SoxProspects News

July 4, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Tough weather continues; Davis goes 4 for 4


7/4 Cup of Coffee:
It was cold and rainy across New England and in the case of Portland and Worcester, it felt more like April 3 than July 3. However, each affiliate got at least one of its scheduled contests in, with the four full-season affiliates splitting their four games. The FCL team would make it a losing day, as they dropped a nail-biter with the crosstown Twins. Joe Davis (pictured, left) had the standout performance with the bat, going 4 for 4 and helping Salem to victory, while Worcester won its game on the back of a four-run third. Portland would notch only two base knocks in a rain-shortened game with the Fisher Cats, while Tyreque Reed extended his hitting streak to eight games in a Greenville loss.

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Worcester put up a four-spot in the third, which was just enough to hold off the comeback by the visitors Saturday. Jack Lopez got it started as he took home on a wild pitch, while two singles by Yairo Munoz and Jeter Downs extended the home side's lead to three. Munoz would steal home after a pickoff attempt to first base, representing the fourth run of the frame. Kyle Hart did his job on the mound, as only one run came across the plate during his five innings of work. He did face a lot of traffic, as he walked five hitters and surrendered the same amount of hits, but he was efficient at working around it. Kevin McCarthy was less lucky, as the other two RailRider runs were charged to his tab, though he gave up only two hits and did not walk anybody. Phillips Valdez pitched a scoreless eighth before Kaleb Ort earned his eighth save of the season with a shutout ninth inning.

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It's been a brutal Independence Day weekend from a weather perspective across New England, as Portland's originally scheduled game against the Fisher Cats was cut short due to rain. The Sea Dogs only had two hits, one each from Ronaldo Hernandez and Joey Meneses. Control issues dogged AJ Politi all afternoon, as he walked six batters in 4 2/3 innings, though he gave up just a pair of hits. All three runs also scored on his watch. Dominic LoBrutto got his team out of the fifth inning after Politi allowed two to score, while Denyi Reyes got the first two outs in the sixth before the game was called.

Portland Sea Dogs vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), Postponed (Weather)
The game that got washed out on Friday was not played due to the rain storm and the two teams will try to give it a go on Sunday as part of a Fourth of July doubleheader.

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Greenville outhit its opponent, but only the score matters and the Drive were on the short side of it Saturday. Tyreque Reed continued his torrid stretch with a 2-for-4 day and now has an eight-game hitting streak. However, the only Greenville offense came on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Grant Gambrell turned in a quality start, giving his team six innings. Two runs were charged to his tab, which came on three hits. He also earned seven punchouts. Yorvin Pantoja pitched the seventh and a run came across on a wild pitch, while Dylan Spacke was credited with the other two in one-plus innings. Jose Espada finished the contest, not allowing a runner in the ninth.

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Salem busted out for three runs in the first and four more in the fourth, taking a 7-1 lead that was too much for its hosts to overcome. Stephen Scott hit his sixth home run of the year to kick off the scoring, while Alex Erro, who was 2 for 5, added an RBI single. Joe Davis was 4 for 4 with a double, adding a pair of RBI in the eighth with a single. Nick Yorke got in on the action as well, adding an RBI double on a 2-for-4 day out of the leadoff spot. On the mound was Shane Drohan, who had five solid innings in the start. He gave up one run on four hits, walking one and striking out five. Aaron Perry had a shutout sixth inning, while Ryan Fernandez earned the nine-out save, though he did allow a run to cross the plate in the eighth.

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The Red Sox scored a pair in the ninth, but it was not enough to complete the comeback. Freddy Valdez, who was 2 for 4 on the day, brought home the first tally on a triple and came home himself on a ground out, but the FCL squad was unable to generate any more offense, as they mustered just five hits through the game. Juan Daniel Encarnacion got the start, pitching four one-run innings. He gave up three hits and a walk, with a pair of strikeouts mixed in. Angel Bastardo cruised through the fifth but ran into trouble in the sixth, as traffic on the bases led to a pair of runs, while another came across on his ledger due to a wild pitch in the seventh. Jose Larez finished the frame without any more damage, while Zach Schellenger, who is on a rehab assignment, struck out the side in his inning of work.

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Player of the Day: This guy can hit. Joe Davis was 4 for 4 on the day, driving home a pair of runs for Salem, adding a double as well. Davis has been a high-end hitter since his college days, as he owns several American Athletic Conference records and that has translated to pro ball, as the stocky first baseman is now hitting .331/.378/.573 in his 157 at-bats in 2021. His aggressive approach has worked well against low-minors pitching and has anchored the middle of the Salem lineup through the first two months of the season.

Photo Credit: Joe Davis by Kelly O'Connor

 
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