SoxProspects News

May 17, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kiké Hernández homers twice; Reed hits a walk-off


5/17 Cup of Coffee:
Several home runs were hit across the system on Sunday, highlighted by two from Kiké Hernández in Worcester, the sixth from Johan Mieses (pictured, right) in Portland, and a walk-off home run from Tyreque Reed in Greenville. The starting pitching was roughed up, however, with Frank German and Jay Groome continuing their slow starts to the 2021 campaign. 

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Kiké Hernández did his best to prove he's ready to return to Boston's lineup, going 2 for 4 with two home runs including a grand slam in Worcester's win. The grand slam was the first in WooSox history, and he followed that up with a solo shot in the seventh inning. Jack López also added a solo home run, while Marcus Wilson went 2 for 4 with two doubles, and Jarren Duran went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. After starting the year 0 for 11, Duran is now 13 for 35 in his last nine games with 25 total bases in that stretch. 

Raynel Espinal did not have his best control, but he pitched well enough to pick up his first win of the year. Espinal allowed three runs over five innings, walking four and striking out three. Marcus Walden followed with two scoreless innings, and he has yet to allow a run in five appearances this season. On the flip side, Colton Brewer allowed a run on two walks in his lone inning of work, and he has now surrendered a run in both of his appearances. Kaleb Ort picked up his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. 

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Home runs from Johan Mieses and Ronaldo Hernández were not enough as Frank German had his second poor start of the series. German did not strike out a batter while allowing six hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the runs were scored in the fourth inning on back-to-back home runs. Zack Kelly was effective in relief, allowing one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Mieses was 1 for 4 with a two-run home run, his sixth of the year to lead all of Double-A. Hernández's home run was his second this year, though he also had his fourth passed ball of the season. Considered a bat-first catcher when he was acquired, that has held true in a small sample size so far in 2021. Triston Casas finished off a monster series with a 2-for-4 performance. In all he went 12 for 26 with a double, three home runs, and 10 RBI. Ryan Fitzgerald and Joey Meneses both went 2 for 4 with a double.

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After Greenville scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 9-6 lead, Brooklyn's Ronny Mauricio hit a three-run home run off of Jacob Wallace in the top of the ninth to tie the score. Tyreque Reed responded with a walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth, and he now leads the team with four homers. Two of the other big hits in this game came from Devlin Granberg, who hit a two-run home run in the fourth and a two-run double in the eighth. Christian Koss broke out of an early-season slump by going 4 for 5 with two doubles, and Brandon Howlett went 2 for 3 with three RBI. 

The offensive explosion covered up another rough start from Jay Groome. Groome allowed four runs, three earned, in three innings with a walk and four strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 14.73, though there is a silver lining as he has struck out 11 in his 7 1/3 innings. The only other pitcher to throw multiple innings was Rio Gomez who allowed one run in two innings. The blown save for Wallace was his first, and his ERA ballooned to 12.00. 

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The Salem pitching staff allowed just two runs and struck out 12, but the offense could only muster four hits. Two of those hits came from Gilberto Jimenez, who raised his average to .378. The struggles continued for Nick Yorke, who went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. 

On the mound, Jeremy Wu-Yelland allowed only one hit over three scoreless inning. On the year he has allowed just one run in 8 1/3 innings, walking six and striking out 13. Aaron Perry took the loss with three innings of two-run ball, and Cody Scroggins struck out three in two shutout innings. 

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Player of the Day: The best performance of the day was from Kiké Hernández, but in the spirit of the award it will go to a minor leaguer. While others may have had better stat lines, a walk-off home run from Tyreque Reed was the main highlight on Sunday. Acquired in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft in December, Reed has plus-plus raw power that he has already put on display with Greenville. Splitting his time between first base and DH, Reed is hitting a home run every eight plate appearances right now, showing fans why he caught the eye of the front office. 

Photo Credit: Johan Mieses by Kelly O'Connor

 
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