SoxProspects News

May 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Decker, Lugo go deep as Salem splits


5/6 Cup of Coffee:
A second attempt at a full slate of games was unsuccessful, as rain in Portland forced a postponement. Following Tuesday's rainout, Greenville dropped its opener despite the efforts of Brandon Howlett. Salem finished Tuesday's rain-halted introduction to Low-A before picking up the system's first win in the regularly scheduled contest, with second-round picks Nick Decker (pictured) and Matthew Lugo playing longball. A late rally featuring a pair of solo homers fell short as Worcester remains winless

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Worcester is still looking for its first win in franchise history as it fell to Toronto's migrant Triple-A affiliate. The home run haunted WooSox starter Raynel Espinal, as a solo shot in the first and two-run blast in the second accounted for the three runs he allowed in five innings of work. The 2019 minor league Rule 5 selection struck out four and walked two in his first appearance since Tommy John surgery 22 months ago. Marcus Walden and Kaleb Ort both struck out a pair while working a hitless inning apiece. Both Worcester runs came on the long ball, with Chris Hermann and Marcus Wilson both going deep. 

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Portland Sea Dogs vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), postponed
The late start to the minor league season avoided the notorious April in Portland. Mother nature did its best to make the season feel as normal as possible by interfering in the second game of the season. The two teams will try for a doubleheader on Thursday.

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After a rainout on Tuesday's scheduled opening day, the weather cooperated and the Drive were able to make their first appearance as a High-A affiliate. Brandon Howlett provided the main highlight in an otherwise frustrating affair, blasting a sixth-inning two-run home run. Tyler Esplin added a pair of hits and scored on the Howlett homer. Danny Santana began his rehab assignment, getting the start at second base and going 1 for 3. It was a difficult opener for Jay Groome, as the 2016 first-round pick allowed five runs on six hits in two innings. He walked three, struck out three, and hit a batter. Rio Gomez was solid in relief, allowing one run on four hits in three innings, striking out six without issuing a walk. 

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Salem squandered an early lead in the completion of Tuesday's opener. After Aldo Ramirez gave up two runs before the pause, Aaron Perry was first on the hill Wednesday. He went 2 1/3, allowing one run on two hits, striking out five, and walking three. 2020 first-round pick Nick Yorke made his professional debut, picking up a hit and stealing a base. Nick Decker had a home run, single, and a walk in his first taste of full-season ball. The third of the Slugging Nicks of Salem, Nick Northcut added a single to his line after homering before the delay on Tuesday. 

Salem picked up the first win by an affiliate on the young season as a pair of hurlers teamed up on a no-hitter through the first five innings. Jeremy Wu-Yelland, the team's fourth-round pick last June, fired 2 1/3 hitless innings despite struggling with his command. He walked three and hit two batters, striking out five and surrendering an unearned run. Jordan DiValerio was nearly perfect in relief, striking out four in 2 2/3 hitless innings, allowing just one base runner on a hit batsman. Matthew Lugo and Alex Erro both went deep for Salem, with Erro's three-run shot in the third inning breaking the contest open. Gilberto Jimenez was 2 for 4 with a double out of the leadoff spot, and Yorke worked a pair of walks.

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Player of the Day: Despite a tough opening to their maiden season, the Worcester Red Sox have gotten a good start from Marcus Wilson. The 39th-ranked player in the organization singled and homered on Wednesday to follow up on his 1-for-3 effort in his Triple-A debut on Tuesday. Wilson was acquired in early 2019 from Arizona in exchange for Blake Swihart. Added to the 40-man roster that winter, he is looking to play himself into consideration for a look at the major league level. 

Photo Credit: Nick Decker by Kelly O'Connor

 
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