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June 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero fireworks signal Benintendi trade completion; Granberg goes wild

6/5 Cup of Coffee:
It was a big day for the Red Sox organization, as the team completed its offseason deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City less than an hour before kicking off the first series of 2021 against the Yankees. Franchy Cordero and Josh Winckowski, the two players named at the time of the trade, formed the welcoming committee for Freddy Valdez, Luis De La Rosa, and Grant Gambrell. Cordero blasted two homers as he reestablishes himself in Triple-A, while Winckowski turned in a solid outing despite taking the loss for Portland. Greenville's 14-hit attack was led by Devlin Granberg (pictured), while the three Salem hurlers turned in a six-hit shutout win.


Things got off to an inauspicious start at Polar Park when Luis Garcia began the game with a home run off Daniel Gossett. Gossett quickly righted the ship as the Worcester offense gave him more than enough support. The 28-year-old righty went seven innings, allowing just that one run on three hits, walking three and striking out nine. Austin Brice and Caleb Simpson threw a scoreless inning apiece after the bullpen. 

While Gossett's outing was notable, the Worcester offense once again stole the show. The aforementioned Franchy Cordero pyrotechnics came with a solo home run in the fifth inning and a three-run gravity-defying bomb that came as part of a six-run eighth-inning outburst. Cordero finished 3 for 4 and now has four homers in seven games since being optioned. Johan Mieses joined the fun with a three-hit effort that included his first homer in a Worcester uniform. Mieses was promoted from Double-A Portland on Tuesday after hitting 11 big flies in 20 games with Portland. Marcus Wilson hit his sixth homer of the season, while Michael Chavis had a pair of base hits out of the leadoff spot. Rochester turned to old friend Brandon Snyder to move over from first base to record the final out of the eighth.


Josh Winckowski turned in a solid start that was better than it looks in the box score. Three of the four runs the right-hander allowed came in the first inning, and only two of the eight hits he surrendered went for extra bases. Winckowski pounded the strike zone, throwing 58 of 79 pitches for strikes in five innings, striking out a pair without issuing a walk. Durbin Feltman turned in a perfect eighth inning for his third consecutive scoreless outing. Portland's offense came on a sixth-inning solo home run by Joey Meneses.


The Drive were firing on all cylinders, highlighted by monster night from Devlin Granberg. The 2018 sixth-round draft pick compiled 10 total bases with a home run and three doubles. He drove in three, scored a pair, and was hit by a pitch. Tyreque Reed and Tyler Esplin had three hits apiece on a night when every member of the Greenville lineup reached base. The support was plenty for Brian Van Belle, who cruised through five innings. Van Belle was tagged for his first professional run, giving up one run on five hits, striking out six without issuing a walk. 


A trio of Salem pitchers combined for a six-hit shutout. Ryan Zeferjahn joined Van Belle in notching his first professional win, striking out five while scattering three hits across five innings. After a disastrous first two starts on the year, Zeferjahn has given up just three earned runs in 16 innings over his last four starts. Ryan Fernandez struck out a pair and gave up one hit as he has not yet surrendered a run in 2021 through five appearances. Brandon Walter pitched the final two innings, giving up two hits and striking out five of the eight batters he faced. At the plate, Nick Yorke turned in a three-hit evening. After a slow start, Boston's 2020 first-round pick is hitting .327/.419/.423 in his last 14 games. Jecorrah Arnold provided an insurance run with a solo homer in the seventh.


Player of the Day: While Franchy Cordero's dominance in the Polar Park vortex continues to impress, the four extra-base-hit effort from Devlin Granberg gets the nod. Granberg got the start in left field Friday and punished Asheville pitching, reaching base five times and compiling 10 total bases. Granberg raised his season line to .313/.413/.656.

Photo Credit: Devlin Granberg by Kelly O'Connor