got the win, going three shutout innings of relief, striking out three and walking only one.

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Player of the Day: Nick Longhi continues to swing a hot bat for Portland, adding a double and home run on Monday to give him 12 extra base hits in 15 June contests. The 21-year-old got off to a slow start after tweaking his swing in the off-season, but he has been a key contributor of late in posting a .317/.369 /.617 June line.

Photo Credit: Jay Groome by SoxProspects.com forum contributor johnsilver52

 
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