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August 27, 2017 at 8:15 AM

Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominates, DSL Red Sox clinch playoff berth

8/27 Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominated the story line again on Saturday, as Brian Johnson (pictured), Daniel Gonzalez, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Rayniel Moreno all went at least six innings and gave up a combined four runs. Portland had a big day at the plate, posting nine runs in their victory.

Brian Johnson put together another great outing, but the offense couldn't back him, as they got shut out on only four hits. Johnson went seven strong, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Carson Smith pitched a clean inning of relief in his continued rehab assignment.


The Sea Dogs were locked into a tie game before pulling away with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Danny Mars had a big day from the leadoff spot, going 3 for 4 with a double, scoring three runs and knocking one in. Josh Ockimey and Chad De La Guerra both had two doubles, with De La Guerra providing four RBI. Dedgar Jimenez provided 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs. Trevor Kelley came away with 2 2/3 scoreless innings with only one hit but did allow two inherited runners to score.


Daniel Gonzalez pitched a gem, going 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk and striking out seven. Daniel McGrath shut it down with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Jose Sermo launched a solo shot, and Tate Matheny provided three hits and a run to back the great pitching by the Daniels.

Salem now holds a one game lead in their fight for the wild card spot in their division.


Darwinzon Hernandez had a solid outing, going six innings, allowing 2 runs and striking out seven. The quality start brought his ERA to 3.81 for the year. Santiago Espinal and  Bobby Dalbec each had three hits, with Dalbec collecting two doubles. Algenis Martinez provided a little drama in the ninth, allowing two hits in a one-run game, but ultimately shut the door on the GreenJackets for the save.


The offense could only muster three hits in this one, with Nicholos Hamilton knocking in the only run on a double. Angel Padron had a start to forget, lasting only one inning and giving up five runs. Mitchell Osnowitz was a bright spot out of the pen, going four strong with five strikeouts.


The Red Sox dropped game one of their twin bill, despite an impressive pitching performance out of the pen from Juan Morillo, who had to come in after starter Gregory Santos was removed after just 1/3 of an inning. Morillo went 5 2/3 innings, striking out six. Willis Figueroa and Freiberg Marin each collected two hits and an RBI.

Rayniel Moreno starred in this one, as he pitched a complete game seven-inning shutout, allowing five hits and no walks and collecting three strikeouts. Jonathan Diaz provided all the offense necessary with a two-run home run in the fourth, but the bats added three more in the fifth for good measure.

The Red Sox are tied with the DSL Dodgers1 for first place in their division and officially earned a playoff spot.


GCL Red Sox, GCL Twins, PPD
Both the originally scheduled game and the makeup game from Friday were postponed due to rain.


Player of the Night: There were a few stellar pitching performances to choose from, but Saturday's honors go to Daniel Gonzalez. The 21-year-old lowered his ERA to 2.25 in his 4 starts with Salem, having a total of 15 strikeouts in his 20 innings.

Photo credit: Brian Johnson by Kelly O'Connor