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June 4, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome, Espinal, Wu-Yelland, German deliver strong starts

6/4 Cup of Coffee: Pitching dominated on this night throughout the system, with four very solid starting pitching performances, including Jay Groome for Greenville and 2020 fourth round selection Jeremy Wu-Yelland for Salem. Marcus Wilson went deep for Worcester, backing Raynel Espinal's (pictured) fantastic outing. Ronaldo Hernandez and Nick Yorke also had productive nights at the dish. 


Raynel Espinal settled down the Red Wings after an 18-run outburst yesterday. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits. He struck out six and walked just one. It was the second time in Espinal's minor league career where he lasted seven frames. Matt Hall also threw a shutout inning, and Brandon Brennan picked up his first save of the year. Marcus Wilson had a big night at the plate, going 2 for 4 with his fifth long ball of the year. Yairo Munoz also picked up two hits and Franchy Cordero stayed hot with a three-bagger. 


Frank German also delivered a tremendous start, allowing just two hits in five scoreless innings. The 23-year old walked just one and struck out three. Jake Thompson and Joan Martinez followed up German with a scoreless frame each, with Martinez punching out a pair. Zack Kelly closed out the final two innings without allowing a run, recording  strikeout for five of the six outs he got. The 26-year old now has a 0.93 ERA on the year with a very impressive 18 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings. 

At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez led the with by going 2 for 4 with a two-run home run, his third of the year. Joey Meneses continued his fine season with two hits in three at-bats, including three RBI and his ninth double of the year. Pedro Castellanos also tripled and singled. One of the most impressive streaks in the system came to an end in the fifth inning when Grant Williams struck out for the first time this season. Williams was the only qualified player in affiliated ball without a strikeout until he went down swinging in his 79th plate appearance of the year.


Jay Groome had a very promising outing for the Drive, punching out eight in his five innings of work. The left-hander allowed three runs, but it continued a string of three straight solid outings for Groome after a very rough start. Greenville's bullpen was lights out, as Jose Espada punched out four in two hitless innings with no walks to follow Groome. Zach Bryant added a hitless inning of his own with two strikeouts, then Brendan Cellucci struck out the side in order in the ninth. A ninth-inning rally fell short for Greenville, who mustered just four hits on the night. Nick Sogard had the most productive night, going 1 for 2 with a single, two walks, and a run scored. 


Jeremy Wu-Yelland dominated to start this one for Salem striking out eight without a walk in four shutout innings. The outing bumped his ERA below two on the year, and he now has 27 strikeouts in 18 1/3 frames in 2021. Aaron Perry delivered 1 2/3 shutout innings and Jordan DiValerio followed it up with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of his own. Neither pitcher allowed a hit, and they both punched out two. Nick Yorke reached base four times in five trips, with a triple, a single, and two walks. He scored on Gilberto Jimenez' three-run triple in the third inning. Joe Davis also went 2 for 5 with a double. 


Player of the Day: Raynel Espinal remained extremely consistent for the Worcester Red Sox. He has lasted at least five innings in all six of his starts in 2021. The 29-year old has a 3.44 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in his first season since coming to the Sox from the Yankees in the 2019 Rule 5 draft. 

Photo Credit: Raynel Espinal by Kelly O'Connor