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June 16, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero raises average to .406, Groome strikes out seven


6/16 Cup of Coffee:
It was a clean sweep for the affiliates on Tuesday as the offense was firing on all cylinders at each level. Jeter Downs, Jonathan Araúz, and Franchy Cordero (pictured) helped Worcester put up a 10-spot on the IronPigs, Jeisson Rosario drove in four for Portland, Tyler Esplin had three hits in support of Jay Groome in Greenville, and Ceddanne Rafaela was on base four times for Salem. 

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Franchy Cordero went 3 for 3 with three doubles and two walks to raise his average to .406 in Worcester's victory. .406 is a more sacred number at the major league level than it is in the minors, but at this point, it is clear that Cordero is not being challenged in Triple-A. He was walked intentionally with two on and two out in the fourth inning, and he now has 14 extra-base hits in 16 games with the WooSox. Jeter Downs went 2 for 3 with two walks, Jonathan Araúz drove in four runs as part of a 3-for-4 night, and Jarren Duran went 2 for 6 with a double. Josh Ockimey hit his sixth home run and drew two walks in his first start since last Tuesday. 

The pitching was able to cruise with a big lead, as Raynel Espinal fired five innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. John Schreiber followed with two shutout innings, and Marcus Walden struck out two without allowing a hit. 

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The offensive fireworks continued in Double-A as Portland scored nine times to beat Binghamton. Leadoff man Jeisson Rosario went 3 for 5 with a double and four RBI, with three of the runs scoring on a bases-clearing double in the second. Rosario is now on a six-game hitting streak that has seen his average climb from .243 to .268. Triston Casas and Grant Williams tripled, and Jhonny Pereda went 2 for 4 with an RBI. 

Frank German picked up his second win after allowing two runs over five innings, walking two and striking out five. German has pitched to a 3.00 ERA in June after struggling in May. Seth Blair earned a hold with 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Jose Adames worked around two hits in a scoreless ninth. 

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The third straight affiliate to score at least nine runs, Greenville was led by Tyler Esplin who went 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. Cameron Cannon went 2 for 5 with an RBI, Cole Brannen went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI, while Tyreque Reed went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game since Wednesday. 

On the mound, Jay Groome battled through some control issues to get through 4 1/3 shutout innings. He walked four and struck out seven while allowing just three hits. The walks came in bunches for Groome as two of them came on eight straight pitches in the second. The left-hander now has 41 strikeouts over 29 1/3 innings this season. Dylan Spacke was strong out of the bullpen, tossing two scoreless innings. 

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Salem finished off the system-wide sweep on Tuesday as they scored six runs in the fourth inning and never looked back. One of the more interesting batting lines of the season came from Ceddanne Rafaela as he walked in all four of his plate appearances and had an RBI and two stolen bases. Rafaela now has 14 walks this season, which is the same amount he had in 2018 and 2019. Gilberto Jimenez went 2 for 5 with a stolen base, and Nick Northcut went 1 for 3 with a double, walk, and three RBI. 

Similar to Groome, Jeremy Wu-Yelland worked around some control issues to turn in a solid outing. He allowed just a solo home run over three innings while walking four and striking out six. The win went to Robert Kwiatkowski as he allowed one run in three innings, and Devon Roedahl did not allow a run over the last three innings to earn the save. 

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Player of the Day: Franchy Cordero's stint in Boston did not go as planned as he hit just .179/.228/.274 and struck out in 36 percent of his plate appearances. To say he has been a completely different hitter in the minors is an understatement, as he ended Tuesday with a line of .406/.493/.797 while striking out 23 percent of the time. There is not an urgent need for him on the big league roster right now, but the International League has to be hoping that his return to the majors is imminent. 

Photo Credit: Franchy Cordero by Kelly O'Connor