SoxProspects News

July 4, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hernandez stymies Wood Ducks; Chavis tallies first hit


7/4 Cup of Coffee: A pair of left-handers in Single A had impressive starts heading into the holiday. Darwinzon Hernandez (pictured, left) turned in his best outing of the 2018 season, and Jhonathan Diaz continues to be a reliable bulwark in the rotation, leading Salem and Greenville, respectively, to victory. The two DSL squads combined for 29 hits. Pawtucket missed several opportunities in its loss to Rochester, while Portland was shut down by a former Boston College ace. 

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The PawSox squandered several opportunities, going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position in their one-run loss. Tzu-Wei Lin finally put a run on the board in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run, his fifth of the season. Aneury Tavarez collected three of Pawtucket's six hits on the night. Starter Chandler Shepherd surrendered two runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out five without walking a batter. The bullpen did excellent work keeping the PawSox within striking distance, with Kyle Martin, Bobby Poyner, and Trevor Kelley combining for 4 2/3 scoreless frames. 

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Portland totaled only four hits, getting shut down by former Boston College ace and Mets 2016 first-round pick Justin Dunn. Daniel McGrath, almost exclusively a reliever this year, went five innings in the start, allowing one run on five hits, striking out three against one walk. Trey Ball took the loss despite a solid outing in relief, giving up one run in three innings, striking out three and walking one. Chad De La Guerra had two of the four Portland hits and drove in the only Sea Dogs run. 

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It was the strongest start of the year for 11th-ranked prospect Darwinzon Hernandez, who pitched the Sox to the shutout win. Hernandez scattered five hits across six scoreless frames, striking out seven and walking only two. The left-hander, who has struggled some with his efficiency this year, got through the six innings on 95 pitches, throwing 61 of them for strikes. 

Much of Hernandez's offensive support came from Bobby Dalbec, whose 21st double and 16th homer of the season drove in three runs, giving him 60 on the year. The third baseman leads the organization in all three categories. CJ Chatham chipped in with three hits, raising his average to .314. 

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Left-hander Jhonathan Diaz continues to be one off the system's most consistent performers, turning in yet another quality start to lead the Drive. Diaz allowed two runs on just three hits in six innings, striking out six and walking only one. Control has been a big reason for Diaz's strong campaign: he hasn't walked more than three batters in any of his 16 starts, and he has walked one or fewer batters eight times. In his second game since being promoted from Lowell, Garrett Benge blasted his first South Atlantic League home run. Ryan Fitzgerald and Isaias Lucena both doubled as part of two-hit nights. 

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The Spinners dropped the rubber game of their three-game set in Lowell, but will have an opportunity for quick revenge as the two teams immediately begin another three-game sets in Norwich on Wednesday. The Tigers would probably just as soon pass on another series with Tyler Dearden, who was 3 for 4 with a double on Tuesday and 8 for 12 in the three games. Jarren Duran (pictured, right) continues to be a bright spot from the 2018 draft class, going 2 for 4 with a triple, already his fourth of the season in 14 games. Top prospect Michael Chavis, who returned from an 80-game suspension on Monday, collected his first hit of the year with a first-inning double that plated Duran. On the mound, starter Brian Brown took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings, striking out five without walking a batter.

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Juan Hernandez was the catalyst out of the leadoff spot, reaching base five times and scoring two runs. Hernandez went 3 for 4 on the afternoon, walking twice and swiping a pair of bases. Nick Northcut doubled and drove in three runs, while Jonathan Diaz connected on his first home run of the season. Caleb Ramsey, a 25th-round pick signed to a $125,000 bonus, made his pro debut in center field and went 0 for 3. Jose Gonzalez got the win, allowing two runs, both unearned, on four hits in five innings.

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The Sox pounded out 11 hits - all singles - to knock off the Marlins. The top of the order led the charge, as top three hitters Gilberto Jimenez, Brandon Rincones, and Ceddanne Rafaela ripped three hits apiece. Jeison Pena got the start, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings. Reliever Yoelvis Guedez was credited with the win for his three innings of shutout relief. 

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The Red Sox2 jumped out with five runs in the first inning and never looked back, outhitting their opponent 18 to four. Kleiber Rodriguez collected five hits, with a double, two runs, and three RBI. Oscar Rangel broke out of an 0-for-23 drought in a big way, as he drove in seven runs with two triples and a double. Shortstop Luis Hernandez added four hits. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the 18-hit attack was that Angel Maita did not have any of them. The right fielder entered the game on an 11-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in eight of his previous nine contests. Right-hander Brayan Bello was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. Bello cruised to five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight without issuing a walk.

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Player of the Day: It's been an uneven season from Darwinzon Hernandez, the left-hander who began the year ranked seventh in the system. His velocity and reports of potentially plus slider made him a frequent topic in spring training, but he has struggled with his command and efficiency, entering Tuesday action with a 5.19 ERA, a 15.0% walk rate, and only three starts in which he completed six innings. Hernandez lowered that ERA by 45 points with six shutout innings and walked only two of the 26 batters he faced on Tuesday. In 16 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, he has a 2.70 ERA and 21 strikeouts against seven walks. 

Photo Credit: Darwinzon Hernandez, Jarren Duran by Kelly O'Connor

 
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