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August 21, 2021 at 7:02 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas, Santos lead first-place Sea Dogs


8/21 Cup of Coffee:
It was a full schedule on Friday, with seven affiliates on the slate to play nine games. However, two of the games in the Dominican Summer League were suspended and a third was postponed due to rain. Stateside, Portland turned in a strong showing, as Victor Santos continues to impress on the mound while Triston Casas (pictured) kept on his post-Olympics hot streak. Yusniel Padron-Artiles turned in a strong start in the nightcap of Greenville's twinbill, helping the Drive salvage a split. Worcester managed to break through in the eighth inning after Scranton threatened a second consecutive no hitter at Polar Park, while Salem prevailed with a three-run rally in a wild 10th inning.

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The WooSox did not get no-hit, Durbin Feltman had another good inning, and it was fireworks night. This was essentially the full list of bright spots from Friday's shellacking at the hands of their Triple-A North rivals. After being held hitless in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader, a trio of Scranton pitchers did not surrender a hit until a Chad De La Guerra single with one out in the eighth. In total, the WooSox lineup went 16 1/3 innings over parts of three games without collecting a base hit. Kutter Crawford pitched better than his line score, surrendering seven runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Crawford struck out six and walked a pair. Feltman fired a perfect ninth, his fourth consecutive scoreless outing. He struck out one and threw all seven of his pitches for strikes.

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It was a strong effort by the Sea Dogs, led by a streaking Triston Casas. Casas extended his hitting streak to eight games and saw his OPS tick over .800 for the first time since June 24 with a 2-for-3 evening that included a double and a walk. Casas is 12 for 29 (.414/.500/.552) during the hitting streak. Jeisson Rosario also reached base three times with a single, double and hit batsman. Victor Santos had another strong start, allowing one run on five hits in five innings. He struck out five, walked one and lowered his ERA to 2.89 over nine Double-A outings. Rio Gomez and Jake Thompson combined for four shutout innings of relief to secure the victory.

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Greenville played a doubleheader following Thursday's rainout, and it got off to a tough start with Rome plating three runs in the first inning of the opener. Chase Shugart got the start, giving up five runs on 10 hits in five innings. Stephen Scott was held hitless for the first time since his late July promotion from Salem, snapping his 16-game hitting streak. Christian Koss doubled and drove in a run out of the leadoff spot, while Dean Miller hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning.

The Drive flipped the script in the second game, in large part due to an outstanding effort by Yusniel Padron-Artiles (pictured, right). The right-hander allowed one run on just two hits in his six innings of work, striking out seven and walking one. Koss added some offensive support with a pair of hits, an RBI, and a run scored, making him 3 for 7 on the day. Joe Davis had a pair of hits while Stephen Scott worked three walks in the nightcap.

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Salem prevailed with a three-run 10th-inning rally that only included one hit. A triple by Angel Maita plated automatic runner Antoni Flores and intentionally walked Nick Decker. Maita then raced home on a wild pitch to give Salem the insurance run. Blaze Jordan was the only Sox batter to reach base twice, going 1 for 4 with a walk. Bradley Blalock allowed two runs on five hits in four innings, striking out four and walking one. The 2019 draftee is having a good August, with a 2.55 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. Alexander Montero got the win with an excellent effort in long relief. Montero gave up just one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six of the 11 batters he faced without issuing a walk.

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A pair of solid professional debuts in the bullpen highlighted a tough afternoon for the FCL Sox. Tyler Uberstine, Boston's 19th-round pick, struck out one in a perfect fourth inning. He was followed by underafted free agent Jhonny Felix who also turned in a scoreless inning, striking out and walking one apiece. Reidis Sena got his first start of the season after four games coming out of the 'pen. An otherwise solid outing was spoiled by a two-run homer. Overall, he gave up two runs on four hits in three innings, striking out five against two walks. Bryan Gonzalez led the way at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a run scored.

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DSL Red Sox Red @ DSL Athletics, postponed (Game 2)
Team Red got off to a hot start before the rains came, batting around and plating seven runs in the first inning. The team sent 10 men to the plate and walked five times, including four of the game's first six batters. The game will be completed on September 14. The other game of the doubleheader will be made up the previous day.

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The weather halted this one just a half-inning before becoming official. Jean Carlos Reyes was excellent on the mound, giving up one run on just one hit in four innings, striking out seven and walking two. The teams will try to finish up on September 14. 

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Player of the Day: It's been a tough transition to High-A for right-hander Yusniel Padron-Artiles, but the Greenville starter was excellent on Friday. A bright spot all season has been Padron-Artiles' control, as he ranks sixth in the High-A East league with a 4.8% walk rate. He is also striking out more than a batter per inning, as his seven in last night's contest give him 67 in 65 2/3 frames. 

Photo Credit: Triston Casas, Yusniel Padron-Artiles by Kelly O'Connor

 
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