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August 21, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: 11-hit attack leads Pawtucket; Reyes struggles in Portland

8/21 Cup of Coffee: The Pawtucket offense was the highlight of the night with several players having multi-hit nights or continuing recent hot streaks. Denyi Reyes was hit hard for the Sea Dogs and Kevin Biondic struggled to control his knuckleball in Greenville. In the Dominican both Eduardo Lopez and Danny Diaz both had solid performances as they look to close their seasons out on a high note.


Pawtucket Red Sox 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 4
Gorkys Hernandez finished a home run shy of the cycle and Oscar Hernandez launched a two-run home run to lead the PawSox. It was another good night for C.J. Chatham as he went 2 for 5 with a double and three RBI to raise his average to .314 with the PawSox with a .791 OPS. Jantzen Witte also went 2 for 5 with a double, and Bobby Dalbec went 1 for 4 with a double and a strikeout. His line is now up to .333/.375/.561 over 57 at-bats in Pawtucket.

The pitching staff was able to limit the damage despite allowing 12 hits, with Mike Shawaryn going the first four innings and allowing a run on four hits while striking out two. Colten Brewer walked two and allowed a hit in his one inning but he got Clint Frazier to fly out with the bases loaded to end the threat. The save went to Tanner Houck who allowed one run on four hits over two innings. 


It was a third straight rocky start for Denyi Reyes as he was tagged for six runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings. His peripheral stats were strong as he struck out six without walking a batter, but he has now allowed 14 runs over his last 16 2/3 innings. Eduard Bazardo followed and struck out two over 1 1/3 hitless innings, and Adam Lau struck out the side in his only inning. Bazardo now has seven straight scoreless appearances, with 11 strikeouts over 9 2/3 innings. 

Portland's offense struggled, with the only run scoring when Jarren Duran tripled and scored on a groundout. Luke Tendler went 2 for 4 with a double, and Marcus Wilson went 0 for 3 and is now hitting .171 over his last 10 games.


Dylan Thompson turned in a stellar start, but some poor defense doomed Salem in the end. Thompson only had one strikeout over six innings, but he did not walk a batter and allowed only two runs on seven hits. Rio Gomez came on in the seventh and allowed an unearned run due to a passed ball, and then he allowed two more unearned runs in the eighth after he committed an error on a sacrifice bunt. 

Salem had the winning run on first in the bottom of the ninth but Ryan Fitzgerald struck out swinging to end the game. Both Keith Curcio (pictured, above) and Garrett Benge hit solo home runs, with Curcio's being his first in 57 games with Salem. Devlin Granberg entered the game 1 for his last 17 but he went 2 for 4 with an RBI while playing both left field and first base. 


The Drive recorded only four hits and committed three errors in a sloppy loss to the Suns. Knuckleballer Kevin Biondic walked five and struck out two over six innings of four-run ball, with the five walks tying a season-high. SoxProspects.com Executive Editor Chris Hatfield was in attendance and reported that Biondic was sitting around 70 mph with his knuckleball while mixing in a low 80s fastball. Yorvin Pantoja allowed one hit and struck out two in his inning of work, and over his last 31 1/3 innings he has struck out 29 and allowed only three earned runs.

The only notable offensive performance came from Triston Casas as he went 1 for 4 with a double. Casas has been scuffling in the second half, but he now has a modest four-game hitting streak. 


An RBI single from Bramdon Perez tied the game in the top of the ninth inning, but the Rays came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning for the walk-off victory. Bradley Blalock got the start and allowed one run, his first as a professional, over two innings. Brandon Walter tossed the final 4 1/3 innings and took the loss, striking out three while allowing two runs.

The offense managed to turn eight hits and four walks into only two runs as they went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position. Dominic D'Alessandro drove in the only other run for the Red Sox as he went 1 for 3 with a walk, and Ceddanne Rafaela went 1 for 3 with a walk and also scored a run. 


Another strong game from Eduardo Lopez and a solid string of relief outings helped the Red Sox stay alive in the final playoff push. Lopez went 1 for 3 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base, and two RBI as he is now batting .345 over his last nine games. Alixandri Alvarez went 1 for 2 with a walk and stole two bases, and Darel Belen went 1 for 3 with a walk and scored twice. 

Claudio Ochoa struggled a bit in his four innings as he walked three and allowed two runs on three hits. That was all the Braves would get off this pitching staff with four relievers combining to strike out seven over five scoreless innings. Jesus Rosillo had three of the strikeouts in his two innings, and Isaac Pinales struck out two in the ninth to earn his sixth save. Pinales has not allowed a run over his last 12 innings while giving up only two hits. 

With the win the Red Sox remain three games back from a playoff spot with four games to play.

The Pirates jumped out to a nine run lead and they eventually tripled up the Red Sox. Most of the damage came against Frailyn Sanchez as he gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings, and the Pirates also got to Emerson Ortiz for four runs in his 2 2/3 innings. 

One positive note from this game was the continued success of Danny Diaz in the DSL. He went 2 for 3 with two doubles on Tuesday, and he is now hitting .323/.417/.548 through 10 games since being sent back down. 


Player of the Night: With several good performances but no great performances, the nod goes to Keith Curcio who did a little bit of everything for Salem. At the plate Curcio went 2 for 4 with a solo home run and two runs scored. In the field he had an outfield assist at second base when a runner was trying to stretch a single into a double. The 26-year-old is a bit old for the Carolina League, but he is doing what he needs to do to the younger competition as he holds an impressive .304/.364/.441 line over 57 games.

Photo Credit: Keith Curcio by Kelly O'Connor