SoxProspects News

July 4, 2017 at 9:17 AM

Cup of Coffee: Devers and Baldwin homer on day of tight contests


7/4 Cup of Coffee: There was lots of drama across a full slate heading into the holiday, as the eight games played by the affiliates were all decided by two runs or fewer, with three heading to extras. Rafael Devers continued to try and homer his way out of the Eastern League and his fellow Dominican, Drive catcher Roldani Baldwin (pictured), also went deep. Strong performances on the mound from Edgar Olmos, Kyle Hart, and Andres Jimenez only resulted in one win for their respective teams.

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Edgar Olmos delivered a strong start, but the bullpen imploded in the ninth. Olmos went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering just one run on six hits while striking out three. Noe Ramirez was first out of the pen and gave up the first four runs in the ninth to let the RailRiders tie the game. Austin Maddox was tagged with the loss after he allowed the winning run with two out in the ninth. Brock Holt, who continues to work his way back from vertigo, paced the offense with a 2-for-4 performance that included a two-run home run in the fifth. Designated hitter Pablo Sandoval went 2 for 4 as well, while Jhonny Peralta, who started at third, went 0 for 4.

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An eighth-inning rally fell short for the Sea Dogs, who languished behind some lackluster pitching. Travis Lakins allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks in just 2 2/3 innings before departing the game with an injury. Taylor Grover took the loss out of the bullpen, despite allowing just one run in 2 1/3 innings while striking out four. Cole Sturgeon had a day out of the leadoff spot, going 4 for 6 with a triple. Rafael Devers, meanwhile, launched his 18th home run of the campaign as part of a 2-for-5 evening that also included an intentional walk. Portland still managed to pound out 12 hits in the loss, and with the exception of Jeremy Barfield, each starter collected at least one hit.

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Salem prevailed in the 12th inning when a Jeremy Rivera base hit plated Jordan Betts. Josh Ockimey doubled and homered as part of a 2-for-6 effort. Starter Dedgar Jimenez turned in seven strong innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, striking out two against just one walk. He then turned the ball over to the trio of Trevor Kelley, Austin Glorius, and Stephen Nogosek, who combined for five scoreless innings to allow the comeback.

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Like Salem, Greenville went into extra frames, but the Drive fell short despite an 11-hit effort. Santiago Espinal led the offense, going 3 for 4 with a home run, double, walk, and two RBI. Roldani Baldwin also homered and doubled as the catcher raised his slugging percentage to an impressive .522 on the year. On the mound, Darwinzon Hernandez surrendered four runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings in his return from an ankle injury that kept him on the disabled list for three weeks. He struck out five and walked one. Kyle Hart piggybacked him and went the rest of the way in relief. He spun 5 1/3 shutout innings before Lexington finally reached him for a pair of runs in the 10th. Hart struck out seven and walked one.

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Strong pitching led the Spinners to victory, as Dakota Smith allowed just one run on five hits in six innings. Smith struck out four without walking a batter, and now sports a 1.23 ERA through three starts in his second Lowell season. Garrett Benge, selected in the 13th round of last month's draft, went 2 for 3 and is hitting .346/.528/.423 through his first eight games as a professional. Samuel Miranda and Tanner Nishioka also notched a pair of hits each.

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The GCL affiliate’s ninth-inning rally came up short in a loss to the O’s. The offense was paced by the returning Cole Brannen, who had missed two games after being hit by a pitch in his pro debut on June 29. The second-round pick went 2 for 3 with a walk, scoring two of the team’s three runs. The rehabbing Bobby Dalbec went 0 for 3 with a walk, but did not strike out after doing so six times in the first two games of his rehab assignment after surgery to remove a broken hamate bone. Starting pitcher Rayniel Adames settled in after allowing the game’s leadoff batter to score on a triple and a sacrifice fly, getting through the rest of his three innings while scattering a hit-by-pitch and a walk, striking out three.

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The DSL Sox put in work, playing 17 innings in coming away with a doubleheader split. Andres Jimenez and Shair Lacrus combined for a seven-inning no-hitter in the opener, allowing just one batter to reach on a sixth-inning walk allowed by Lacrus. Jimenez was perfect for five innings, whiffing six, before Lacrus closed things out. The game’s lone run came in when second baseman Freiberg Marin drove in first baseman Fabian Andrade in the fifth.

In the back-end of the double-dip, the Sox kept the game alive to re-tie the game once in extras after a Marlins run in the eighth, but failed to do so again in the tenth, mustering only a couple runs after the Fish had scored three. The Sox’s seven hits were scattered across the lineup, with third baseman Jesus Chacon mustering the lineup’s lone extra-base hit with a double. Alexander Martinez, who singled and walked in the first game while playing center field, went 0 for 3 but scored a couple runs and drove in another as the designated hitter in game two.

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Player of the Day: Andres Jimenez was making his first start after pitching his way into the DSL club's rotation with four great relief appearances, and responded with five perfect innings. He is now up to 13 scoreless innings on the year having allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 12. The 18-year-old right-hander pitched mostly out of the bullpen in his 2016 debut, posting a 6.25 ERA amidst an uninspiring line, but he is having no issues in his second DSL stint, breaking out as an interesting player to follow in a year where penalties incurred by the organization have made the DSL squad made up entirely of returnees an uninspiring club to follow.

James Dunne and Chris Hatfield contributed to this post.

Photo credit: Roldani Baldwin by Kelly O'Connor

 
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