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July 21, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Sale strikes out six; Scott hits walk-off single in Salem

7/21 Cup of Coffee:
Chris Sale looked as good as Red Sox fans could hope in his second rehab appearance, holding Harrisburg hitless and striking out six in 3 2/3 innings. Elsewhere on the farm, Nick Yorke had another great game while Stephen Scott (pictured) hit a walk-off single for Salem. In the FCL, the Red Sox had what will likely be one of their best offensive performances of the year, but they still lost by a touchdown plus an extra point. Brainer BonaciEduardo Vaughan, and Bryan Gonzalez all broke out of mini-slumps to start the season. 


It was not Worcester's night with only Kaleb Ort able to keep the IronPigs off the board. Kyle Hart started but only went 1 2/3 innings while allowing three runs. Both John Schreiber and Matt Hall allowed five runs as Lehigh Valley plated 13 runs through the first six innings. Playing left field, Franchy Cordero went 1 for 5 with a strikeout. Connor Wong went 2 for 3 with two walks, Yairo Muñoz went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks, and Chris Herrmann went 1 for 5 with a double. 


All eyes were on Chris Sale in his second rehab start, and he did not disappoint. In 49 pitches over 3 2/3, Sale did not allow a hit and struck out six while walking one. He now has 11 strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 scoreless innings through two appearances. Reports from the field have his fastball reaching 97. AJ Politi made his first relief appearance of the season and allowed three runs over 4 1/3 but still picked up the win. 

The offense was propelled by a five-run sixth inning, with Devlin Granberg's double opening the scoring. Both Granberg and Ryan Fitzgerald went 2 for 4 with a double, and Pedro Castellanos went 1 for 3 with a walk. 


It was another game where Brandon Walter seemed to get a bit unlucky as the 24-year-old walked one and struck out eight over five innings but took the loss. He gave up six runs (three earned) on six hits, and he now has a 9.00 ERA for Greenville despite a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 21-2 over 12 innings. Brendan Cellucci and Zach Bryant combined to strike out five over the final two innings. 

The 10-hit attack was led by Christian Koss who went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Koss has been one of the system's best hitters in July, batting .446. Joe Davis also went 3 for 5 in his Greenville debut, but he also made the last out of the game at second base trying to stretch a single into a double. 


With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Stephen Scott laced an RBI single to win the game. Scott finished the night 2 for 5, while Nick Yorke went 2 for 4 with a walk and an RBI. Also notching a multi-hit game was Alan Marrero who went 2 for 3 with a walk. Jorge Rodriguez had a rocky start as he gave up three runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. Alexander Montero and Ryan Fernandez combined to toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings, with Fernandez earning the victory. 


The pitching lines in this one were not pretty with the Red Sox turning to position players by the sixth inning. Blake Loubier made his season debut but could not get out of the first inning. He allowed four runs and was replaced by Cole Milam who walked all five batters he faced. Also making his season debut was Luis De La Rosa, and he gave up six runs while recording just two outs. 

The top of Boston's lineup did their best to keep them in the game, led by Eduardo Vaughan who went 2 for 5 with two home runs and five RBI. Also leading the way was Brainer Bonaci as he went 3 for 3 with a double and two walks. Blaze Jordan went 2 for 5 with a double, and Bryan Gonzalez launched his third home run. 


The bullpen held strong for six innings, but eventually, the Cubs broke through. After Jedixson Paez gave up four runs in three innings, the combination of Barbaro PineroRoyman Blanco, and Railin Perez kept the Cubs off the board for six innings. Perez came back out for the 10th inning and gave up a single that scored the ghost runner from second to end the game. Juan Chacon went 2 for 5 with a double, and Josue Castillo went 1 for 2 with a walk and sac bunt. 

A solo home run in the eighth inning by the Indians was the difference as the Red squad lost a tough one. Francis Hernandez had his second straight scoreless start, and Cesar Soto rebounded from a rough first two appearances to fire two scoreless innings. Andres Ortuno allowed only one hit, but it was the solo home run. He struck out three and did not walk a batter over two innings. 


Player of the Day: In his first 37 at-bats of the year, Eduardo Vaughan had an OPS of just .658, but after Tuesday night he raised it all the way to .816. It was the first multi-home run game of Vaughan's career, and the 19-year-old also drove in five runs. He has posted high walk totals to go along with reasonable strikeout rates, and his.222 batting average on balls in play showed that he was due for a turnaround. He is one of a handful of interesting prospects in the FCL lineup. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Scott by Kelly O'Connor