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October 2, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Winckowski shines for WooSox; DSL squads sweep


10/2 Cup of Coffee
: Baseball's regular season is headed into its final weekend as the calendar turned to October, and all of Boston's affiliates that remain in action came away with victories. Worcester had its third straight one-run victory in its series against Lehigh Valley. Both teams in the Dominican Summer League won their contests, with the Red Sox Blue in the driver's seat for a division title heading into Saturday's season finale. 

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A masterful effort by Josh Winckowski (pictured) and a four-run fourth-inning rally led the WooSox to their third straight win. Winckowski, making his second start since being promoted at the end of the Double-A season, allowed just one run on two hits across six innings, striking out seven, and walking three. Franchy Cordero delivered the key hit, a bases-clearing double as part of the decisive fourth-inning rally. Cordero added a pair of walks on the day as part of his 1-for-3 effort. A Josh Ockimey double and Jarren Duran triple accounted for the rest of Worcester's extra-base hits. Colten Brewer went the final two innings for his first save of the year.

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A victory by team Blue gives them a one-game lead in the DSL North headed into the final day of the season. Diego Rodriguez paced the offense, going 2 for 2 with a double, walk, and stolen base. Sebastian Guerra provided a thrilling insurance run with his steal of home in the fifth inning. It was the third steal of the day for Guerra, who was 1 for 3 with a walk. Stiwar Adames got the start, allowing two runs on four hits in three innings. Former outfielder Henry Morales made a successful transition to the mound and capped that with the victory on Friday. He allowed one hit in two hitless frames, striking out three without issuing a walk, as he moved to 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA on the year.

The team has a one-game lead over the DSL Rangers1 team headed into Saturday's action, with a couple of interesting wrinkles. The Blue squad faces off against their own organization-mates, the DSL Red Sox Red, needing only a victory to clinch the division title. Meanwhile, the Rangers1 team will finish off a suspended contest in which they trail the Rangers2 6-4 in the seventh inning, before the teams play in the regularly scheduled matchup. 

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Despite being outhit nine to four, the Red squad was able to string together a two-run rally in the seventh. After a Helison Mota walk, Frank Astacio and Miguel Rojas ripped back-to-back doubles, the only two extra-base hits the Sox had on the day. Rojas also had a single and a walk, as Indians pitchers were unable to retire him. After Alvaro Mejias allowed a pair of runs in 2 2/3, a trio of relievers combined to go 6 1/3 scoreless. Frailyn Sanchez got the win as he allowed three hits in three innings, striking out one. Team Red faces the strange position of potentially playing spoiler for the organization's other affiliate in Satruday's regular-season finale. 

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Player of the Day: For the second time in his two Triple-A starts, the daily honor goes to right-handed hurler Josh Winckowski. After a strong start to the season with Portland, Winckowski had scuffled some through the summer with the Sea Dogs. With a potential 40-man roster spot on the line, he has been excellent since his promotion, giving up just three runs in 12 innings, striking out 13 against three walks. 

Photo Credit: Josh Winckowski by Kelly O'Connor