SoxProspects News

September 1, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Mata and Diaz shine on the mound


9/1 Cup of Coffee: A pair of sterling pitching performances helped secure a winning day in the Red Sox system. Bryan Mata (pictured) had a record setting night to lead Portland to victory, while in Salem, Jhonathan Diaz was excellent for his second straight outing as the Red Sox shut out Carolina. Brandon Howlett launched a home run in a Greenville loss, while in Lowell, Jay Groome made his third appearance of the 2018 season as part of a Lowell victory. Portland and Salem each recorded shutouts.

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The PawSox were able to keep pace with Lehigh early, but the IronPig offense was able to get to starter Kyle Hart and never looked back. The lefty finished with four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, while striking out four. From the lead off spot, Cole Sturgeon homered and walked to lead the Red Sox. Jantzen Witte and Bryce Brentz each delivered a pair of singles, while Bobby Dalbec collected a hit for the fourth game in a row. 

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Portland Sea Dogs 2, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 0
The Sea Dogs only needed to score twice to secure the win, as a career night from Bryan Mata was more than enough to secure the win. Mata tossed a career high seven shutout frames, while striking out a career-high nine batters. Durbin Feltman came on in relief and dominated, striking out four in two scoreless innings. The Red Sox didn't have to do much at the plate. Jarren Duran tripled and scored a run in the first inning, while Brett Netzer walked and scored the only other Sea Dog run. 

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For the second straight outing, Jhonathan Diaz had it going on for the Red Sox, as the left-hander hurled Salem to victory. Diaz went seven shutout innings, and came up a batter shy of his season high with eight strikeouts. Dominic LoBrutto relieved him with a scoreless inning out of the 'pen, while Yoan Aybar added a scoreless ninth and a strikeout. Kole Cottam was one of four Red Sox batters with a pair of hits, and would kick off a five-run eighth with an RBI single. Jagger Rusconi joined Cottam with a pair of hits (including a triple) while Tanner Nishioka scored and drove in two runs with his two singles. Keith Curcio also added a pair of singles, while Ryan Fitzgerald drove in two with a double. 

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A poor offensive outing doomed the Drive, as they fell to the RiverDogs Saturday evening. Brandon Howlett provided one of the sole offensive highlights of the night with a home run to cap off a two-hit evening. Jordan Wren also had a solid night at the plate, as he notched a trip of singles. Starter Yusniel Padron-Artiles had an uneven showing in his 4 1/3 innings on the mound. The Cuban allowed three runs in his appearance, but did manage to strike out seven. He was followed by Angel Padron, who was hit hard to the tune of three earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief. 

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A solid team effort helped the playoff-bound Spinners win the opening game of their final series of the regular season. Leadoff man Luke Bandy had his best game as a pro, lacing a pair of doubles and scoring a run. Freshly promoted Ceddane Rafaela also notched a pair of hits, while Matthew Lugo, Antoni Flores and Roldani Baldwin each added a single and an RBI. Jay Groome continued his return to the mound by firing two one-run innings and striking out three. Aldo Ramirez followed him in a piggyback role and surrendered one run in 4 2/3 frames while fanning five. Osvaldo De La Rosa earned the win by striking out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Kris Jackson got the save with a shutout ninth. 

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Player of the Day: It was a banner night for Bryan Mata on the mound, as the right-hander set career highs in innings pitched (seven) and strikeouts (nine). Mata's start was not only his best as a pro, but easily his best as a member of the Portland Sea Dogs. After dominating with Salem, the Venezuelan right-hander has struggled thus far in Double-A, but has left things off on a good note as he looks to build upon this experience in 2020.

Photo Credit: Bryan Mata by Kelly O'Connor

 
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