SoxProspects News

August 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ball strikes out nine, Groome gets roughed up


8/18 Cup of Coffee: With two former first-round picks on the hill on Thursday, it was Trey Ball who had by far the best performance. Jay Groome's hot streak came to an end, but there were still some positives in his outing, and Logan Boyd had another quality start for Salem, but he could not get any run support. Michael Chavis added another extra-base hit, and teammate Bobby Poyner saw his absurd scoreless innings streak continue.

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Louisville Bats (CIN) 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 5 (14 innings)
After each team put up three runs in the first this had the makings of a slugfest, but both teams cooled off as this game went deep into extra innings. Roenis Elias got the start and allowed five of the first six batters to reach base, but he settled in and ultimately threw 5 2/3 innings while allowing four runs. Chandler Shepherd followed with 3 1/3 innings of near-perfect relief, as he did not allow a baserunner and struck out three. Williams Jerez also struck out three over his two innings, and Shawn Haviland took the loss after allowing a walk-off single. 
The scoring started when Matt Dominguez launched a three-run home run in the first inning, but there was not much to speak of after that. The rust is still evident in Blake Swihart's game, as he went 0 for 5 with a walk and a strikeout, and Deven Marrero went 2 for 5 with a sacrifice fly.

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A dominant pitching performance, headed by former first-round pick Trey Ball, led the Sea Dogs to victory. Ball went the first seven innings, striking out nine and walking one while allowing only four hits. It was the best start of the year for Ball, as he set a new season-high in strikeouts while tying his season-high in innings pitched. Jake Cosart tossed a scoreless eighth, striking out two, while Bobby Poyner threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his eighth save. Poyner has now gone 21 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

The Sea Dogs offense was matched up against Mitch Keller, one of the top pitchers in the minors, and their offense was able to get to him for two runs in his six innings. Deiner Lopez went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, while Cole Sturgeon went 1 for 1 with two walks and he scored a run. Michael Chavis went 0 for 2 with a walk and two strikeouts against Keller, but he did rope a double once Altoona went to the bullpen. He now has 14 doubles and 12 home runs in 185 at-bats with Portland.

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Potomac Nationals (WAS) 1, Salem Red Sox 0
Salem went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, squandering multiple opportunities in a loss to the Nationals. Logan Boyd posted his seventh quality start of the year, allowing one run over six innings, but he still got stuck taking his first loss in the Carolina League. Austin Glorius followed with two innings of shutout relief. Jordan Betts went 2 for 4, and Tate Matheny hit his 20th double of the season.

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Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 7, Greenville Drive 2
It was a strange night for Jay Groome, as he missed bats and kept the ball on the ground, but still allowed four runs over four innings. He struck out seven, walked two, and induced five groundouts without any flyouts. Six of his strikeouts were swinging, but he also allowed two doubles and a home run. Brett Netzer went 2 for 4 with two doubles, and Bobby Dalbec went 1 for 4 with two more strikeouts.

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Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) 3, Lowell Spinners 2
Lowell lost a heartbreaker, as Dominic LoBrutto served up a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Lake Monsters a walk-off win. Nick Duron, who SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall recently wrote up in a Scouting Scratch, allowed only one hit over five shutout innings, walking two and striking out one. He also did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, recording 11 groundouts to only two flyouts. Frankie RiosNick Sciortino, and Yomar Valentin all went 2 for 4, and Rios drove in both of Lowell's runs with a two-run single. 

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It was the first poor start of the year for Rayniel Adames, who saw his ERA rise from 2.16 to 3.50 after allowing five runs, three earned, while recording only four outs. Tyler Esplin led the charge offensively, going 3 for 4 with a walk while scoring two runs. Everlouis Lozada laced his second triple of the year as part of a 2-for-5 performance, and Cole Brannen went 2 for 5 and drove in two runs. 

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The game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth due to rain. The Dodgers had the bases loaded and two men out in the inning.

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Player of the Night: It has been a tough year for Trey Ball as he gets his first taste of the upper minors, but the left-hander was dominant on Thursday. Ball has not been able to string many good starts together, looking terrific for a start or two before being hit hard over his next few starts. Games like Thursday show the potential Ball has, but he is lacking in consistency. He is still a year-and-a-half younger than the average player in the Eastern League, so repeating the league next year will not be considered a setback. 

Photo Credit: Trey Ball by Kelly O'Connor

 
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