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May 12, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello dominates again, Jordan and Yorke homer


5/12 Cup of Coffee: On a night where the big-league club got walked off on yet again, Boston affiliates went an even 2-2 on Wednesday. Josh Winckowski went just two innings in his start for Worcester, Brayan Bello twirled another gem for Portland, Nick Yorke (pictured, left) and Tyler McDonough both went yard for Greenville, while Blaze Jordan enjoyed a productive day at the plate for Salem.

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Worcester was one out away from putting an end to its losing streak but instead suffered its sixth consecutive defeat at the hands of Rochester at Polar Park on Wednesday afternoon. In a planned two-inning start, Josh Winckowski did not allow a run while scattering one hit and one walk to go along with two strikeouts. In relief of the right-hander, Taylor Cole, Geoff Hartlieb, and Zack Kelly combined for six scoreless frames. Kaleb Ort entered in the ninth with a 2-0 lead, surrendered three earned runs, and was charged with his first blown save of the season. 

The Worcester lineup struggled against Rochester starter and top pitching prospect Cade Cavalli. Ryan Fitzgerald plated his side's first run on a fifth-inning RBI single and Triston Casas followed with a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the sixth. Rob Refsnyder and Yolmer Sánchez had two hits each in an otherwise quiet offensive showing in which old friend Jordan Weems notched the save for Rochester.

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After tossing a seven-inning no-hitter last Thursday, Brayan Bello picked up where he left off by tossing six scoreless innings on Wednesday. The right-hander did not allow his first hit of the night until the fourth inning and wound up scattering three hits to go along with one walk and five strikeouts. His ERA on the season now sits at 1.60. Out of the Portland bullpen, Joan Martinez struck out three across the seventh and eighth before A.J. Politi slammed the door on Hartford in the ninth to earn his third save of the year. 

Offensively, Devlin Granberg (pictured, right) was responsible for three of Portland's four runs. As part of a 2 for 4 night at the plate, Granberg grounded into a run-scoring double play in the first inning and hit his first home run of the season -- a two-run shot -- in the third inning. Pedro Castellanos drove in his side's fourth and final run by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning. Along with Granberg, Nick Sogard also collected two hits. Kole Cottam, on the other hand, went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks while David Hamilton stole his team-leading 16th base and drew two walks himself. 

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In an interesting twist, Brendan Cellucci made the first start of his professional career on Wednesday while serving as Greenville's opener. The 23-year-old southpaw struck out four and walked one over two scoreless, no-hit innings out of the gate. Yusniel Padron-Artiles took over for Cellucci in the third and surrendered four earned runs on six hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts across 5 2/3 innings of work before Ryan Fernandez recorded the final out of the eighth.

Tyler McDonough got the scoring started for Greenville by crushing his fourth home run of the season with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the fifth. Big Joe Davis drove in Gilberto Jimenez on an RBI single in the sixth. And in the seventh, Nick Yorke cranked a leadoff homer that at the time tied things up at 3-3. Yorke's big fly was his third of the year, all of which have come in the month of May. Ceddanne Rafaela also went 2 for 4 with a walk and strikeout while Jaxx Groshans tripled.

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A four-run first inning is what propelled Salem to its 14th win of the year on Wednesday. Out of the leadoff spot, Eddinson Paulino went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. Blaze Jordan doubled, hit his second home run, and drew two walks out of the five-hole. Eduardo Lopez also homered for the fourth time in his last seven games while going back-to-back with Jordan. Miguel Ugueto and Niko Kavadas registered one RBI each.

On the other side of things, the Salem pitching staff took a combined no-hitter into the seventh inning. Angel Bastardo, making his sixth start of the season, allowed one run despite not giving up a hit and also walked four with seven strikeouts over five solid innings. The 19-year-old righty lowered his ERA down to 2.92. Alexander Montero took over for Bastardo in the sixth and surrendered one run on three walks before making way for Attleboro native Nate Tellier, who gave up two runs on two hits in the seventh. From there, Felix Cepeda closed things out by hurling two perfect frames.

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Player of the Day: Following Wednesday's performance, Devlin Granberg is now batting .338/.476/.508 across 19 games and 82 plate appearances with Portland this season. If the 26-year-old can keep this level of production up, it's possible that a promotion to Worcester waits in the near future.

Photo Credit: Nick Yorke, Devlin Granberg by Kelly O'Connor