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July 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Arauz powers WooSox amidst hug watch false alarms

7/22 Cup of Coffee:
The affiliates swept on Wednesday, but the performances of those on the diamond were overshadowed by four prominent exits from it. Just 10 days before the trading deadline, a confluence of events led to two players on the 40-man roster, another hot prospect who faces Rule 5 eligibility this winter, and a former top draft selection all to be lifted from their games within a couple hours, igniting trade speculation. It all appears to have been coincidental, however. WooSox outfielder Marcus Wilson left the game with a hamstring injury, while Franchy Cordero exited in the ninth to likely take the spot of Danny Santana, who is expected to be placed on the Injured List. Cameron Cannon, the 43rd overall pick in 2019, was hurt running out his 21st double of the season. The reasons, if any, for the removal of Pedro Castellanos from the Portland game have yet to be reported, but no reports of a trade have come through.

Rampant rumors didn't slow down Portland, winning its 15th in a row largely on the contributions of Ryan Fitzgerald and Kutter Crawford. Jonathan Arauz (pictured) keyed the Worcester victory, while Christian Koss launched a solo homer in support of Brian Van Belle. Nick Yorke continued streaking for Salem in the Sox victory.


Jonathan Arauz would've been the highlight coming out of Allentown had it not been for the removal of Marcus Wilson and Franchy Cordero. Arauz was 3 for 3 on the evening, blasting a solo homer in the sixth inning that proved to be a valuable insurance run. He added a walk and two RBI. Chad De La Guerra blasted a three-run home run in the second off of former top draft pick Mark Appel, with Connor Wong adding a solo shot against him in the fifth. Marcus Walden pitched in an opener role, surrendering a leadoff home run to rehabbing outfielder Odubel Herrera. It was the lone run Walden surrendered in his two innings. Steven Gonsalves followed in the bulk spot, allowing three runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.


The Sea Dogs keep rolling, now with 15 consecutive wins. Kutter Crawford continues to be among the most consistently outstanding performers in the system. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out nine without issuing a walk. Crawford has 64 strikeouts against only five walks on the season and has walked just one batter in July while striking out 34. Ryan Fitzgerald led the way at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Before departing, Pedro Castellanos was 1 for 2 with a walk, while Hudson Potts picked up a pair of doubles. 


Christian Koss wasted no time getting Greenville on the board, leading off the bottom of the first with a solo homer, his fifth of the year. Koss was 2 for 4 overall, his ninth multi-hit game of the month, raising his July line to .450/.493/.700. Wil Dalton added a two-run homer in the fourth, while Cameron Cannon went 2 for 3 with a run scored before exiting. Brian Van Belle scattered five hits across six shutout innings, striking out three and walking one. 


Salem scored four unanswered runs to complete the system-wide sweep. Antoni Flores had a big night out of the ninth spot, ripping a pair of doubles and scoring a run. Nick Northcut added his 17th double of the season as part of a 2-for-3 effort. Nick Yorke reached base for the 24th consecutive game with his RBI single in the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Shane Drohan allowed one run on three hits in four innings, striking out five and walking three. Yasel Santana and Jacinto Arredondo went two scoreless innings apiece out of the bullpen before Devon Roedahl surrendered a run in the ninth and was credited with the save.


Player of the Day: It's been an up-and-down season for Jonathan Arauz. After spending all of the abbreviated 2020 season in the majors as a Rule 5 pick, Arauz found himself back at Triple-A in 2021. The utilityman was just 6 for 29 without an extra-base hit in July before Wednesday's outburst that saw him go 3 for 3 with a homer, two RBI, and a walk. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Arauz by Kelly O'Connor