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September 13, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Groome takes no-hitter into sixth; Dearden homers again

9/13 Cup of Coffee: Another dominant start from Jay Groome kept Portland's slim playoff chances alive. In Worcester, Matt BarnesMartín Pérez, and Yacksel Ríos all started rehab assignments, and Tyler Dearden continued to extend his home run record for Greenville. The biggest hit of the day came from Christian Koss, who hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth.

A trio of rehabbing major leaguers helped shut down the IronPigs. After Daniel Gossett fired six innings of one-run ball to begin the game, he turned the ball over to three members of the Red Sox bullpen. Matt Barnes struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work. It was his first appearance since August 29. Next in line was Martín Pérez who also pitched a scoreless inning in his first game since August 28. The save went to Yacksel Ríos, as he struck out two in his first action since August 19. 

It was the bottom of the order that accounted for all of Worcester's runs, as both Jeremy Rivera and Tate Matheny hit home runs. Rivera's was a solo shot, his second of the year, while Matheny's 10th of the year was a two-run blast. Rivera also added a double, while Joey Meneses and Connor Wong both doubled as well. 


Jay Groome carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning as Portland sailed past Binghamton. Groome struck out nine and walked only one over six innings, and he has still yet to allow a run in two starts with Portland. Josh Winckowski made his first relief appearance of the year, tossing a scoreless seventh inning, and Denyi Reyes struck out two in a shutout ninth. Every Portland batter had at least one hit, with Kole Cottam launching his 10th home run. Devlin Granberg added two walks in addition to his RBI double, and Ryan Fitzgerald went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. The double was Fitzgerald's 30th across two levels this year. 


A solo home run from Christian Koss in the top of the ninth proved to be the game-winner. The home run was Koss's 15th, and Tyler Dearden also launched his 24th. Elih Marrero and Tyler Esplin each had two hits, with Esplin adding a double. Chase Shugart scattered seven hits and a walk over five innings, striking out five and allowing one run. Ryan Fernandez shut down the Crawdads over the next two innings, but Hickory got to Brendan Cellucci for two runs in the eighth to tie the game. After Greenville took the lead in the top of the ninth, Oddanier Mosqueda came in and fired a scoreless ninth to earn his second save. 


Shane Drohan was chased from the game after throwing 40 pitches and allowing four runs in the first inning. Jacinto Arredondo was the only pitcher who was able to keep Lynchburg off the board, as he struck out four over two innings. Salem's offense did have 10 hits, with four players having multi-hit games. Ceddanne RafaelaMatthew LugoTyler Miller, and Brainer Bonaci all had two hits, with Miller lacing a triple and Lugo contributing a double. 


Player of the Day: There has been no adjustment period to Double-A for Jay Groome, as the talented left-hander is pitching some of the best baseball of his career. Over his first 11 innings with the Sea Dogs, Groome has allowed just six baserunners while striking out 19. He is now one strikeout shy of Chris Murphy for the most in the system, despite throwing 8 1/3 fewer innings than Murphy. With both pitchers scheduled to get one more start this season, this battle will go down to the wire. 

Photo Credit: Jay Groome by Kelly O'Connor