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April 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello strikes out eight; Duran returns

4/18 Cup of Coffee: 
Brayan Bello turned in another impressive start on Sunday, though it was not enough to carry Portland to a victory. In Worcester, the return of Jarren Duran was overshadowed by the offensive onslaught of the IronPigs. Greenville mounted an impressive comeback led by Jaxx Groshans and Gilberto Jimenez, while Salem was doubled up by the Woodpeckers. 


Josh Taylor made his first appearance of the season after missing time with a low back strain. Taylor gave up a leadoff home run but was otherwise effective. The bullpen was hit hard, with Thomas Pannone allowing seven runs on nine hits over four innings. Derek Holland followed and recorded only one out while walking three and allowing four runs. Eduard Bazardo was also unable to complete a full inning, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in 2/3 of an inning. 

In his first game back after a positive COVID test, Jarren Duran went 1 for 4 with a walk, stolen base, and three strikeouts. The big hit of the day was a grand slam from Christin Stewart, his first home run of the year. Triston Casas went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk, Jeter Downs went 2 for 5, Franchy Cordero went 2 for 5 with a double, and Ryan Fitzgerald went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. 


The Portland offense could not take advantage of another strong start from Brayan Bello. Bello struck out eight, walked one, and allowed only two hits over five innings. Unfortunately, both of the hits he allowed were solo home runs. Oddanier Mosqueda, Darin Gillies, and AJ Politi combined to keep the Senators off the board with a scoreless inning each. The Sea Dogs had nine hits but left 10 men on base. David Hamilton once again led the way, going 3 for 4 with a walk though he surprisingly did not attempt a steal. Nick Sogard went 2 for 4, and Elih Marrero went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk. 


In what will be one of the best comebacks in the system this season, the Drive erased a 9-1 deficit after four innings to shock the Tourists. Starter Yusniel Padron-Artiles was tagged for all nine runs in his five innings as he served up four home runs. Brendan Cellucci and Devon Roedahl fired two shutout innings, as Cellucci picked up the win and Roedahl earned the save. 

Down by one run with two outs in the eighth, Jaxx Groshans launched a two-run home run to put Greenville ahead. It was the first home run of the year for Groshans who also drew a walk. Gilberto Jimenez hit his second home run of the year and also stole a base as part of a 1-for-4 day. Tyler McDonoughNick Yorke, and Matthew Lugo all had two hits, with McDonough and Yorke adding steals. 


It was a bullpen game for Salem, and Osvaldo De La Rosa got the start. He allowed two runs in two innings, and Alexander Montero followed with two innings of three-run ball. Nate Tellier and Adenys Bautista combined to allow three runs, one earned, over the final four innings. Miguel Ugueto had two of Salem's four hits, and Brainer Bonaci went 1 for 2 with two walks. 


Player of the Day: While he took the loss, Brayan Bello still had the most impressive outing of the day. The two solo home runs were the only blemishes in an otherwise dominant performance. Bello forced 24 swinging strikes in just five innings. His ERA now sits at 1.80 after two starts, with 18 strikeouts and two walks in 10 innings. Even with impressive outings from the other top pitchers in the system, Bello is making it clear that he is Boston's best pitching prospect.

Photo Credit: Brayan Bello by Kelly O'Connor