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May 22, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Marco Hernandez, Bobby Dalbec shine in slugfests

5/22 Cup of Coffee: If the rough night for the major league team leaves you in the need for some good news then you have come to the right place: Pawtucket and Portland combined for 19 runs and 29 hits in their bludgeoning of their corresponding Yankee affiliates in Scranton and Trenton. Marco Hernandez (pictured, right) led the way for Pawtucket, while Bobby Dalbec powered Portland. The power surges in the high minors did not leave enough offense to go around, as Salem and Greenville could not back strong outings by Daniel Gonzalez and Yusniel Padron-Artiles


It was a wild night in the Electric City, as the two International League rivals combined for six homers, 12 walks, 23 strikeouts, 26 hits, and 19 runs. Pawtucket's traveling band of rehabbing infielders played a key role, with Marco Hernandez playing lead. Starting at designated hitter (and not technically on a rehab assignment), Hernandez was 4 for 5 with three runs scored. He blasted a solo homer in the ninth to tack on an insurance run and added a stolen base. Brock Holt doubled and had a steal, while Dustin Pedroia had a base hit and played seven innings of second base. Juan Centeno drove in three runs as part of a 3-for-5 evening, while Gorkys Hernandez and Josh Ockimey homered in the win.

The one negative of the night was the rough start by Mike Shawaryn, whose control was wobbly for the second straight outing. In 3 2/3 innings, Shawaryn walked seven and surrendered five runs on four hits, including a pair of homers. He has 13 walks in his last to starts after issuing only 12 free passes in his first seven outings. Josh Taylor struck out four of the eight batters he faced in his outing, giving up one run on a solo homer.


Like their Triple-A bretheren, Portland prevailed in a slugfest against the Yankees affiliate. Bobby Dalbec led the offensive attack once again for the Sea Dogs. The third baseman blasted an eighth-inning solo homer and mixed in a single and was hit by a pitch. Cody Asche was 2 for 3 with two walks and two runs scored, CJ Chatham had a pair of hits and a walk, and Jhon Nunez plated the winning run with a ninth-inning double. 

Brian Johnson made the start as he continues his rehab from left elbow inflammation. He allowed three runs (all unearned) on three hits, striking out four and walking one. Regularly-scheduled starter Darwinzon Hernandez followed, giving up four runs on four hits in 4 2/3 frames. Hernandez walked four and struck out eight. Brian Ellington struck out three without issuing a walk and gave up an unearned run on the way to his first win of the season.


It was a tough assignment for Salem, as they faced 2018 first-round pick Brady Singer for the third time in 2019. Daniel Gonzalez (pictured, left) went pitch-for-pitch with the former Florida Gators ace before the Sox fell in extra innings. Gonzalez was outstanding, giving up just one run on five hits in eight innings. He struck out nine, did not walk a batter, and needed only 90 pitches to get through those eight frames. It was the sixth time in his last seven starts that Gonzalez had surrendered two or fewer runs, and the eight innings mark a career high. Jarren Duran extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 1-for-4 night. Garrett Benge doubled for Salem's only extra-base hit.


The Greenville offense offered little support as Yusniel Padron-Artiles turned in a solid effort in his first start of the year. The 21-year-old Havana native allowed a run on four hits in five innings, striking out seven without walking a batter. Triston Casas had a single and a run scored, and has now reached safely in 17 of his 18 May contests. A Kervin Suarez double was the only Drive hit for extra bases, while Jordan Wren tallied the only two-hit effort.


Player of the Day: Generally this space is not used for players on a rehab assignment, but since Marco Hernandez is not on an official rehab stint it is totally within the rules to give him the nod. Since last appearing in a major league game a little over two years ago, Hernandez has undergone three shoulder surgeries. He began his comeback with a solid month at Salem before joining the PawSox on Saturday. After going 0 for 8 in his first two Triple-A games, Hernandez busted out on Tuesday with four hits, three runs scored, and his first home run since August 22, 2016

Photo Credit: Marco Hernanez, Daniel Gonzalez by Kelly O'Connor