SoxProspects News

July 2, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Requena dominates; Travis snaps homerless drought


7/2 Cup of Coffee: The system got strong pitching across the board as the calendar flipped to July, but a lack of offensive support led to the affiliates getting only one win in five games. Hildemaro Requena went seven shutout innings with nothing to show for it, while Jake Thompson and Alexander Montero were very solid for Salem and Lowell. Josh A. Smith led a trio of Pawtucket hurlers in four-hitting Scranton, as Sam Travis (pictured) homered to key the only win on the day. 

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A trio of arms collaborated on a four-hit shutout, salvaging the final game of the series for Pawtucket. Right-hander Josh A. Smith got the start, allowing three hits in five frames, striking out five without issuing a walk. Trevor Kelley made his Triple-A debut in relief, striking out two in two perfect innings. Fernando Rodriguez went two innings for his first save of the year. All of the run scoring came on a two-run homer by Sam Travis, the first round-tripper for the first baseman since May 28. Rusney Castillo chipped in with his 20th double of the season.

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Portland fell in extra innings, dropping the rubber game of its series in Binghamton. Starter Kyle Hart spent most of his afternoon pitching into and out of trouble, allowing 12 baserunners in 5 2/3 innings, but surrendering only two runs. Jordan Weems was the tough-luck losing pitcher, going three innings of relief and allowing only the automatic runner in the 11th inning to score. Jantzen Witte went deep as part of a two-hit day, and Austin Rei added a solo homer of his own. 

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Jake Thompson was solid on Sunday afternoon, but Salem generated little in the way of offense to support him. Thompson allowed three runs, all unearned, on five hits in his 6 2/3 innings. The righty pounded the strike zone, throwing 75 of his 97 pitches for strikes and issuing no walks against five strikeouts. Tyler Hill scored the Sox only run, going 2 for 3 with a walk, while CJ Chatham was 1 for 4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. 

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The Drive went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position, wasting a dominant outing from Hildemaro Requena. In seven shutout innings, Requena allowed just two hits, striking out six without walking a batter. It was the third straight quality start from the 2017 SoxProspects.com All-Star selection. The RiverDogs reached Devon Fisher for a run in the eighth, the first earned run the converted catcher surrendered since May 19. Everlouis Lozada had the Drive's only multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a double. 

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It was another solid outing for Alexander Montero, who has impressed early on in Lowell's season. Montero went four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, striking out three without a walk. Through three starts, the right-hander has struck out 12, walked two, and allowed just three earned runs in 12 innings. Undrafted free agent Kevin Biondic made his professional debut in relief of Montero, allowing one run in two innings. Tyler Dearden led the way at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Garrett Benge had a pair of doubles for the Spinners, while Jarren Duran had three hits. 

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Player of the Day: The 2018 season got off to a rough start for Hildemaro Requena, coming off what looked like a breakthrough season. Through his first 13 outings, he carried a horrific 12.17 ERA, and 1.010 opponent's OPS across two levels. He has turned things around recently, with his seven shutout innings on Sunday capping a string of three straight quality starts. In that time, he's given up just six runs in 20 innings, striking out 13 and walking only two. 

Photo Credit: Sam Travis by Kelly O'Connor

 
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