SoxProspects News

July 24, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Houck headlines trio of terrific starts


7/24 Cup of Coffee: A trio of stellar pitching performances from Dedgar Jimenez (Portland), Tanner Houck (Salem, pictured) and Emerson Ortiz (DSL) headline a successful Monday on the farm while Garrett Benge continues to hit the cover off of the ball for Greenville. 

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Dedgar Jimenez didn't allow a run across 5 2/3 innings while Jantzen Witte collected four RBIs and a homer as the Sea Dogs shut out the Senators. Jimenez struck out seven and allowed five hits, and three walks, to pick up his sixth win of the season. It was the left-hander's second straight start without allowing a run.

Witte's two-run home run in the sixth inning marked his ninth round-tripper of the season with the Sea Dogs, as Jeremy Rivera and Austin Rei were the two other Portland batters to register multi-hit performances. Witte went 3 for 4 in the win. 

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Tanner Houck had perhaps his best start of the season, giving up four hits and one run (unearned) in six innings of work while striking out eight. It was the 2017 first round draft pick's second straight quality start, as the tall righty also went six innings and struck out seven last Wednesday in a no-decision against Buies Creek.

Jerry Downs deposited a solo shot in the fourth inning while CJ Chatham and Bobby Dalbec delivered the other RBIs for Salem in the win. Chatham went 2 for 4, his second straight day with a pair of hits, as the 2016 second round draft pick is now hitting .304 on the season. Dalbec's sacrifice fly scored Chatham in the bottom of the third, as the 2016 fourth-round draft selection has cooled off as of late, with Monday marking his fourth consecutive start without registering a hit. Dalbec's average has dropped 11 points to .255 in the process.

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Garrett Benge continues to swing a hot stick, collecting two hits in the loss as Hildemaro Requena was roughed up for nine hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings to take his third defeat of the season. Back to Benge, however, as the 2017 13th rounder delivered his third two-hit performance in his last four games. The left-handed hitting 22-year-old is now batting .328 in 17 games with Greenville, collecting 19 hits after posting a .351 average in 10 games with Lowell before his promotion.  

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GCL Red Sox 7, GCL Orioles 1
Nicholas Northcut nabbed two hits and two RBIs, five other Red Sox registered a run batted in and five pitchers combined to allow the one run in the victory. Ryan Fernandez got the start and allowed his first run in five games with GCL, but struck out five over three innings. The 20-year-old out of Tampa has 14 strikeouts in 13 innings so far since being picked in the 23rd round of this year's draft.

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DSL Red Sox1 3, DSL Dodgers Robinson 0
Emerson Ortiz was dialed in during his start, lasting five frames and allowing just one run and one walk to pick up the victory. Carlos Cortes, Osvaldo De La Rosa, and Luis Colmenares all chipped in in scoreless relief. The 21-year-old Ortiz now has three wins in his last four starts.

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DSL Dodgers Guerrero 2, DSL Red Sox2 1 (suspended)
With the Red Sox trailing by one, play was suspended due to rain in the fifth inning. Right fielder Gabriel Perez was 2 for 2, including a triple while Nelfy Abreu and Ronald Pulgar each tallied one of the Red Sox' two other hits. Jorge Rodriguez struck out four in his four innings of work before the delay.

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Player of the Day: Make no doubt about it, Tanner Houck has had a rocky start to his minor-league career. The first round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox last year has been largely unimpressive this season, sporting a 6.16 ERA on June 9 following a loss to the Pelicans. But since then, the 6-foot-5 right-hander has settled in, pitching five or more innings in seven of his last eight starts and lowering his ERA to 4.50. On Wednesday, for the second straight start, Houck went six innings deep and didn't allow an earned run. He was super efficient as well, throwing 58 of his 78 pitches for strikes, and racking up eight punchouts. 

Photo Credit: Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Connor

Tommy Cassell is a Contributing Editor for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tommycassell44

 
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