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August 7, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: McGrath dazzles again; Lin homers twice

8/7 Cup of Coffee: Another spectacular start from Daniel McGrath (pictured, right) and two home runs from Tzu-Wei Lin highlighted an otherwise quiet night on the farm. After his scoreless streak ended at 46 1/3 innings in his last start, McGrath is already working on another streak as he fired seven scoreless innings on Tuesday.


Pawtucket Red Sox 5, Columbus Clippers (CLE) 4
Two home runs from Tzu-Wei Lin and a strong start from Erasmo Ramirez led Pawtucket to a win over the second best team in the International League. Lin hit both of his home runs in the first two innings, with a solo home run in the first followed by a two-run shot in the second. Chris Owings also hit a home run in the first, his 10th over the last 33 games. Lin's home runs were his first two of the season over 56 games between Boston and Pawtucket.

Ramirez allowed two runs over seven innings, with both runs scoring on solo home runs. The Clippers got to Domingo Tapia for two runs in the eighth, but Hector Velazquez set the side down in order in the ninth as he earned his first save of his career.


Portland Sea Dogs 2, Erie SeaWolves (DET) 0
Daniel McGrath stayed red-hot, outdueling Casey Mize in Portland's shutout victory. McGrath went the first seven innings, striking out nine while walking only two and allowing three hits. He also picked two of the five baserunners off of first base. Eduard Bazardo struck out three in the eighth, and Dedgar Jimenez picked up his fourth save in a scoreless ninth. With Mize on the mound there was not much offense to be had, but Luke Tendler went 2 for 3 with a walk and Jhon Nunez went 2 for 2 with a double, but he was pulled from the game for a pinch-runner in the fifth.


Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE) 8, Salem Red Sox 4
A home run for Garrett Benge and three shutout innings for Joan Martinez were two of the few bright spots in this one as Salem was doubled-up by the Hillcats. Daniel Gonzalez was hit hard, allowing eight hits and six runs in five innings, while Martinez struck out four and allowed just a hit and a walk. Benge and Edgar Corcino each had two hits, and Nick Lovullo went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk.


Greensboro Grasshoppers (PIT) 5, Greenville Drive 2
A wild outing from Alex Scherff doomed the Drive, as the 21-year-old walked a season-high five batters in only 1 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs and struck out only one, but Hunter Haworth came out of the bullpen and fired three near-perfect innings. He did not allow a baserunner and struck out six.

Greenville's offense struggled to only two runs, with Everlouis Lozada going 2 for 4 while Alan Marrero and Tyler Dearden each went 1 for 3 with a walk. Brandon Howlett went 0 for 4, and he is now 2 for his last 34 with 21 strikeouts.


Tri-City ValleyCats 16, Lowell Spinners 4
The ValleyCats scored early and often, including six runs off of starter Bryan Lucas. Lucas only lasted 2 1/3 innings, and Hildemaro Requena did not fare much better as he gave up five runs in three innings. Lowell actually did well to score four runs on only five hits, with a two-run home run from Joe Davis and a solo shot by Marino Campana doing most of the damage. Davis is hitting .333 with nine extra-base hits in the first 21 games of his professional career. Gilberto Jimenez raised his average .338 by going 2 for 5 with a double. 


In the continuation of a suspended game, the Red Sox and Rays traded runs in extra innings but the Rays came out on top. The Red Sox had more walks (nine) than hits (eight) in this game, with Dominic D'Alessandro drawing three walks as part of a 1-for-2 performance as his on-base percentage rose to .468. Matthew Lugo's double was the team's only extra-base hit, and Nilo Rijo went 2 for 4 with a walk. 

Starter Gregorio Reyes went the first five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) with two strikeouts. All three runs came in the first, and he settled down well over the last four innings. Casey Sutherland fired three scoreless innings to help push the game to extras, but the Rays got to both Dylan Spacke and Zach Schneider for runs in the 10th and 11th to steal the win. 

Bradley Blalock, the team's 32nd-round pick in 2019, made his professional debut, allowing an unearned run on one hit with one strikeout. Jorge Rodriguez also gave up an unearned run in his 2 1/3 innings, striking out four. Spacke struck out five in his two innings, and Yoelvis Guedez fanned two in 3 2/3 frames. D'Alessandro and Ceddanne Rafaela each went 2 for 4 as the team managed only six hits. 


The game was scoreless when the rain came, and it will likely resume on August 21 when the two teams play each other next. 

Bryan Gonzalez had another good game as he begins to bounce back from a cold streak, going 2 for 4 with a double. The team managed only four other hits, all singles. Juan Daniel Encarnacion dropped to 0-5 as he allowed three runs over five innings, but Jose Ramirez was able to help stop the bleeding by striking out four over three shutout innings. 


Player of the Night: This is just piling on at this point for Daniel McGrath as he has won nearly every award possible over the last month. He was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Month and SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month for July, and he also won two SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week awards in July. His nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings last night set a season-high, and his ERA over his last 51 2/3 innings is a minuscule 0.17 as he remains on one of the best hot streaks in recent memory.

Photo Credit: Daniel McGrath by Kelly O'Connor