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April 29, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Fitzgerald's four hits power Salem rout

4/29 Cup of Coffee: The Salem bats continue to mash, as Ryan Fitzgerald (pictured) led the Sox to a 15-run, 18-hit romp to key a sixth consecutive victory. The PawSox continued to get top-notch contributions from Josh Ockimey and the bullpen to win in frigid Upstate New York, while the Greenville bats went cold to close its road trip.

After missing action with a snow day, the PawSox were back in action on a blustery but flurry-free Sunday afternoon. The game was knotted at 2-2 in the eighth when Juan Centeno blasted a three-run homer, his first round-tripper of the season. Josh Ockimey continued to be a force at the plate, going 1 for 3 with  walk. The base hit was his first single since April 20, with two doubles, two homers, and a triple in the meantime. Mike Shawaryn turned in a Houdini-like performance, giving up just two runs on four hits in six innings, despite allowing a homer, issuing five walks, and recording just one strikeout. Trevor Kelley got credit for the win with two hitless innings of relief, and Jenrry Mejia fired a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.


Portland Sea Dogs @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies (NYM), postponed
After playing a doubleheader in some dreary conditions on Saturday, rain forced the postponement of Sunday's series finale. The game will be made up June 1 when Portland returns.


In the most unlikely occurance of the afternoon, Salem churned out 18 hits with white-hot Jarren Duran getting zero of them. The Sox leadoff man continued to be a catalyst, however, with three walks leading to a run scored and two RBI. Ryan Fitzgerald has paired with Duran to dominate the Carolina League this April and he continued that trend with a four-hit effort that included a triple, stolen base, and two RBI. Pedro Castellanos had a pair of singles for hits fourth multi-hit performance in his last five games, while Joseph Monge doubled and scored three times during a 3-for-5 day. Jhonathan Diaz was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, coasting to the win with two runs allowed in five innings. Diaz allowed just three hits, striking out six and walking a pair.


Strikeout problems continue to persist for the Greenville lineup, as the team posted another 12 while recording just six hits. Jordan Wren and Marino Campana had two hits apiece, with Wren adding a walk. Starter Yasel Santana was a bright spot, giving up just one hit across five scoreless innings, striking out five and walking one. It was a welcome change for Santana, who had gotten off to a tough start to 2019 with 13 runs allowed in eight innings in his first three starts.


Player of the Day: This honor seems to go back and forth between the two hitters at the top of the Salem lineup. Ryan Fitzgerald sparked a seven-run first-inning rally that the Sox did not look back from, on his way to a 4 for 6 effort. With his third triple of the year, the shortstop now leads the organization with 10 extra-base hits, part of his stellar .375/.426/.538 slash line.

Photo Credit: Ryan Fitzgerald by Kelly O'Connor