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May 29, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas's go-ahead home run lifts Greenville

5/29 Cup of Coffee: It was a light slate on Tuesday with Pawtucket's doubleheader getting rained out and Salem having a scheduled day off. Triston Casas (pictured, right) did his best to make up for this by launching a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth to lead the Drive, while Darwinzon Hernandez struggled again for Portland. 


Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) @ Pawtucket Red Sox (Game One, PPD, rain)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs @ Pawtucket Red Sox (Game Two, PPD, rain)
Both games of the doubleheader were rained out on Tuesday, and the two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday at 4:05 pm. The clubs will play another doubleheader later in the season, but the date is to be determined. Kyle Hart was scheduled to make his Triple-A debut after being promoted earlier in the day from Portland. 


It was another rough outing for Darwinzon Hernandez as he saw his ERA rise to 4.81 on the season. Hernandez lasted only 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits while walking three and striking out four. Since being sent down following his MLB debut on April 23, Hernandez has pitched to a 6.08 ERA over 23 2/3 innings with Portland, walking 21 and striking out 33. Daniel McGrath was solid in relief, allowing only one run over 4 1/3 innings, and the only run he allowed came on an inside-the-park home run. 

It was a rough day for the offense as Portland struck out 17 times on the night. Tate Matheny went 2 for 4 but was also caught stealing, and Bobby Dalbec went 1 for 4 but struck out three times. 


A go-ahead home run from Triston Casas in the top of the ninth proved to be the difference as Greenville came back to stun the GreenJackets. Down 6-5 entering the ninth, Devlin Granberg doubled to lead off the inning, and then Triston Casas hit a two-run home run, his ninth of the year. Casas has been on an absolute tear in May, hitting .326/.398/.651 with seven home runs. You can make a strong case that he is the system's top prospect currently in the minors. Jonathan Ortega also had a strong game, going 2 for 3 with a double, RBI, and stolen base. 

Chris Machamer got the start for Greenville and was hit hard, allowing five runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. Kevin Biondic earned the victory with three innings of one-run ball. 


Player of the Night: Jonathan Ortega did a little bit of everything for Greenville on Tuesday night as he looks to turn his season around. A 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Ortega entered the day hitting just .195/.290/.244 over 82 at-bats between Salem, Greenville, and Portland, but he went 2 for 3 with a double, RBI, and stolen base against the GreenJackets. Ortega has the defensive versatility on the infield to be a solid organizational player, but so far he has struggled offensively in the lower minors. 

Photo Credit: Triston Casas by Kelly O'Connor