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September 1, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Hernández homers; Gettys converts to pitcher

9/1 Cup of Coffee: A trio of doubleheaders more than made up for a rainout in Salem as it was a busy night on the farm. Ronaldo Hernández (pictured) and Danny Santana each hit home runs for Portland, but the Sea Dogs were still swept on the day. Tyler Dearden and Brandon Howlett both homered for Greenville, while a scheduling quirk made it possible for Yusniel Padron-Artilles to be the starter in both games of a doubleheader. Michael Gettys returned to action as a pitcher, and Marcelo Mayer reached base three times. 


Three different players drove in two runs in a slugfest with Rochester. Jeremy RiveraFranchy Cordero, and Jhonny Pereda tallied six RBI, with Rivera going 3 for 5 with a double and Cordero going 2 for 5 with a double and a steal.  

The defense let Kyle Hart down as he allowed five runs, one earned, over five innings. He struck out nine while issuing three walks. Michael Feliz made his organizational debut and pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, and Austin Brice followed with a spotless eighth. Kaleb Ort then struck out the side in order in the ninth to lock up his 16th save.


This game started on July 4 and made it three innings before being suspended. Frank German had started the game and allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings. Matthew Kent also allowed three runs over three innings as New Hampshire ultimately doubled up the Sea Dogs. 

Ryan Fitzgerald went 1 for 2 with a home run which was hit back on July 4. The home run was actually his second of the day since he had homered in the first game on the 4th of July as well. Triston Casas went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, Ronaldo Hernández went 2 for 3, and Nick Sogard, who was just added from Greenville, went 0 for 2. 

It was a second straight poor start for Chris Murphy as he walked a career-high five batters while surrendering five earned runs in five innings. Murphy is now at 95 innings pitched this season after never clearing 81 innings dating back to college. Zach Schellenger struck out the side in his lone frame. Hernández had another good game at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a home run and a double. Danny Santana hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to bring the Sea Dogs within one run, but Casas flew out to end it. 


In the completion of a suspended game from July 18, the Tourists were able to hang on to win. Yusniel Padron-Artilles had initially started the game and gave up three runs in 1 2/3 before the rain came. Ryan Fernandez picked things up and allowed one run over 3 1/3 innings, striking out three without walking a batter. On offense, Christian Koss went 1 for 4 with a triple, and Jaxx Groshans went 2 for 3 with a double. Koss's triple drove in the only run. 

Home runs from Tyler Dearden and Brandon Howlett were not enough to get past Asheville. The home run was the 18th for Dearden and the 15th for Howlett. Nick Yorke went 0 for 2 but did walk twice, and Joe Davis went 2 for 3. Padron-Artilles started game two as well, and in this one, he struck out seven and allowed two runs over 5 2/3. He left the game with a shutout, but Zach Bryant allowed both the inherited runners to score on a three-run home run. 


Fredericksburg Nationals (WAS) @ Salem Red Sox, PPD (rain)
Tuesday's game was rained out, and it will be made up as part of a doubleheader on September 2. 


Michael Gettys earned the win in his professional pitching debut as he has converted from an outfielder to a pitcher. After hitting .201/.271/.349 in 46 games with Worcester this season, Gettys was placed on the development list on August 5. He has reemerged as a pitcher, where he can utilize his plus-plus arm strength. Starter Ryan Zeferjahn made his first appearance since July 7 when he was with Salem, and he allowed three runs on five hits while striking out five in four innings. 

At the plate, Marcelo Mayer went 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base to raise his OPS to an even .900. Cuba Bess hit his first career home run, and Ricardo Cubillan went 2 for 3 with two RBI. 

A 4-for-4 performance from Yorberto Mejicano led the 14-hit attack in the second game. Mejicano had two doubles and two RBI, and you could still argue that other players had a better game. Brainer Bonaci went 3 for 5 with a triple, double, and a stolen base, and Tyler Miller went 2 for 5 with a triple and a home run. Phillip Sikes opened up the scoring with a two-run home run, the first of his career, and Miguel Ugueto went 2 for 4 with a walk. 

Entering the game with an 8.06 ERA, Henry Nunez was dominant on Tuesday. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk over four innings, and the only blemish was a solo home run. The win went to Blake Loubier who allowed one run over three innings with two strikeouts. 


The Red Sox managed just three hits, with one each for Ahbram LiendoLuis Ravelo, and Miguel Bleis. Ravelo also added a walk, while Liendo and Bleis each stole a base. Francis Hernandez had his first poor start of the year, surrendering four runs on six hits over 3 1/3. Michael Valera and Luis Talavera combined to allow three runs over the final 3 2/3 innings.


14 different position players saw action in this one as the Red Sox pulled their starters after getting out to a big lead. Jhostynxon Garcia led the way by going 2 for 3 with a double, walk, stolen base, and three runs scored. Alex Zapete also had two hits, and Ronny Ramirez added a two-run double and an RBI groundout. Jean Carlos Reyes was very effective in his five innings, limiting the Royals to one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four. Robinson Parra worked around three walks and two hits to close out the final four outs.


Player of the Day: Ronaldo Hernández went 4 for 6 over two games with a home run and a double. The system's 21st ranked prospect, Hernández now has 14 home runs on the season to go along with a .806 OPS. The 23-year-old had a slow start to the year, but he was great in July and August with a combined OPS over .950. While he still has significant development remaining defensively, his bat has taken a big step in the right direction. 

Photo Credit: Ronaldo Hernández by Kelly O'Connor