SoxProspects News

June 25, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Beeks stifles Chiefs, reaches 100 strikeouts on season


6/25 Cup of Coffee: While Chris Sale was dominating at Fenway, the minor league affiliates were showing off some outstanding arms as well. Jalen Beeks (pictured, left) turned in another excellent outing, while Bryan Mata and Alexander Montero also delivered strong starts for Salem and Lowell.

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Coming off his weakest Triple-A start of the year, Jalen Beeks was back to himself on Sunday with seven shutout innings. Beeks faced only three batters over the minimum, allowing just three hits, striking out seven and walking two. Tyler Thornburg allowed a solo homer in his inning of rehab work, and Bobby Poyner tossed a scoreless ninth to close things out. Adam Lind and Oscar Hernandez supported Beeks with a homer apiece, with Hernandez adding a double. Sam Travis had three hits, while Rusney Castillo extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 90th knock of the season.

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Down 4-1 in the seventh, Portland stormed back to grab the rubber match of its three-game set with Trenton. Luke Tendler blasted a solo homer in the seventh to pull the Sea Dogs within two. Chad De La Guerra went deep in the eighth inning, and Austin Rei then drove in a pair with a bases-loaded double to put Portland on top. Trey Ball got the win with his two innings of hitless relief. Ball relieved Mike Shawaryn, who had an otherwise-solid outing spoiled with a three-run fifth inning. In all, Shawaryn allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out five and walking two.

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After several missed opportunities in the early innings, Salem struck with five runs in the seventh that quickly turned a contest knotted at 1-1 into a blowout. Trenton Kemp had a big day for Salem, homering as part of a 2-for-4 effort, and adding a double and two runs scored. The Keys could not retire Nick Sciortino (pictured, right), as the catcher went 2 for 2 with two walks, a double, and two runs scored. CJ Chatham was 2 for 4 with a walk, while Santiago Espinal extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

On the mound, Bryan Mata allowed only an unearned run in his five innings of work. He surrendered three hits and struck out four against three walks. More importantly, the 19-year-old showed improved efficiency throwing 51 of 86 pitches for strikes. Joan Martinez got credit for the win, allowing one hit in two scoreless innings.

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Right-hander Denyi Reyes turned in an outing that was simultaneously a quality start and possibly his weakest outing of the season so far. Reyes gave up five runs (three earned) in six innings, striking out four and walking one. Tanner Nishioka and Marino Campana both went deep for the Drive, with Campana's blast being his team-leading 11th of the year. Victor Acosta reached base three times, going 2 for 3 with a walk, and Jordan Wren doubled and drove in a pair as part of a two-hit afternoon.

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Alexander Montero made his second start of the season, and for the second time he allowed one run on three hits in five innings but could not come away with the win. The Spinners provided little support for the righty, compiling just three hits on the day. Andrew Politi, Boston's 15th-round pick, pitched two scoreless in relief of Montero, and Harrison Cooney continued his rehab with a hitless eighth.

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Player of the Day: It's been almost an upset this year for Jalen Beeks to not get recognized when he pitches. The left-hander became the first in the International League to reach 100 strikeouts on the season with his seven on Sunday, as he lowered his ERA to 2.40. It was the third time in Beeks' last four minor league starts that he pitched at least seven innings while allowing one or fewer runs.

Photo Credit: Jalen Beeks, Nick Sciortino by Kelly O'Connor

 
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