SoxProspects News

September 11, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Murphy, Casas shine as Sea Dogs return to field


9/11 Cup of Coffee:
It was nearly a week away for Portland, but the Sea Dogs got an outstanding start by Chris Murphy (pictured) while Triston Casas picked up where he left off. Greenville and the FCL Red Sox both prevailed in slugfests as the team's two most recent first-rounders were key contributors. Salem fell after a good start, and the WooSox managed only a single hit at Polar Park.

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The WooSox lineup managed just one hit off of a trio of IronPig hurlers. Making his Worcester debut, Taylor Motter singled to lead off the second inning. Kutter Crawford went five strong innings, with the only blemish a two-run homer by rehabbing veteran outfielder Matt Joyce in the third inning. Overall, Crawford allowed two runs on two hits, striking out nine and walking three. Durbin Feltman pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth. The 2018 third-round pick has given up just one run in 14 2/3 innings across his last nine outings.

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Portland got its first game in nearly a week as the Binghamton squad completed COVID-19 protocols and Mother Nature cooperated. Chris Murphy was outstanding in six shutout innings. He scattered two hits and struck out 11 of the 20 batters he faced without issuing a walk. Murphy pounded the strike zone, throwing 59 of his 76 pitches for strikes. AJ Politi, coming out of the bullpen after spending much of the season working in a starting role, struck out a pair in a perfect seventh inning.

The long layoff did not do anything to cool off Triston Casas. The organization's top prospect reached base in all four plate appearances, recording a double, single, and pair of walks. In September, Casas is 9 for 15 with six walks and six extra-base hits. Hudson Potts drove in all three Portland runs, picking up RBIs on a single, a sacrifice fly, and a fielder's choice groundout.

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The Drive prevailed in a slugfest in which the two squads combined for 24 hits and seven home runs. Somewhat surprisingly, Nick Yorke did not account for any of the round-trippers. He instead settled for a 2-for-4 effort with two walks, a run scored, and his first triple since the promotion from Salem. Tyler Dearden homered for the fifth time in five games, extending his Greenville single-season record to 23. Christian Koss went deep as part of a 3-for-6 evening, Wil Daulton launched a three-run blast in the fifth inning, and Joe Davis delivered his 19th home run across two levels. 

Brandon Walter continued to impress in a starting role, allowing one unearned run on two hits in five innings, striking out eight, and walking three. It was a mostly difficult night for the bullpen, but Jacob Wallace struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning to seal the win.

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Things got off to an auspicious start for Salem as Nick Northcut hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning, giving the Sox an early 4-0 lead. Little went right from then on, as Salem did not record another extra-base hit while Lynchburg plated 11 consecutive runs. Wyatt Olds allowed one run on four hits in two innings, striking out four without issuing a walk. The bullpen struggled, giving up 10 runs on nine hits while walking 10 batters in six innings. 

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It was a wild slugfest in Fort Myers, with the Sox and their 17-hit attack prevailing. Each member of the starting lineup got at least one hit, and leadoff hitter Eddinson Paulino set the tone. Paulino went 4 for 6 with three runs scored, ripping two doubles and a triple. Paulino brings his season line up to .363/.454/.588 and he now has as many extra-base hits as strikeouts. Phillip Sikes had a 3-for-5 afternoon that included a third-inning grand slam. Sikes also doubled, walked, and scored three runs. Marcelo Mayer was 2 for 5 with a walk and three runs scored, while Eduardo Vaughan reached base in each of his four plate appearances. Juan Daniel Encarnacion got the start, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings. A scoreless inning of work earned Gregori Segovia credit for the win.

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It was a thrilling walk-off victory for Team Blue, as Alex Zapete blasted a pinch-hit three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh. It was the sixth consecutive win for the Blue squad, allowing them to keep pace one game behind the DSL Rangers1 in the DSL North. Jhostynxon Garcia accounted for the Sox other run, ripping a triple in the fourth inning and coming in to score on a balk. Barbaro Pinero got the start, allowing two runs on four hits in four innings, striking out seven without walking a batter. Henry Morales struck out two in a perfect seventh inning, lining him up for the win.

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Kelvin Diaz and Claudio Richetti both turned in multiple-hit efforts in the Red team's loss on Friday. Both players doubled, as did Miguel Bleis, the top-ranked player among those currently in the Dominican. Allan Castro added his sixth triple of the season. Cesar Ruiz got the start, allowing one unearned run in two innings. 

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Player of the Day: While there were numerous players with huge performances at the plate, it was the work of Chris Murphy on the mound that stood out. Murphy struck out 11, matching the career high he set two starts ago. Murphy has punched out 47 of 131 (35.9%) of batters he's faced since his promotion to Portland. While home runs had been Murphy's Achilles Heel for much of the season, the left-hander has surrendered just one in his last four starts. 

Photo Credit: Chris Murphy by Kelly O'Connor

 
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