SoxProspects News

April 23, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tavarez, Dalbec lead way in extras


4/23 Cup of Coffee: All four affiliates were in action Sunday, with two games apiece fitting into opposite extremes. Pawtucket and Salem both won thrilling back-and-forth contests in extra innings, with Aneury Tavarez (pictured) and Bobby Dalbec playing outsized roles in the victories of their respective teams. On the opposite end were Portland and Greenville, for whom nothing seemed to go right and the offense of both squads managed just one run on two hits.

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In a wild back-and-forth contest, that featured a triple play, Pawtucket scored four times in the bottom of the 11th to race with a victory at McCoy Stadium. Aneury Tavarez played a key role in the win, ripping his second double off the day to tie the contest at nine, and then scoring the winning run on a Mike Miller base hit. Taverez was 3 for 5 in all, driving in two and scoring two. Catcher Mike Ohlman also had a two-run double in the 11th as part of his 2-for-5 afternoon. In a rare feat in such a high-scoring affair, William Cuevas actually turned in a quality start. He allowed eight hits in his six innings of work but was able to pitch out of jams, surrendering only two runs. 

The craziest moment of the day was the second-inning triple play that is highly-recommended viewing. With runners on first and second, Cuevas gave up a ground ball down the line that looked headed to the right field corner, but ricocheted off the first base umpire directly to Sam Travis. Travis flipped to Cuevas who alertly raced to first base to retire the batter. Cuevas then fired the ball to shortstop Ivan DeJesus, who raced down baseball's top prospect Ronald Acuna between second and third base. Likely thinking Acuna would be able to remain in the rundown for longer, the lead runner tried to sneak home but was not half way down the line when DeJesus fired to Ohlman for the third out. 

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Trenton got off to a quick start in this one, and Portland never seriously challenged, notching only six hits on the day. Josh Tobias and Luke Tendler had two hits apiece, with Tendler notching a double. Starter Kyle Hart surrendered five runs (four earned) on five hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked three. Yankory Pimentel struck out four in two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

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Bobby Dalbec hit his fifth home run of the year in the 10th inning to lead the Sox and save the minor leagues extra innings from themselves. With the automatic runner in pace, the Winston-Salem faithful were subjected to the less-then-thrilling "sacrifice bunt, intentional walk, sacrifice fly" trioka that has come to define extra-inning baseball throughout the minor leagues early in 2018. Fortunately, Dalbec then blasted a two-run homer, which followed his fifth double of the season earlier in the afternoon. Santiago Espinal also remains hot, going 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Starter Jake Thompson allowed three runs in five innings, before giving way to the bullpen, who allowed only the automatic 10th-inning runner to scored in five frames split between three relievers. 

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Little went right for the Drive, who lost their ninth consecutive contest and 14th of their last 15. Starting pitcher Jhonathan Diaz allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings. He did strikeout three without issuing a walk, giving the 21-year-old lefty 21 punch outs against only five walks in 21 2/3. Pedro Castellanos, getting the start at designated hitter, recorded the only multi-hit game as well as the only extra-base hit for the Drive. 

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Player of the Day: Bobby Dalbec would have been a solid choice to again be recognized in this spot, but the nod goes to Pawtucket center fielder Aneury Tavarez. It has been a rough several months for Tavarez. A year ago he looked to be on the brink of the major leagues after nearly making the Orioles as a Rule 5 draftee and dominating with Portland and getting off to a hot start after a promotion to Pawtucket. Then injuries and uneven play took the sheen off his hot start, and he started slow in 2018. The 26-year old turned things around on Sunday with a three-hit afternoon, notching two doubles, including one that plated the tying run in the bottom of the 11th allowing him to score the winner. The performance raised Tavarez's OPS from .543 to .644.

Photo Credit: Aneury Tavarez by Kelly O'Connor

 
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