SoxProspects News

June 7, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ward keeps rolling, Houck Ks 11


6/7 Cup of Coffee: A pair of highly-regarded hurlers set career highs in strikeouts on Thursday, with Thaddeus Ward (pictured, left) punching out nine in a Greenville win and Tanner Houck tallying 11 in the Sea Dogs' extra-innings loss. Albert Feliz turned in a monster three-homer game for the DSL Red Sox1 squad as the Dominican affiliated split their games. Pawtucket fell in the ninth despite the efforts of Gorkys Hernandez, while Marcus Wilson led a Salem victory. 

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The PawSox suffered a crushing walk-off loss, giving up two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Gorkys Hernandez was a catalyst at the top of the order, leading off the game with a solo homer, working three walks, and stealing a base. Chad De La Guerra blasted a third-inning homer, his third in four games. Erasmo Ramirez allowed two runs on three hits in six innings. Travis Lakins and Bobby Poyner tossed a scoreless innings apiece, but the IronPigs reached Jenrry Mejia for a pair in the bottom of the ninth.

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An outstanding effort in Thursday's matinee from Tanner Houck (pictured, right) went for naught with the offense squandering numerous opportunities. Boston's top pick in the 2017 draft struck out a career-high 11 batters without issuing a walk over seven innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits, settling for a no-decision. It was fourth time in his last five starts that Houck has struck out at least seven batters and his third straight quality start. 

The offense worked 13 walks on the day but went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position and hit into four double plays. Jarren Duran was on base three times without getting a hit, drawing a pair of free passes and getting hit by a pitch. Brett Netzer was 2 for 4 with a walk, while Bobby Dalbec added a single to his two-walk day. 

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Salem relied on the big innings in Thursday night's win, plating five in the fourth and then four in the seventh. Marcus Wilson put Salem in front with a three-run seventh-inning homer. Wilson also had an RBI single and a stolen base. Pedro Castellanos doubled as part of his 3-for-5 effort, getting back on track after his hitting streak came to an end on Tuesday. Starter Daniel Gonzalez was tagged for five runs on seven hits in five innings. Eduard Bazardo picked up the save by striking out the only batter he faced. 

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It was yet another dominant effort from Thaddeus Ward, who now has gone five straight starts without surrendering an earned run. The 22-year-old righty was tagged with an unearned run as he scattered four hits in six innings. Ward's nine strikeouts were a career high and, like Houck's, came in a start in which he didn't walk a batter. Devlin Granberg blasted a two-run homer in the top of the first which gave the Drive a lead they would not relinquish. Granberg also walked twice and was hit by a pitch. Triston Casas was 1 for 3 with a walk, while Jonathan Ortega knocked a pair of doubles.

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Albert Feliz led a Sox 16-run outburst that included 14 hits, four homers, five doubles, and eight walks. The 17-year-old outfielder blasted three homers and a double, driving in six runs. Feliz, who received a $400K bonus last July, is 8 for 13 after an 0-for-6 start to the season. Darel Belen also went deep for the Sox, while Alex Zapete ripped two doubles as part of his three-hit day. Starter Angel Bastardo allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings before giving way to eventual winning pitcher Richardson Jimenez.

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There was not enough offense to go around to both DSL squads on Thursdayy. Wilmer Perez doubled and walked, driving in two of the Sox three runs. Elio Prado also doubled while Luis Mota singled and walked twice. Frailyn Sanchez took the loss in his pro debut, giving up four runs on seven hits in three innings.

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Player of the Day: It was between the two right-handers who combined for 20 strikeouts, zero walks, and two earned runs in 13 innings. Thaddeus Ward gets the nod over Tanner Houck by virtue of his ongoing streak without allowing an earned run. In his last five starts, Ward has scattered 17 hits across 32 1/3 innings, striking out 36, walking only three and compiling a 0.00 ERA.

Photo Credit: Thaddeus Ward, Tanner Houck by Kelly O'Connor

 
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