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June 10, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis powers WooSox; Granberg keeps hitting

6/10 Cup of Coffee:
Some standout offensive performances highlighted a Wednesday split down on the farm. Michael Chavis (pictured) had a big day backed by a few of the regular recent standouts for Worcester, continuing its offensive surge. Salem was on the opposite end of a blowout, with Jeremy Wu-Yelland toiling through the toughest start of his young professional career. Portland prevailed in a back-and-forth contest, while Greenville fell despite the efforts of Devlin Granberg and a patient ninth-inning rally.


Getting away from hitter-friendly Polar Park has not dulled the Worcester offense, as the WooSox tallied double digits for the second straight night in Central New York. A pair trying to reset in Triple-A led the offensive attack in the mid-week matinee. Michael Chavis had a three-run homer in addition to two singles and a walk, while Franchy Cordero raised his OPS since his demotion to 1.306 with a three-hit afternoon that included a double and a walk. Marcus Wilson blasted his eighth home run of the season, while Johan Mieses went deep for a 13th time and second since his promotion from Portland. 

On the mound, Raynel Espinal struggled through a shaky four-run second inning, but he was otherwise solid. The 29-year-old righty went six innings, allowing the four runs on three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. 


Portland came away victorious for the 11th time in 14 contests against their New England rivals. Triston Casas was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in his second game back since finishing his Olympic qualifier stint. Joey Meneses drove in a pair and notched his 13th double, giving him a share of the organizational lead. It equals the total of teammate Ryan Fitzgerald, who was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Frank German allowed three runs on four hits in five innings, with two of those runs coming in after he departed in the sixth. Durbin Feltman threw a scoreless seventh inning but surrendered a solo homer when he came back on for the eighth, ending his streak of four consecutive scoreless appearances.


The Drive managed only three hits but made things interesting by working 11 walks, including four as part of a two-run ninth-inning rally. Two of those three hits came off the bat of white-hot Devlin Granberg. The right fielder had two singles and a walk and is now 14 for 24 with a 1.985 OPS in seven June contests. Cameron Cannon had his first double since May 20. Jay Groome got the start, allowing four runs (two earned) in four innings, striking out four, and walking only one. Groome's peripheral numbers have been strong of late, with just three walks against 16 strikeouts in 14 innings in his last three starts. Alex Scherff allowed an unearned run, just the third time in 11 appearances in which he was scored upon. In 1 2/3 he gave up two hits, struck out three, and didn't walk a batter.


Little went right on a forgettable night for Salem at Haley Toyota Field. Jeremy Wu-Yelland, who entered the contest with a 1.96 ERA in six starts, could not get on track. He allowed six runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, walking four without getting a strikeout. Gilberto Jimenez struck out four times in an 0-for-5 night. Nick Yorke spared himself from witnessing most of the carnage by getting ejected after arguing a called third strike in the second inning. Jaxx Groshans got Salem on the board with an eighth-inning solo homer, while Matthew Lugo had a single with a pair of walks.


Player of the Day: Michael Chavis had been off to a tough start to the Triple-A season, but showed signs of getting on track on Wednesday afternoon. Entering the contest with a .193/.258/.211 line in 62 plate appearances, Chavis ripped three hits, including his first home run of the minor league season (though he did have one during his quick stint with the major league club). Following his 2020 sophomore slump, Chavis is looking to force his way back into the picture for an MLB role.

Photo Credit: Michael Chavis by Kelly O'Connor