SoxProspects News

August 19, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome leads Greenville sweep; Yorke has three more hits


8/19 Cup of Coffee:
Three former first-round picks were in action Wednesday, and all three continue to turn in strong 2021 campaigns. Jay Groome (pictured) set the tone for Greenville's doubleheader sweep with six strong innings in the opening contest. Triston Casas keeps rolling for Portland, reaching base twice in the Sea Dogs loss. Nick Yorke once again had a multi-hit game out of the Salem leadoff spot, teaming with Gilberto Jimenez to spark that offense. Elsewhere, Connor Wong had a big game on an otherwise dismal night for Worcester. The Dominican Summer League teams got in some rare Wednesday action, playing games that were postponed due to Tropical Storm Grace. 

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Worcester had a tough test with the Triple-A debut of highly-touted Yankees hurler Clarke Schmidt. Josh Ockimey took Schmidt deep to lead off the second inning, scoring the team's only run in 3 1/3 off the right-hander. The day after his hitting streak came to an end, Yairo Munoz was back in form with an eighth-inning double. Connor Wong collected three of Worcester's six hits. Kyle Hart took the loss, surrendering three runs on three hits in 3 1/3. Ryan Brasier continues to give up a lot of runs during his rehab stint. In the sixth inning, he gave up a two-run homer and has an unsightly 24.55 ERA in four appearances. Braiser is expected to work again on Thursday in what would be his first back-to-back appearances.

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It seems improbable that the organization's top-ranked prospect could fly under the radar, but Triston Casas has quietly put together a solid seven-game hitting streak. The first baseman went 1 for 3 with a walk, and he is 10 for 26 over those seven contests. Ronaldo Hernandez blasted his 12th homer of the year as part of a 2-for-4 evening. Frank German got the start, allowing four runs on a pair of two-run homers. German gave up seven hits in total over four innings, striking out four without issuing a walk.

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The Drive got excellent pitching in their doubleheader sweep, with Jay Groome taking the lead in the opener. The 2016 first-round pick gave up one run on four hits in six innings, striking out four and walking two. Groome threw 57 of his 81 pitches for strikes (70.3%) and got nine outs on the ground. Cody Scroggins closed out the win with two strikeouts in a perfect seventh inning. A grand slam in the sixth inning off the bat of Nick Sogard blew the game open. Stephen Scott scored two runs as part of his 1-for-4 effort. while Elih Marrero was 2 for 2 with three runs driven in.

A bullpen game by the Drive befuddled the Rome lineup, with a quartet of hurlers combined for a two-hit shutout. Jose Espada got the spot start, giving up one hit in three scoreless, striking out five, and walking three. Brandon Cellucci struck out two in a perfect fourth inning, followed by Brandon Nail firing two hitless frames while striking out four. Zach Bryant struck out two and allowed one hit in his one inning to pick up the save. Scott drove in the game's lone run with a third-inning single. Scott has hit safely in all 16 games since his promotion to High-A, driving in 18 runs. Christian Koss and Brandon Howlett chipped in with a double apiece. 

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Salem fell despite the continued excellent play of the pair of top-10 prospects at the top of its lineup. Nick Yorke turned in another multi-hit effort, going 3 for 4 with a triple and three runs scored. It was the fourth three-hit game of the month for the 2020 first-rounder. Gilberto Jimenez had two triples out of the number two spot, driving in one run and scoring another. Matthew Lugo and Nick Decker had two hits apiece for the Sox. Tyler McDonough made his long-awaited Salem debut after the organization announce his promotion two weeks ago. McDonough showed some understandable rust, going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. Starter Jorge Rodriguez gave up two runs on four hits in five innings, striking out and walking two apiece. 

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Team Red squandered a late 4-3 lead as the Rays scored six unanswered runs. Ahbram Liendo was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk out of the leadoff spot. Luis Ravelo also had a pair of hits in the loss. Starter Jose Ramirez saw his scoreless streak come to an end at 20 innings when the Rays reached him for a three-run third inning. Overall, Ramirez gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits in four innings. 

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Lyonell James keyed Team Blue's offense, going 2 for 3 with three runs scored, a triple, and a walk. James has been one of the most consistent hitters in the Dominican, sporting a .314/.407/.443 line in 20 games. Ronnie Ramirez added a pair of doubles in the victory. Starter Yoranny Monegro allowed two runs in three innings despite not surrendering a hit. Three consecutive balks in the third inning led to the first two Indians runs. Railin Perez picked up the win and lowered his ERA to 1.35 with two scoreless innings. 

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Player of the Day: Jay Groome bounced back from an outing in which he allowed three homers to deliver arguably the most effective start of his season. Groome completed six innings for the fourth time as a professional surrendering just one run on four hits. The big left-hander has a 3.69 ERA over his last 13 starts, striking out 85 against 22 walks in the span. Perhaps most importantly is that, after recording just 66 innings pitched in the first five seasons after Boston made him the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Groome has now reached 70 2/3 without incident in 2021. 

Photo Credit: Jay Groome by Kelly O'Connor

 
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