SoxProspects News

August 22, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas drills two doubles; Groome retuns


Cup of Coffee 8/22: It was a true mixed bag for the system on Wednesday, as three affiliates had doubleheaders and they split each of them, with a blowout loss for Salem contrasted with a huge victory for the DSL1 squad. Jay Groome returned to game action for the first time since Tommy John surgery during last season and struck out a pair of hitters in his inning of work. Triston Casas (pictured) also seemed to start to come out of his slump, as he notched a pair of two-base hits to go along with a Tyler Dearden home run for Greenville in a come-from-behind win.Gorkys and Oscar Hernandez each had multi-hit performances in Pawtucket. Casey Sutherland pitched five shutout frames in relief for the GCL team in the second half of the twin bill, while Bramdon Perez was 3 for 4 in the opener.

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The game was tied 2-2 after the second and remained that way until the eighth, when a pair of runs were split between Kyle Hart and Trevor Kelley. Hart pitched 7 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs on six hits, with two walks against five punch outs. Kelley's run came in 2/3 of an inning on a singular hit. The Hernandez's, Gorkys and Oscar, each turned in multi-hit games. Cole Sturgeon, as well as Oscar, drove in the Pawtucket runs. 

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Reading Fightin Phils (PHI) vs. Portland Sea Dogs, Cancelled (Rain)
Reading led 1-0 in the fifth inning, before rain ended the contest prematurely. The game will not be made up. Bryan Mata had struck out eight batters over four innings and allowed one run on three hits.

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The Red Sox were unable to get their offense started, notching only five hits in the early session of the twin bill. Two of those base knocks came from Keith Curcio, while a two-RBI single came from Tanner Nishioka. On the mound, Jhonathan Diaz struggled, allowing seven hits and six runs to score in just 2 2/3 innings. He walked three batters and did not record a strikeout. In relief, Logan Browning did not do much better, as in the same outing length, he allowed five runs scored on six hits, including two home runs. 

Wilmington scored in the first but that would be all as Salem salvaged a split in the second half of the doubleheader. The run was unearned and charged to Andrew Politi, who did not allow a hit in four innings, but did walk one batter to go along with five strikeouts. Yoan Aybar continued the no-hitter with a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, though Wilmington would grab a pair of base knocks off of Dominic LoBrutto across the sixth and seventh. Ryan Fitzgerald was 2 for 3 with a double in a pinch-hitting role, as Tanner Nishioka departed the game early. Grant Williams added a two-RBI double as well. 

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Hagerstown scored three in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-2 advantage, but Greenville responded with two in the seventh to re-tie proceedings and another in the eighth to claim victory. Triston Casas was 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles, while Tyler Dearden hit a solo home run and added another RBI with a single. Samuel Miranda contributed a 3-for-3 performance as well. Chase Shugart gave his team six innings of four-run ball on seven hits. He struck out five, but allowed three free passes. Alex Demchak finished off the game with three one-hit frames. 

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Yusniel Padron-Artiles earned the starting nod and worked around two hits to pitch a scoreless frame with a strikeout mixed in. Joe Davis was 2 for 2 with a pair of singles, including one of the RBI variety to open the scoring in the first, while Gilberto Jimenez was 0 for 2 with a pair of strikeouts.

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The Braves had a five-run fifth to secure the victory in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Bramdon Perez was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Jay Groome also pitched for the first time since August 22, 2017 after having Tommy John surgery in May 2018. He struck out two and did not allow a run on a hit. Felix Cepeda followed him and pitched three shutout innings, then allowed all five runs during the busy fifth inning. Roldani Baldwin also made his season debut and went 0 for 2. 

In the only offense of the day, the Red Sox scored a pair of runs in the third on a two-RBI single by Bramdon Perez. Blake Loubier threw a pair of two-hit innings to begin the contest. Casey Sutherland completed the game, striking out six against three hits. He did not walk a batter. 

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The game was halted in a 0-0 tie on August 6. Jesus Rosillo struck out the side in the fifth inning, in between a scoreless four-inning start from Wilkelman Gonzalez and a four-inning, two-run outing by Carlos Velez. The Red Sox notched only three hits. 

It was close headed to the seventh in the regularly scheduled contest before a five-run seventh blew it open. Gabriel Jackson pitched the first six innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out three and walked two. Beiker Pineda finished the game with a shutout inning. Nelfy Abreu and Eddinson Paulino each had two hits and two RBI, including a deep fly for the former. Nine of the 10 Red Sox who reached the plate recorded a hit. 

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The Red Sox at one point trailed 8-0, but a comeback bid fell short. Frank Astacio and Axel James each went 3 for 5 as part of a 12-hit attack at the top of the lineup, but the No. 3 and No. 4 slots went a combined 0 for 9. Railin Perez pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on two hits in five innings of work, but Andres Ortuno gave up four hits and another four walks on his way to allowing six runs to cross the plate in just 1 1/3 innings of work. Robinson Parra completed the game with 2 2/3 shutout frames.

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Player of the Day: Triston Casas, the No. 1 prospect in the system, had gone cold in August, as he was hitting .226/328/.321 in 53 at-bats heading into the evening, dragging his line down to .247/341/.460. However, the 19-year-old knocked a pair of doubles during Greenville's come-from-behind victory on Wednesday and now owns a five-game hitting streak. Casas' bat is his most valuable asset and positive momentum heading into the offseason can only do good things for his confidence going into 2020.

Photo Credit: Triston Casas by Kelly O'Connor

 
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