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July 20, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Wilson homers twice, Scherff gets back on track

7/20 Cup of Coffee: A two-home run game from Marcus Wilson was not enough for the Sea Dogs, while Tyler Dearden hit a grand slam in support of Alex Scherff (pictured, right) in Greenville. Brandon Howlett and Nick Decker each had strong nights, while Bryan Mata had an up-and-down performance for Portland. 


Josh A. Smith started for the PawSox, and he improved to 4-2 with six scoreless innings, striking out six without issuing a walk. When he left the game the Knights woke up, as Mike Shawaryn absorbed most of the damage. He recorded only one out and gave up three runs as his ERA jumped to 9.18 over his last 16 1/3 innings. The bullpen was solid after that, with Bobby Poyner striking out four in 1 2/3 innings and Trevor Kelley picking up his sixth save with a scoreless ninth. 

A two-run home from Bryce Brentz ended up knocking in the winning run in the sixth, and Rusney Castillo went 2 for 4 with two RBI. Mitch Moreland was scratched from the lineup last Friday (the 12th), but he resumed his rehab and went 0 for 2 with a walk. 


Marcus Wilson did all he could to carry the team, but his two home runs and four RBI still fell short as the Sea Dogs struggled to string hits together. Wilson finished the night 2 for 4, while C.J. Chatham, Joey Curletta, and Tate Matheny all had two hits. Bobby Dalbec went 1 for 3 with a double, and after avoiding a strikeout on Friday he has now struck out only three times in his last 29 at-bats. 

It was a mixed bag for Bryan Mata as he struck out six over four innings, but he also allowed three runs on seven hits. Being a 20-year-old in Double-A will lead to some inconsistency in his results, but it is good to see that even on an off night that Mata can still miss bats. The Senators got to reliever Eduard Bazardo for five runs in only 1 1/3 innings, and Kevin Lenik was able to put out some of the fire with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. 


Two errors from Garrett Benge led to three unearned runs for the Wood Ducks, while Andrew Politi struggled with his control. Politi gave up three runs (one earned) over four innings, walking three while striking out two. Dominic LoBrutto followed with two shutout innings as his ERA dipped to 2.33. It was a good bounce-back outing for LoBrutto as he gave up four runs in his last appearance. Victor Acosta and Tanner Nishioka each had two hits, while Edgar Corcino went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. 


Greenville's offense erupted yet again in a rout of the Fireflies. Columbia scored a few runs late to make the game a bit closer, but they could not get anything going off of starter Alex Scherff. Scherff allowed just one run in his six innings, walking one and notching four strikeouts. The right-hander was struggling mightily entering the game having given up 17 runs in his last 12 2/3 innings. 

Tyler Dearden only had one hit but he made it count, blasting a grand slam to put the game out of reach. The home run was his third of the season, and it broke him out of an 0-for-18 slump. Tyler Esplin also hit his third home run of the season as the left-handed hitter went 2 for 2 with two walks, three runs scored, and three RBI. Brandon Howlett followed up Thursday's big game by going 2 for 5 with a triple. 


Nick Decker (pictured, right) hit a two-run home run and Ryan Fernandez closed the game out with four solid innings as the Spinners snuck past the ValleyCats. Decker drove in three of Lowell's six runs, going 1 for 3 with a walk. Cameron Cannon went 1 for 4 with a walk but also committed his third error in as many games for Lowell. 

Bryan Lucas got the job done as the starter as he gave up two runs over five innings as he improved to 3-2. Fernandez was credited with his second save as he allowed only an unearned run over four innings, striking out four. A 23rd-round pick in the 2018 draft, Fernandez has allowed a run in only one of his seven appearances this year. 


The Red Sox could not do enough offensively to support a strong start from Felix Cepeda. Cepeda's only blemish was a solo home run over five innings, walking one and striking out five. Dean Miller had three of the team's four hits, going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI, and Daniel Bakst went 1 for 4 with a double. 


Both of the DSL games were cut short due to rain, with the Red Sox coming out victorious in both of them. Isaac Pinales improved to 4-2 as he struck out five over three innings of one-run ball. Eduardo Vaughan hit his second home run of the year, Carlos Sanchez went 2 for 3 with two RBI, and Imanol Contreras went 1 for 3 with a stolen base and scored the ultimate winning run on a wild pitch.

The Red Sox put up three runs in the first and were able to hold on for the one-run lead. Frank Astacio had the big hit of the inning, lacing a two-run triple to cap the scoring. Astacio also had two walks on the day, and Axel James went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. The win went to Frailyn Sanchez, who went five innings and did not allow a run while striking out four.


Player of the Night: Acquired from the Diamondbacks for Blake Swihart back in April, Marcus Wilson has been on an absolute tear over the last 36 games. He entered the night with a 1.112 OPS over his last 35 games, and he proceeded to go 2 for 4 with two home runs. The home runs were his 12th and 13th on the year, and the 22-year-old now has a three-game hitting streak as he begins his second stint with the Sea Dogs.

Photo Credit: Alex Scherff and Nick Decker by Kelly O'Connor