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May 14, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jhonathan Diaz shines as affiliates falter again

5/14 Cup of Coffee: On a day when Alex Speier wrote in The Boston Globe discussing the travails of the Red Sox system so far in 2018, the affiliates were outscored 32-10, getting swept for a second straight day. Some individual performance provided encouragement as Jhonathan Diaz (pictured) turned in an excellent start for Greenville, while Roniel Raudes provided another quality start for the Salem Red Sox to keep them close the day following Salem's worst loss in franchise history. 


Little went right for the PawSox as they closed out a 1-6 road trip. Ivan De Jesus was the bright spot, reaching three times on a single, double, and walk. Starter Marcus Walden allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings. Brandon Workman allowed two runs in his two innings of relief, but continues to pound the strike zone. He threw 22 of 33 pitches for strikes, and has 22 strikeouts without issuing a walk over his last nine outings.

Portland dropped Sunday afternoon's rubber match of a rare five-game series. Travis Lakins, who hadn't allowed an earned run in any of his first three outings of the year, struggled for the first time this season, giving up four runs on four hits in 2 1/3, including a two-run homer in the third inning. He walked two and struck out one. Josh Ockimey went deep for his fourth homer this season, while Tony Renda blasted a two-run shot in the seventh. Chad De La Guerra singled and walked twice, and has hit safely in each of his six games since rejoining the Sea Dogs.


Roniel Raudes, 20, has turned into one of the more reliable workhorses in the organization. The right-hander out of Nicaragua submitted his fourth quality start in his last five outings, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. Unfortunately, he got minimal support from an offense that managed only five hits. Two came off the bat of Santiago Espinal, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Bobby Dalbec also added two hits, including his ninth double of the year. The loss finishes a winless seven-game homestand.


It was a very strong performance by Greenville starter Jhonathan Diaz on Sunday, but his bullpen and offense didn't give the support he was looking for. Diaz allowed just an unearned run on four hits in six innings, striking out six and walking a pair. All of Greenville's scoring came via the long ball. Jagger Rusconi delivered a solo blast in the fourth, and Frankie Rios went deep for the first time this season, connecting on a two-run ninth-inning homer.


Player of the Day: Jhonathan Diaz has been solid in a return engagement with the South Atlantic League. The 21-year-old left-hander didn't allow an earned run in six innings, dropping his ERA to 4.03. In 38 innings he has struck out 37 against 11 walks, while generating more than twice as many ground ball outs than fly outs. 

Photo Credit: Jhonathan Diaz by Kelly O'Connor