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June 25, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Granberg with first Portland homer; Scherff closes out Greenville victory


6/25 Cup of Coffee:
It was an evening to forget through the Red Sox system. The major league club's strange game finished first on a wild pitch and many of the minor league contests would not have better outcomes in the moments that followed. Portland was able to erase three separate Somerset leads, but would eventually fall in extra innings, while Salem was able to generate just four hits, of which three came in the fifth inning. Worcester would give up 20 hits and 13 runs to Rochester and though Greenville would provide the bright spot with an extra-innings victory, they did cough up a five-run lead after six innings. Devlin Granberg (pictured) hit his first Portland home run, while Jarren Duran continued his torrid stretch with a pair of singles. He would raise his OPS over 1.000 to 1.007 with his offensive output. 

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Worcester pitching had a rough evening in upstate New York, surrendering 20 hits and 13 runs, including four home runs. The defense didn't help much, committing a pair of errors. The bulk of the damage was credited to Stephen Gonsalves, who struggled through 4 1/3 10-hit frames. He would allow seven runs to cross the plate, six of which were earned. He gave up three of Rochester's big flies and also walked a trio of batters. Bobby Poyner was next, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings, while Marcus Walden was unable to complete a full inning, as four Red Wings scored in just 2/3 of a frame. Matt Hall was the only pitcher on the night to not allow a run, doing so across the game's final 1 1/3 innings.

Worcester actually struck first in this game on a Jonathan Arauz RBI single in the second and a Yairo Munoz triple in the following inning, but was left playing catch-up for much of the rest of the game. Jarren Duran and Jack Lopez each had two-hit games, the former of which raised his OPS to over 1.000 on the season.

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Devlin Granberg, who had three RBI, went deep for the first time since being promoted to Portland, but it wasn't enough as the Sea Dogs took the loss. Brayan Bello struggled, allowing four walks and a pair of hits in just 1 2/3 innings of work, permitting two runs to cross the plate. Matthew Kent pitched serviceably in a bulk relief role, with a pair of runs in four frames. Seth Blair, Tyler Olson and Jose Adames followed up and kept the game close, with Adames striking out four batters in the ninth inning. Zack Kelly couldn't prevent the inherited runner from scoring and was saddled with the loss. Ronaldo Hernandez and Grant Williams contributed two-hit outings. The former would tie the game in the eighth with an RBI double that sent the game to extra innings. While Portland was able to eliminate Somerset's lead three separate times through the proceedings, the Sea Dogs were unable to take a lead.

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The visiting Drive mustered only six hits, but they did work nine free passes to get traffic on the bases and runs to cross the plate in the extra-innings win. Brandon Howlett was the only hitter to not record a base on balls, though he was one of three Greenville players to be hit by a pitch. The Drive opened up its first five-run lead by scoring the first five runs in the contest, taking advantage of the free bases issued by Greensboro pitching. Yusniel Padron-Artiles went five innings, with one run on two hits. He would strike out four and went without any walks, though he did hit two batters.

Brendan Nail got the first two outs of the sixth, but would struggle after hitting a batter. He escaped with just one run allowed, but after back-to-back home runs and then a walk, he was lifted for Yasel Santana. The first batter he faced went deep and he would then load the bases, with another run coming across on a sacrifice fly to completely erase Greenville's five-run advantage. Alex Scherff pitched the ninth and 10th, not allowing any additional runners to cross the plate. 

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It was tough sledding for the Salem offense, as the Red Sox could only get four hits in the defeat. Three of those hits came in the fifth, as Nick Yorke drove in Dean Miller with a single, which was followed by a Gilberto Jimenez RBI double. Shane Drohan was on the mound and contributed four solid innings, surrendering a run on five hits, as well as a trio of walks and a pair of strikeouts. After Cole Milam's clean fifth inning, Aaron Perry got through the sixth before disaster struck in the seventh. Four Hillcats crossed the plate, all on Perry's tab, turning the game on its head late. Jordan DiValerio would complete the game with 2 1/3 scoreless innings as Salem could not re-take the lead.

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Player of the Day: Unranked in the system, Devlin Granberg was promoted to Portland on June 16 as Pedro Castellanos went on the injured list. He has made the most of his opportunity, hitting .318/.318/.545 in 22 at-bats so far, including his first home run on Thursday night, as well as three of his four RBI. This is a continuation of his strong offensive performance in Greenville, where he has recorded a 1.058 OPS with seven home runs in 95 at-bats through the early part of the season. 

Photo Credit: Devlin Granberg by Kelly O'Connor

 
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