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June 3, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Matheny powers Portland as Brannen walks it off in extras

6/2 Cup of Coffee: It was an exciting night for the Red Sox farm system, as three of the four affiliates in action saw their games won in the seventh inning or later. Degdar Jimenez made his debut in Pawtucket and helped the PawSox earn the win, while Tate Matheny (picutred) and Keith Curcio almost single-handedly pushed Portland over the edge in the first leg of their rain-shortened doubleheader. While Salem fell, Greenville walked off their opponents thanks to a tenth inning single by Cole Brannen

The PawSox rode a balanced offensive attack and a solid outing from Dedgar Jimenez in their Sunday night victory over Syracuse. Making his Triple-A debut, Jimenez put in a strong shift, allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings while striking out six. Adam Lau earned the win despite getting roughed up for two runs, while Brock Runzler and Jenrry Mejia each tossed a scoreless inning and struck out a pair to seal the victory for Pawtucket.

At the plate four PawSox batters collected two hits, with three of those hitters also smacking home runs. For the second day in a row Gorkys Hernandez was heavily involved, singling and homering, while he was joined by Josh Ockimey and Jantzen Witte in the home run column. Bryce Brentz also had two hits and doubled.


For the second night in a row Portland won a thriller in the first game of an abandoned doubleheader, this time earning the win thanks to standout performances from Tate Matheny and Keith Curcio. Matheny continued to hit the ball well, belting his first triple of the year and homering for the fourth time as he was involved in four of the Sea Dogs' runs. Curcio nearly made franchise history with his three doubles, tying the Sea Dogs all-time record for doubles in a game and likewise involving himself in four of Portland's runs. Jhon Nunez also chipped in with two hits, including a double and an RBI single.

Darwinzon Hernandez was on the mound for Portland and was excellent until the wheels came off for him in the sixth inning. Hernandez, who struck out nine Rumble Ponies on the night, had been nearly flawless through five innings but surrendered five earned runs in the sixth inning before being pulled. Things looked grim for Portland heading into the seventh but Curcio and Matheny gave the Sea Dogs the lead and Jake Cosart and Dominic LoBrutto shut the door in order to seal the win. 


Portland Sea Dogs @ Binghamton Rumble Ponies (NYM) PPD (inclement weather) 
For the second night in a row Portland were only able to play one game of their doubleheader, with the second game again being rained out. The make-up date for game two has yet to be confirmed, as both Portland and Binghamton have scheduled days off on Monday.


Salem suffered their second straight tough defeat Sunday night, though this one came in more tragic fashion as the Red Sox blew a three run lead in the seventh. Enmanuel De Jesus suffered the loss by allowing six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched and allowed Potomac back into the game in his final frame. Eduard Bazardo took over from him and was mauled for three runs in only 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, including the winning run for the Nationals. Hunter Smith did his best to keep Salem in the game with two shut out frames but the Salem offense was unable to bridge the gap.

Despite coming up short it was an excellent night at the plate for Salem, who saw eight of their starters collect hits. Jagger Rusconi had a strong showing, doubling and driving in three runs as part of a two hit night. Also notching two hits were Nick Lovullo, Victor Acosta, and Ryan Fitzgerald, who marred an otherwise impressive night by being picked off twice. Fitzgerald also added a double and was joined in that regard by Garrett Benge and Pedro Castellanos. The recently signed Edgar Corcino chipped in with a solo home run, his second of the year.   


It was a thrilling night in Greenville, as the Drive walked off Delmarva to seal a series split. Cole Brannen was the unlikely hero, singling home Jonathan Ortega in extras to earn the win. The Drive did much of their damage in the fifth, with Devlin Granberg, Brandon Howlett, and Alan Marrero each having large roles to play. Granberg continued to wreak havoc on Greenville opponents by walking, doubling, and tripling as part of a two hit night while Marrero added two hits and a double of his own. Cottam chipped in with a clutch RBI double and also scored a run. Making his second start since returning from suspension Chase Shugart was once again solid. The 12th round draft pick allowed only one run in five innings of work despite only striking out a single Delmarva batter. Kevin Biondic had a heavy workload out of the bullpen, pitching four innings, surrendering two runs, and striking out four. Yorvin Pantoja earned the win with a scoreless tenth inning. 


Player of the Day: For the third time in a week, Tate Matheny has found himself playing the hero for Portland and subsequently being named Player of the Day. Despite a slow start to the season Matheny has come alive as of late, notching nine hits in his last five games including all four of his home runs thus far in 2019. The 2015 fourth-round draft pick has steadily climbed the ladder in the Red Sox system, and will look to build on his string of strong performances as the summer approaches.

Photo Credit: Tate Matheny by Kelly O'Connor