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April 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Duran leads Worcester power surge


4/30 Cup of Coffee:
It was a big night for Jarren Duran (pictured) and the rest of the Worcester lineup, as the WooSox pounded out 17 hits to pick up the system's only victory. That effort used up all of the octane in the system, as Duran's four hits were at least as many as the other three squads in action. 

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Jarren Duran is still finding Polar Park to his liking. The 25-year-old fell just a double short of hitting for the cycle, blasting his first home run of the year during a 4-for-5 night. He scored twice, drove in a pair, and stole his seventh base of the season. Connor Wong and Yolmer Sanchez had three hits apiece, with Wong picking up a double and driving in two runs. Triston Casas singled and walked, and Christin Stewart added a pair of RBI in the win.

Starting pitcher Josh Winckowski allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in 2 2/3, striking out three without walking a batter. Taylor Cole picked up the win in relief, and Kaleb Ort was credited with a save, striking out two in a scoreless ninth.

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It was an uneven start for Brayan Bello, who took the loss Friday night. Bello struck out eight as he allowed just two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings, with both runs coming on a fourth-inning homer. However, the system's top pitching prospect struggled with his efficiency, walking four batters and needing 92 pitches to record those 16 outs. Chase Shugart kept the contest close with 1 2/3 scoreless frames, but the floodgates opened against with five runs off of Jacob Wallace in the eighth. Portland managed only three hits and didn't make its way onto the scoreboard until the top of the ninth. Pedro Castellanos tripled and raced home for the Sea Dogs' lone run. Devlin Granberg was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk, while David Hamilton walked, was hit by a pitch, and stole his Eastern League-leading 14th base of the year.

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Like their Double-A counterparts, the Drive were limited to one run on three hits in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. Greenville took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Nick Northcut homer, his organization-leading seventh of the season. Yusniel Padron-Artiles took the loss, surrendering two runs on four hits in five innings, striking out four and walking three. Hickory continued to chip away, scoring a run off Cody Scroggins in the sixth and three more (one earned) against Michael Gettys. The loss marks the ninth in a row for Greenville.

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It was also a tough night at the plate for Salem, as the team struck out 18 times. It was the highly ranked prospects who struggled the most, as Blaze Jordan went down four times and fellow top-40 players Brainer Bonaci, Eddinson Paulino, and Eduardo Lopez had three apiece. Both Salem runs came on a Yorberto Mejicano two-run blast in the fifth inning that gave Salem a short-lived 2-1 lead. Angel Bastardo was a highlight on the mound, allowing just one unearned run on four hits in four innings, striking out five against two walks. Miguel Suero took the loss out of the bullpen, giving up 3 runs on four hits in 1/3 of an inning.

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Player of the Day: Jarren Duran struggled in his first big league exposure in 2021, but he's showing signs of getting back on track so far. His nine total bases Friday were more than any of Boston's other three affiliates as he increased his OPS for the season by .237 points. Duran's .381/.469/.548 through 11 games compares favorably to his 2021 line of .279/.380/.605 at the same point. The 2018 seventh-round pick is currently ranked fourth in the system.

Photo Credit: Jarren Duran by Kelly O'Connor