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July 22, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lozada, Casas power Drive offense

7/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a split decision on Sunday on the farm, with two wins, two losses, and a suspended contest. While the Salem game was called due to a literal power outage, the term "power outage" could not be applied to Greenville's 22-hit, 16-run onslaught. Everlouis Lozada (pictured) and Triston Casas led a Greenville lineup in which everyone had at least one hit. Erasmo Ramirez and Brian Johnson combined to take a no-hitter into the seventh inning, with the PawSox settling for a victory in both the game and series. Portland staged several rallies but could not dig itself out of an early deficit, while Lowell was handed a rare come-from-behind loss.


A dominant effort by Erasmo Ramirez helped the PawSox to their first series win of July. Ramirez fired five no-hit innings, striking out six and allowing just one baserunner on a third-inning walk. Brian Johnson followed, continuing the no-hit bid through the sixth before surrendering a double to lead off the seventh inning. The Knights touched Johnson for their only run of the day but the rehabbing lefty struck out four without issuing a walk in his two innings of work. Tanner Houck and Travis Lakins closed things out with a hitless inning apiece. Both hurlers struck out a batter, while Houck issued one walk.

The PawSox offense came on solo homers in each of the first three innings as Chris Owings, Chad De La Guerra, and Rusney Castillo all went deep. Mitch Moreland continued his rehab assignment, playing first base for eight innings. He did not record a hit on the afternoon.


The Senators jumped out to an early lead and held on through several Portland rallies. Jhon Nunez drove in four of the six Sea Dogs runs, including two on an eighth-inning homer. Jarren Duran broke out of a 1-for-25 skid when he beat out a bunt single in the third. He added another base hit in the sixth with a single up the middle to score Marcus Wilson. Wilson walked three times and scored three runs on the afternoon. Starter Matthew Kent took the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings. Durbin Feltman walked one and struck out one in a hitless inning of work.


Sunday's contest was suspended in the top of the eighth inning with the Sox trailing 6-1 due to an issue with the lighting at TicketReturn.com Field. Salem had mustered only five hits to that point. Jagger Rusconi was the only player who had reached base more than once, tallying a single and a walk. Starter Daniel Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. The game will resume at 5:05 pm Monday, followed by the regularly-schedule contest. 


Every member of the Greenville lineup got at least one base hit in the 22-hit attack, and seven players reached base at least three times. Everlouis Lozada set the tone when he blasted a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the first inning. He would homer again in the fourth and added a double, four runs scored, and four RBI as part of a 4-for-6 effort. Triston Casas did not record an out, going 3 for 3 with three walks. Grant Williams continued his hot streak, falling a homer short of the cycle, while Cole Brannen tripled to highlight his three-hit day. Brandon Howlett picked up his 21st double of the season, moving him into a share for tops in the organization.

Chris Machamer was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. The former Kentucky Wildcat allowed three runs over five innings, striking out five against just one walk. Yorvin Pantoja fired a scoreless inning of relief, the 14th time in his last 15 outings that he was unscored upon. Logan Browning followed with a perfect ninth as he continues his tremendous season. Browning lowered his ERA to 1.86, and his strikeout gives him 68 in 53 1/3 innings while allowing only nine walks. 


After leading 2-0 for most of the contest, the Spinners surrendered four runs, falling in consecutive games for only the third time this year. Chris Murphy got the start and the 2019 sixth-round pick gave up just one hit in three shutout innings, striking out five and walking one. Murphy has not yet allowed a run in six innings over his three appearances. Yasel Santana overcame some rocky control to get through four scoreless frames. The right-hander walked five, struck out four, and gave up just two hits. Gilberto Jimenez had a bunt base hit on which SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall reported him getting to first in a blazing 3.54 seconds. Nick Decker extended his hitting streak to six games with a single and a walk.


Player of the Day: There was not shortage of standout performances on Sunday. On most occassions the five no-hit innings by Erasmo Ramirez or the six times reaching base by Triston Casas would merit more than on honorable mention. But it was the four-hit, two-homer 11-total base effort by Everlouis Lozada. It has been a resurgent season for Lozada, who struggled with an aggressive placement in Greenville in 2018. After starting 2019 in extended spring training and not debuting until June 9, the diminutive infielder has been one of the Drive's most productive players. Lozada's two homers on Sunday matched his career total in 762 career games heading into the season. He has 25 runs scored and 14 extra-base hits in 35 games after compiling 33 and 18 respectively in 97 game last year.

Photo Credit: Everlouis Lozada by Kelly O'Connor