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April 19, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dominance ongoing for Mata; Esplin powers Greenville

4/19 Cup of Coffee: All three games on Thursday's slate were low-scoring affairs. Tyler Esplin and Triston Casas provided the offense in Greenville's win as Chris Machamer and a pair of relievers completed a shutout. Portland and Salem both had tough-luck losses, despite notable individual efforts. Bryan Mata (pictured, left) continues to inflict ongoing harm on Carolina League hitters in his repeat engagement in the circuit, extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings. 


Portland missed out on several opportunities in a homestand-opening loss, going 1 for 10 with runnners in scoring position. Keith Curcio picked up a pair of hits, including the Sea Dogs' only double. Starter Kyle Hart took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in 4 1/3. Jordan Weems turned in a strong outing in long relief, striking out seven of the 15 batters he faced. He also allowed one run on two hits in his 3 2/3 frames. 


It was a tough walk-off loss for Salem, wasting another outstanding effort from right-hander Bryan Mata. The 19-year old fired 5 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering three hits, walking three and striking out six. Mata was reached for a run in the third inning of his first start of the year - since then, he has gone 14 consecutive scoreless innings. Eduard Bazardo struck out five against one walk in 2 1/3 innings, allowing a run on just one hit. Pedro Castellanos was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk, driving in Salem's lone run. Victor Acosta also had a two-hit night for the Sox. Ryan Fitzgerald singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. 


A trio of Greenville hurlers combined for a six-hit shutout.  Starter Chris Machamer went the first five innings, scattering three hits, striking out four and walking three. Oddanier Mosqueda struck out four without walking a batter in three frames, and Logan Browning finished things off with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. The offense was powered by a big night from Tyler Esplin (pictured, right). The right fielder was 3 for 4 with a double, run scored, and pair of RBI. 2018 first-round pick Triston Casas delivered his first career multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Cole Brannen also doubled for the Drive.


Player of the Day: Tyler Esplin has shown the ability to drive the ball since being taken in the seventh round of the 2017 draft--his problem has been making frequent enough contact to tap into that power. That trend continued to start the 2019 campaign, as Esplin had struck out at least once in each of his first 11 games. The 19-year-old outfielder displayed on Thursday what he can do when he's able to make consistent contact, going 3 for 4, driving in a pair of runs, and ripping his fourth double of the year. 

Photo Credit: Bryan Mata, Tyler Esplin by Kelly O'Connor