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May 9, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Home runs from Casas, Fitzgerald, and Yorke; Martinez struggles in debut


5/9 Cup of Coffee: Home runs from Triston Casas and Ryan Fitzgerald and a stolen base from Jarren Duran can keep Boston fans hopeful while the major league club's woes continue. Carlos Martínez made his system debut, but it was one he would like to quickly put behind him. Home runs from Nick Yorke and Alex Erro and three steals from Tyler McDonough led Greenville, while Eduardo Lopez (pictured) continued his torrid run in Salem. 

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Carlos Martínez's debut was shaky, as he was chased in the first inning. The 30-year-old former All-Star was tagged for five runs on four hits with two walks. This was his first appearance of the year after being released by the Giants on April 28. Eduard Bazardo followed with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out three. Darwinzon Hernandez did not allow a hit but still gave up a run after walking three batters in three innings. He did strike out four, but his control issues have his ERA sitting at 7.02 despite holding batters to a .130 average. 

Worcester's two runs scored on solo home runs from Triston Casas and Ryan Fitzgerald. The home runs were their sixth and eighth of the year, respectively. Connor Wong went 1 for 3 with a walk, and Jarren Duran went 0 for 4 but did steal a base. 

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It is a rarity, but poor pitching performances doomed the Sea Dogs on Sunday. Victor Santos surrendered five runs over four innings to fall to 2-3. Zach Bryant and Chase Shugart threw two shutout innings apiece, while Brendan Nail gave up two runs in his lone inning. Portland scored four runs but did so on only three hits. The third home run of the year for Christian Koss and David Hamilton's triple were the big hits, while Devlin Granberg went 1 for 2 with two walks. Koss's home run was a three-run shot.

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The Drive won with their bats and legs as they put on a show in the series finale. 12 hits, five steals, two outfield assists, and a pickoff highlighted the well-rounded performance. Nick Yorke launched his second home run as part of a 2-for-5 day, and Alex Erro went 3 for 4 with a home run. Tyler McDonough went 1 for 3 with three steals, Ceddanne Rafaela added a double, and Alex Binelas went 1 for 3 with a stolen base. Tyler Esplin went 3 for 4 and had one of the outfield assists. 

Shane Drohan blanked the Braves over five innings while walking one and striking out four. Devon Roedahl and Ryan Fernandez also had scoreless appearances, while Rome did all its damage against Brendan Cellucci

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Juan Daniel Encarnacion got hit hard, giving up six runs on nine hits over 2 2/3 innings. Salem did jump out to an early lead with a three-run first inning, but they did not score again. Miguel Ugueto, Blaze Jordan, and Eduardo Lopez all doubled, with Ugueto and Jordan adding singles. 

Lopez capped off his incredible week with a home run in the second game. More on him below. Eddinson Paulino and Niko Kavadas went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk, and Karson Simas went 2 for 2 with a walk and a steal. It was not his best start, but Tyler Uberstine did pitch well enough to win. He gave up three runs in five innings to improve to 2-0. Joey Stock and Jacob Webb finished things off for the split on the day. 

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Player of the Day: Eduardo Lopez entered the day hitting .526/.583/.895 over the last week, and he proceeded to go 3 for 6 with a double, home run, and outfield assist in a doubleheader on Sunday. The 20-year-old has struggled with injuries thus far in his career, but he has been a terrific performer when healthy. Signed for $1,150,000 in 2018 out of the Dominican Republic, Lopez will look to climb up the rankings if he continues to perform at a high level in Salem. 

Photo Credit: Eduardo Lopez by the Salem Red Sox