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May 27, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jimenez collects 3 hits, Walter fans 8 in another stellar outing


5/27 Cup of Coffee: It was another 2-2 day for Boston affiliates on Thursday. Thomas Pannone was solid but could not do enough to lead Worcester to a win, Brandon Walter shined yet again while leading Portland to a victory in less than than two hours, Gilberto Jimenez (pictured) enjoyed a productive day at the plate for Greenville, and the Salem bats fell silent in Fredericksburg. 

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Despite a strong outing from Thomas Pannone, Worcester dropped another one-run game to Lehigh Valley on Thursday. Pannone, making his eighth start of the season, allowed just two runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over five innings of work. One of the runs the left-hander gave up came by way of a solo homer off the bat of old friend Yairo Munoz. Out of the bullpen, Phillips Valdez and Zack Kelly combined for three scoreless, frames. The Worcester lineup, however, mustered just one run on a fourth-inning RBI single from Ronaldo Hernandez. Hernandez, Jonathan Arauz, and Ryan Fitzgerald each had two hits on an otherwise quiet night offensively.


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In one of the quickest games you will see, Brandon Walter dominated yet again for Portland. Over seven quality innings, the 25-year-old southpaw surrendered one run on one hit, no walks, and eight strikeouts on 76 pitches (53 strikes). The lone run Walter gave up came on an Elijah Dunham solo shot in the second inning. Regardless, Walter lowered his ERA on the season to 2.88 before Joan Martinez tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Chase Shugart picked up his fourth save of the year by striking out the side in the ninth. 

Offensively, Portland jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Devlin Granberg ripped a two-run double to center field that scored both Elih Marrero and David Hamilton. Tyreque Reed provided some insurance with a run-scoring double of his own in the sixth that brought in Wil Dalton to make it a 3-1 game. Dalton was the leader of the pack with three hits while Marrero, Hamilton, and Nick Sogard each had two. The speedy Hamilton also stole two more bases to bring his season total up to 20.

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Greenville scored six of its seven runs within the first three innings Thursday. Matthew Lugo drove in one in the first, Joe Davis crushed a solo homer in the second, and Tyler McDonough, Lugo, Alex Binelas, and Gilberto Jimenez all scored in the third. Jimenez crossed the plate again on an eighth-inning sacrifice fly from Stephen Scott. Jimenez also led the way with three hits and two RBIs on the night while McDonough and Lugo accounted for two hits each. 

On the other side of things, Shane Drohan made his ninth start of the season for Greenville. The Florida State University product scattered just two hits, two walks, and one hit batsman to go along with six punchouts over five scoreless innings of work. In relief of Drohan, Austin Lambright, Robert Kwiatkowski, and Cody Scroggins each hurled a scoreless frame before Ryan Fernandez got rocked for three runs on four hits in the ninth.

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It was not a great night for the Salem pitching staff on Thursday. Tyler Uberstine may have limited the damage to three runs over five innings and Miguel Suero may not have allowed a run to score in the sixth, But Jhonny Felix yielded six runs (three earned) and Adenys Bautista gave up three of his own. The two relievers combined to record four outs before Osvaldo De La Rosa closed things out in the eighth. 

Salem's lone run came when Blaze Jordan scored on a fielding error in the eighth inning, so there were no RBIs to be had for the visitors. All five hits Salem recorded were singles. One of those hits belonged to Tyler Miller, who reached base a total of three times by also drawing two walks. 

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Player of the Day: There was a stretch earlier this month where Brandon Walter appeared to be human. In two straight starts against Hartford on May 10 and 15, the lefty gave up six or more runs both times out. Since returning to Hadlock Field on May 20, however, he has allowed a total of two earned runs on five hits, no walks, and 19 strikeouts over his last 14 innings. As the organization's No. 6 prospect, Walter could very well be on the verge of a promotion to Worcester given how he has responded to recent adversity.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Jimenez by Kelly O'Connor