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May 6, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello tosses no-no, Walter strikes out 10 in same doubleheader


4/6 Cup of Coffee: A pair of doubleheaders, a couple of dominating pitching performances and some home runs. That is what a busy Thursday entailed for Boston affiliates, which went 4-2 thanks to the two extra games. Jarren Duran went deep as Worcester split its doubleheader against Toledeo, Brandon Walter and Brayan Bello (pictured) combined for 13 quality innings in Portland's twin bill sweep of Reading. Ceddanne Rafaela was one of four Greenville hitters who went yard in its win over Rome and Eduardo Lopez clubbed his second homer in as many days for Salem. 

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After a rainout on Tuesday, Worcester played two against Toledo on Thursday. Triston Casas kicked off the scoring with a first-inning sacrifice fly that was followed by a run-scoring single off the bat of Rob Refsnyder. Three innings later, Jarren Duran crushed a three-run home run to right field that gave Worcester a 5-2 lead. Duran went 3 for 4 with his second homer of the season, three RBIs, and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. The only other hits belonged to Refsnyder and Ryan Fitzgerald
Thomas Pannone made his fifth start and sixth overall appearance of the season for Worcester. The Rhode Island native allowed two runs on four hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over five solid innings of work. Forty-nine of the 67 pitches he threw went for strikes. In relief of Pannone, Silvino Bracho yielded one unearned run in the sixth while Kaleb Ort notched the save despite giving up one run on two hits in the seventh.

About a half hour after Game 1 ended, the second installment of Thursday's twin bill got underway. The Worcester lineup was limited to just one run on five hits. Ronaldo Hernandez accounted for his side's lone run by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Jaylin Davis in the second inning.

To follow up Pannone's outing, Josh Winckowski dazzled in what was his fourth start of the year. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up one run on two hits, no walks and a season-high eight strikeouts across five solid innings. His ERA now sits at 3.06 through 17 2/3 total innings of work this season. Out of the Worcester bullpen, Geoff Hartlieb was charged with the loss as he surrendered the game-winning run on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the sixth.

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To kick off the second doubleheader of the day, Brandon Walter delivered yet another outstanding performance in his fifth start of the season for Portland. Fresh off earning Eastern League Pitcher of the Month honors for what he did in April, Walter scattered three hits, issued his first walk of 2022, plunked one batter, and struck out 10 over six scoreless frames. The left-hander needed 78 pitches (53 strikes) to get through the six innings. The only run given up came in the seventh off Oddanier Mosqueda

Offensively, Pedro Castellanos got Portland on the board first with a first-inning sacrifice fly. Four innings later, four straight two-out hits from Tyler Dearden (single), Devlin Granberg (RBI triple), Kole Cottam (RBI double) and Castellanos (RBI double) resulted in three more runs crossing the plate. Nick Sogard capped off the scoring with an RBI single in the latter half of the sixth. Granberg and Christian Koss each had two hits while Castellanos had a team-high two RBIs.

Going off of what Walter did, Brayan Bello took things up a notch. Making his fifth start of the season, the right-hander tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in which he allowed one unearned run on three walks and five strikeouts. The run came as a result of two fourth-inning errors but Bello was otherwise dominant as he recorded a complete game and the fifth no-hitter in team history. Fifty-five of the 96 pitches the 22-year-old threw went for strikes.

An RBI triple off the bat of Brandon Howlett gave Portland an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Fast forward to the fourth, and Hudson Potts came through with the go-ahead, two-run home run that made it a 3-1 game. Potts was the only member of Portland's lineup with more than one hit as he went 2 for 3 with his fourth big fly of the season. Izzy Wilson also doubled. 

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Greenville improved to 3-1 this month with another victory over Rome at Fluor Field. Nick Northcut got his productive night at the plate started with a two-run home run in the second inning. Stephen Scott and Ceddanne Rafaela hit a pair of two-run homers themselves in the fourth and fifth innings, while Matthew Lugo went deep on a solo shot in the seventh. Northcut finished the day having gone 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two walks. He has now hit 10 home runs this season. Scott, on the other hand, now has two while Rafaela has seven and Lugo has three. Additionally, Tyler Esplin went 2 for 3 with a triple and walk. 

On the mound, Yusniel Padron-Artiles made his fifth start of the year for Greenville. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed three earned runs on five hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over five innings. Brendan Cellucci and Jacinto Arredondo both picked up holds in relief of Padron-Artiles, while Cody Scroggins picked up the save by slamming the door on Rome in the ninth. 

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After getting blown out 24-6 on Wednesday, Salem did a better job to hold Myrtle beach to two runs on Thursday. Angel Bastardo began the day by yielding just three hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over five scoreless innings. The 19-year-old lowered his ERA to 3.20 in his fifth start of the season. Joey Stock took over for Bastardo in the sixth and allowed both of Myrtle Beach's runs to score. Jacob Webb handled the seventh and struck out the side in the eighth before Adenys Bautista recorded the final out of the ninth.

The only run Salem scored came on a solo home run from Eduardo Lopez with one out in the first inning. Lopez went deep for the second time in as many days as part of 3 for 3 night at the plate in which he also drew two walks and stole one base. Nathan Hickey drew a pair of walks himself while Niko Kavadas went 2 for 4 with a single and double.

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Player of the Day: Brayan Bello is proving why he is the top pitching prospect in the organization. Following Thursday's no-hitter, the young right-hander has posted a 1.95 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, and .135 batting average against with 37 strikeouts to 11 walks across five starts spanning 27 2/3 innings for Portland this season.

Photo Credit: Brayan Bello by Kelly O'Connor