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June 20, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: 2 more hits for Duran; 7 shutout innings for Hart in Worcester win

6/20 Cup of Coffee:
Worcester staved off a winless night for the system, as Greenville and Salem both fell in their contests, while Portland lost its game to Mother Nature. The Triple-A game was full of strong performances as Jack Lopez and Yairo Munoz each added three hits, with Munoz coming up just a home run short of the cycle. Jarren Duran came through with another two hits and has now had multi-hit games in five of his last six. Marcus Wilson also added two hits, while Kyle Hart shined on the mound. Elsewhere, Greenville did not record a hit until the sixth inning as Chase Shugart struggled in a rough pitching performance, while the Salem offense sputtered after a two-run first inning.


Yairo Munoz was a home run short of the cycle in Worcester on Saturday night, as the home team earned the victory. While Kyle Hart had some control issues, walking four batters, you cannot argue with the results. He scattered three hits over seven shutout frames, adding five strikeouts, as well. His shutout was carried by Brandon Brennan through the eighth, while Phillips Valdez struggled in the ninth. All three Lehigh Valley runs came across to score on his watch, forcing John Schreiber to come in and record the final two outs to secure the win. Munoz was not the only plater with three hits on the evening, as Jack Lopez was 3 for 4 with a trio of RBI as well. He got the scoring going with a single in the second, adding a second RBI base hit in the fourth and a third in the eighth. Jarren Duran and Marcus Wilson each had multi-hit outings as well. Duran now has had at least two hits in five of his last six games.

Portland Sea Dogs vs. Binghamton Rumble Ponies (NYM), PPD (Weather)
Rain ran through upstate New York on Saturday, postponing the Sea Dogs' contest with Binghamton. It will be made up on August 4.


Greenville did not enter the hit column until the sixth inning, when the team was already down 9-0. The lead ultimately proved too big to overcome, as the Drive suffered the loss. Despite scoring five runs, the Drive notched merely four hits, as well as four free passes. This would come into play in the eighth, as two walks led to a three-run home run for Brandon Howlett, whose fifth big fly of the year put his team within shouting distance, but the visitors did not let the home side come too close. Hickory exploded for a six-run fourth, all of which went on Chase Shugart's line. He allowed nine runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. After Jose Espada and Dylan Spacke got through 1 1/3 and 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball, respectively, it was Brandon Cellucci who struggled in the ninth as the final two runs were charged to him. 


The score was 4-2 after two innings and it held up, as the Shorebirds held off Salem. Gilberto Jimenez and Matthew Lugo each had a pair of base knocks, representing two-thirds of the Red Sox's offensive output. Lugo drove in the game's opening run in the first inning, followed by a Jaxx Groshans sacrifice fly. The visitors would get just five baserunners the rest of the way, including a Delmarva error. All four Shorebirds runs came on the tab of Jordan DiValerio, who surrendered a pair of runs in each of the first two frames. He ultimately contributed four innings of work, giving up five hits, of which two were home runs. He also struck out five hitters. Devon Roedahl and Ryan Fernandez followed, each pitching a pair of shutout innings.


Player of the Day: While there were not many wins to be had across the system on Saturday, there were some solid performances. However, it's not every day that a pitcher goes seven shutout innings, which is what Kyle Hart did for Worcester. The Indiana product has struggled so far in 2021, but he lowered his season ERA by nearly a full run with his exceptional start Saturday, as it reached exactly 5.00. Hart is no longer on the 40-man roster after a trying 2020 in the major leagues, but could be a depth option should a roster spot arise.

Photo Credit: Kyle Hart by Kelly O'Connor