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June 3, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Nishioka has a night; Sea Dogs get power surge

6/3 Cup of Coffee: The farm split its four games on Saturday but solid starting pitching from all four teams, combined with 35 runs scored on offense made for some nice stat lines. Both Chandler Shepherd and Bryan Mata had their impressive starts, with Pawtucket and Salem, respectively, squandered in losses while Jantzen Witte and Tanner Nishioka (pictured), with Portland and Greenville, respectively, both had big days at the plate in wins.


A shaky relief appearance by Austin Maddox wasted a fine start from Chandler Shepherd as the PawSox once again fell to the Bulls. Maddox didn't record a single out in the bottom of the seventh and forked over Pawtucket's 2-1 lead in the inning, allowing five hits, three earned runs and issuing one walk in his first loss of the season. Shepherd's final line was a little better, scattering four hits and one earned run across six innings of work. He lowered his ERA to 3.93.   
Rusney Castillo blasted his second home run of the season with the PawSox' lone extra-base hit. Mike Miller had the only other RBI.


A night after allowing the Senators to creep back into the game and win in extra innings, the Sea Dogs left no doubt with a 17-hit, 14-run offensive onslaught. Seven of the nine Portland hitters recorded at least one hit while six players had multi-hit showings. Jantzen Witte's three-run home run in the ninth inning proved to be the icing on the cake.

Danny Mars had his first moon-shot of the season, a solo home run in the second inning. Matthew Kent picked up his third win of the year by going 6 1/3 innings deep, allowing four hits and three runs with six strikeouts.


Despite out-hitting the Blue Rocks 12 to seven, Salem squandered a 5-2 lead heading into the sixth inning and ended up losing to put its overall record on the season at the .500 mark (26-26). Hunter Smith, Jared Oliver and Durin O'Linger all faltered in relief of Bryan Mata, who allowed just three hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Bobby Dalbec hit his 11th homer of the season in the bottom of the fifth while Jordan Wren cracked his first dinger later on in the inning to net the Red Sox a three-run advantage before the bullpen imploded.


Despite a shaky first three innings from Hildemaro Requena, Greenville's offense came alive for 16 total hits and scored eight unanswered runs to break open a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the fifth.

The Drive didn't belt a single home run but Tanner Nishioka went 4 for 4 with two runs and three RBI while Frankie Rios went 3 for 5 with three runs and two RBI. Requena ended up with the win, his first of the season.


DSL Dodgers Robinson 5, DSL Red Sox 2
A three-run top of the first inning from the Robinson's proved to be the difference as the Red Sox lost their season opener. Right-hander Felix Cepeda took the loss as he pitched two innings and allowed four runs on one hit. The 17-year-old struggled with command, walking four in his start.

Ceddanne Rafaela, Carlos Sanchez and Lewis Baez all had two-hit performances for the Red Sox in the loss.


Player of the Day: Anytime someone goes 4 for 4, they put themselves in the running for this honor. Tanner Nishioka did just that in the Drive's 13-5 win over the Tourists on Saturday. Nishioka spent his first game of the season with Portland before moving down to Single-A Greenville. In 21 at-bats with the Drive, the former ninth round draft in 2017 is hitting .381 and has hit safely in five of his last six contests.  

Photo Credit: Tanner Nishioka by Kelly O'Connor