SoxProspects News

May 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Downs, Duran lead first WooSox win


5/8 Cup of Coffee:
Worcester and its top two prospects broke out of season-opening slumps as Jeter Downs (pictured) and Jarren Duran keyed the franchise's first victory. The win leaves Greenville as the lone winless affiliate, as the Drive were outpaced for a fourth straight game. Portland used an 11-hit attack to pick up its third straight win, while Salem saw its Friday evening contest washed out. 

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History was made on Friday evening as the Worcester Red Sox picked up the first win in franchise history. After being held hitless through the first three games, Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs led the way at the plate. Duran had three hits out of the leadoff spot, while Downs was 2 for 4 with a walk, double, and stolen base. Marcus Wilson is off to a strong start in his first Triple-A go-around. He tripled and walked on Friday, driving in a pair. Stephen Gonsalves turned in a solid start despite battling some wobbly control. The left-hander issued six walks and hit a batter in his 5 1/3 innings of work, but he struck out nine and surrendered just two hits. Veteran reliever Marcus Walden was again excellent, striking out four in 1 2/3 scoreless frames.

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A third consecutive victory for the Sea Dogs came from a balanced offensive attack, with every member of the lineup getting at least one hit. Johan Mieses blasted a solo home run in the second inning and added a single and a walk. Jack Lopez broke things open with a sixth-inning grand slam, and matched Mieses with a single and walk. Jeisson Rosario reached base three times out of the leadoff spot. Thaddeus Ward, currently ranked 8th in the system, took the mound for his 2021 debut. Ward allowed three runs on six hits in four innings, striking out four and walking three. Zach Kelly was excellent out of the 'pen, giving up just one hit in three scoreless innings, striking out eight. 

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It has been the most rude of introductions to High-A for Greenville, who has been outscored 38-7 through three games. Starter Chris Murphy took the loss despite a solid outing, allowing two runs on five hits in four innings, striking out seven against three walks. Kole Cottam was a bright spot, picking up two of Greenville's five hits and adding a walk. Shortstop Christian Koss doubled for the Drive's only extra-base hit. Koss was acquired in December in exchange for reliever Yoan Aybar. 

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Salem Red Sox @ Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL), postponed (rain)
After a rainout-free Thursday, it was Salem's turn to deal with Mother Nature. The teams plan to play a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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Player of the Day: Jeter Downs has been the second-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system for 15 months, so his first hits as a member of the organization felt a long time coming. The 22-year old got the start at second base and led the way as Worcester picked up its first win. Downs had a single, double, stolen base, and two runs scored on the evening.

Photo Credit: Jeter Downs by Kelly O'Connor

 
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