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May 24, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Meneses and Casas propel Portland; Reed and Dearden stay hot

5/24 Cup of Coffee:
With the 2021 Americas Olympic Qualifier starting on May 31 this will likely be the last minor league action that Jarren Duran, Triston Casas, and Jeter Downs see for two weeks. Reports are that the players will be away from their teams starting on Monday. Duran and Casas will be playing for Team USA and Downs will be playing for Team Colombia. 

In Portland, both Joey Meneses (pictured) and Triston Casas had clutch home runs, while Tyreque Reed and Tyler Dearden continued their torrid stretches in Greenville. 


It was the best start of the season for Daniel Gossett as he combined with three other pitchers to blank Buffalo. Gossett fired the first six innings, striking out five and walking two while allowing just four hits. The scoreless start lowered his ERA to 4.50. John SchreiberBrandon Brennan, and Brandon Workman threw one inning apiece, with Brennan notching his fourth straight spotless appearance since joining the Boston organization. With Eduard Bazardo shut down for a few weeks, Brennan may be the top bullpen option in Triple-A. 

It was a quiet day for Jarren Duran as he went 0 for 5, while Jeter Downs continued his hot stretch by going 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. Christian Arroyo got his first hit in his third rehab appearance, but he is still struggling to find his footing as he went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts. Two of Worcester's runs were driven in by Jett Bandy who went 2 for 3 with a walk. 


A clutch home run from Joey Meneses and some insurance from Triston Casas broke this game open late as the Sea Dogs took four out of six games from the Fisher Cats. Down 2-1 in the eighth, Meneses blasted a three-run home run to give Portland its first lead of the game. The home run was his fourth of the year to go along with six doubles as his OPS climbed to .930. He has formed a formidable middle-of-the-order with Casas and Johan Mieses. Casas's home run was a three-run shot as well, which was also his fourth of the year. 

While he did not factor into the decision, Josh Winckowski was solid once again, allowing two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. His ERA moved to 1.80, and this was the first outing in which he allowed more than one earned run. The win went to Adam Lau who struck out three and did not allow a hit in 1 2/3 innings. 


Tyreque Reed and Tyler Dearden continue to pace the Greenville offense, but it was not enough to overcome some poor pitching performances. Reed and Dearden both homered, with Reed hitting his sixth of the year and Dearden launching his fifth. It was the fourth homer in the last seven games for Reed and he also added a double and a walk. Dearden has homered in three of his last four games and has now reached base safely in 12 consecutive games. It seemed like Asheville was pitching around him in this one as he drew three walks while the rest of the team combined to draw four. Tyler Esplin added two doubles in the loss. 

On a hot day with the wind blowing out 10 mph to center field, the Greenville pitching staff was not up to the occasion. Brian Van Belle allowed three runs in four innings, Yusniel Padron-Artiles gave up five runs while only getting five outs, and Brendan Cellucci took a blown save and a loss after surrendering three runs in one inning of work. 


It was another slugfest in Fredericksburg as Salem once again got the best of the Nationals. Every Salem starter had at least one hit with Joe Davis leading the way by going 3 for 5 with a double, walk, and three runs scored. The Red Sox hit extra-base hits in bunches with six players hitting at least one. Gilberto Jimenez and Nicholas Northcut homered, Wil Dalton hit a home run and a double, and Stephen Scott added two doubles. 

On the mound, the Salem pitching staff worked around three errors to come out on top. Ryan Zeferjahn went the first three innings and allowed three runs (one earned) while striking out three. The win went to Devon Roedahl, who allowed one run over two innings. The only pitcher to make it through the outing unscathed was Jacinto Arredondo, who fired a scoreless eighth inning. 


Player of the Day: A go-ahead home run from Joey Meneses in the eighth inning keyed Portland's win over New Hampshire. The 29-year-old was the International League Most Valuable Player in 2018 when he hit .311/.360/.510 with 23 home runs, and he is off to a similar start this season. Sunday's big day has pushed his triple slash to .302/.343/.587. The right fielder has been terrific in his debut with Boston and he has provided great protection for Triston Casas in the lineup. 

Photo Credit: Joey Meneses by Kelly O'Connor