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June 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran homers, Gambrell makes system debut


6/13 Cup of Coffee:
Overall, it was a winning Saturday for the Red Sox system, as the four teams went 3-2 on the day, including a split in a double-header by Salem. Worcester put forth the most dominant performance, drilling three home runs, including a lead-off shot by Jarren Duran (pictured) as well as an impressively deep shot by Franchy Cordero to help put the home team away. Chris Herrmann and Jack Lopez added three hits each, providing a spark for the top of the lineup. Portland and Greenville split a pair of pitcher's duels, one of which went to extra innings, while Salem alternated between struggling offensively and putting on some fireworks.

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A trio of home runs, one each by Jarren Duran, Franchy Cordero and Michael Chavis, led the Red Sox to a dominant win Saturday night. Duran, who was 2 for 6, got it started early with a leadoff big fly, while Chavis extended the lead with a three-run homer in the third as part of a two-hit day. Cordero's home run in the eighth was an exclamation point on the proceedings in Syracuse. Chris Herrmann and Jack Lopez each added three hits at the bottom of the lineup as well. John Schreiber was utilized as an opener and surrendered a hit in his inning, followed by Kyle Hart. He went seven solid innings, scattering five hits and two runs, with four strikeouts and a pair of walks mixed in.

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The Fisher Cats came from behind late again, but this time they didn't score 10 runs in the final inning, as just a trio was good enough. Six Portland hitters recorded a base knock, but none of them had multiple hits. Brayan Bello made his Double-A debut, pitching four innings. He gave up one run on five hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts each. He was followed by Joan Martinez and Zack Kelly, who contributed a pair of scoreless frames each. In the ninth, Tyler Olson was only able to record one out, allowing two runners to reach before yielding to Dominic LoBrutto. After a fly out and walk left each bag occupied, LoBrutto got Jordan Groshans to a two-strike count and induced the pop-up, but it fell in and cleared the bases. Ryan Fitzgerald hit a home run in the ninth, but it was not enough to complete the comeback.

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The visitors scored twice in the 10th inning to take home the win on Saturday night. The tallies came courtesy of Cole Brannen, who hit a home run to lead off the inning. It was the second home run of the night, as Dominic D'Alessandro kicked off the scoring with a solo shot. He, along with Christian Koss, had two-hit nights for the Drive. The Dash were able to notch only three hits in a strong pitching performance for Greenville. Grant Gambrell, in his Red Sox debut after coming over from Kansas City, allowed one run on three hits, notching one strikeout against a walk. Dylan Spacke and Brendan Cellucci contributed two and one clean innings, respectively, before giving way to Zach Bryant, who allowed only the free runner in the 10th to cross the plate, doing so without surrendering a hit.

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A five-run fourth sunk Salem in the opener of a doubleheader in a contest where Salem mustered only four hits. Bradley Blalock and Jorge Rodriguez split the pitching duties. Blalock led off, pitching 3 1/3 frames. He gave up four runs on five hits, striking out four against a walk. Rodriguez handled the final 3 2/3 innings, with seven hits on his record, allowing three runs to cross the plate. Gilberto Jimenez and Matthew Lugo provided a spark at the top of the lineup with a hit each, but no one could bring them home.

The home side exploded for 13 hits in the nightcap, with each of the top eight hitters recording a hit. The Red Sox scored in each of their final four plate appearances to secure the split. Ceddanne Rafaela, Joe Davis, Wil Dalton and Dean Miller each had two-hit evenings. Stephen Scott provided the game-winning hit in the form of a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the sixth inning. Shane Drohan provided the bulk of the pitching in his start, but he struggled with his control, walking five batters in four innings. He also gave up four hits allowing three runs to cross the plate. Jacinto Arredondo permitted the final run to score in the fifth, while Aaron Perry had two clean innings to earn the win.

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Player of the Day: The No. 3 prospect in the system has some heavy splits between his home and road statistics, potentially owing to some favorable wind conditions at Polar Park, but Jarren Duran proved that he is still worthy of a high ranking and that he is full of potential. The native Californian hit his third home run away from home on Saturday night as part of a 2-for-6 performance against Syracuse. He set the tone for an explosive offensive performance in western New York as his team put a beating on the Mets, 11-2.

Photo Credit: Jarren Duran by Kelly O'Connor