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May 14, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paulino, Jordan keep rolling in Salem win


5/14 Cup of Coffee:
Salem picked up its fifth straight win, the only affiliate to come away victorious on Friday. Brainer Bonaci joined the streaking Eddinson Paulino (pictured) and Blaze Jordan to lead the way at the plate. The other squads continued their recent swoons: Worcester dropped its eighth straight, Portland fell for the sixth time in seven games, and Greenville has now lost four in a row. 

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The WooSox fell despite the strongest start of the season from Darwinzon Hernandez. The veteran lefty has struggled with his control in 2022 but pounded the strike zone on Friday, throwing 33 of 43 pitches for strikes and walking just one batter in three innings. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck out three batters. Rochester reached Brian Keller for a five-run fifth inning. Silvino Bracho and Phillips Valdez each spun two hitless innings, but the Worcester rally fell short. Yolmer Sanchez led the way at the plate, blasting a solo homer in the ninth as part of a 2-for-3 night that included a walk and two runs scored. Jarren Duran was 2 for 4 with a double and stolen base, and Christin Stewart went deep in the fifth.

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It was a surprise on the mound in Hartford, as scheduled starter Chris Murphy worked out of the bullpen, following Dylan Spacke. Spacke went three scoreless frames, allowing just one hit, walking two, and striking out two. Murphy pitched out of the bullpen for just the second time in his pro career, the other time coming in deference to a rehabbing Matt Barnes. The left-hander surrendered two unearned runs on one hit in two innings, striking out three without issuing a walk. Frank German was one of the hottest pitchers in the system last month but had not pitched since April 26. He struggled following the 16-day layoff, allowing three runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning. 

Nick Sogard was the highlight at the plate out of the leadoff spot, going 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and a walk. Kole Cottam and Christian Koss had two hits apiece, with Cottam chipping in a double. 

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Nick Yorke continues his annual second-month surge. The 2020 first-round pick reached base four times on Friday night, going 2 for 3 with two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base. He was on base for the fourth-inning homer off the bat of Tyler McDonough. Chih-Jung Liu got the start, allowing two runs on three hits in three innings, striking out four without walking a batter. Ryan Zeferjahn allowed one run on two hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief, striking out five and walking three. 

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The top third of the order was outstanding for the Sox, combining to go 6 for 12 with three walks, four extra-base hits, and two steals. Eddinson Paulino continues to be a catalyst out of the leadoff spot, as he went 2 for 4 with a walk, double, triple, stolen base, and three runs scored. Brainer Bonaci reached four times, going 2 for 3 with two walks, a double, a steal, and three runs scored. Blaze Jordan extended his hitting streak to 11 games and his multi-hit game streak to four with a 2-for-5 effort. Jordan also doubled and scored a pair, bringing his line to .395/.438/.581 during the streak. Karson Simas also notched a double in a two-hit night out of the ninth spot in the order.

Juan Daniel Encarnacion turned in an excellent start, going six full innings for the first time in his professional career. The 21-year-old righty allowed just two hits, surrendering one run, striking out eight and walking one. Maceo Campbell and Jhonny Felix added a hitless inning of relief each, and Asheville reached Blake Loubier for a run in the ninth.

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Player of the Day: It was a slow start to the 2022 campaign for Eddinson Paulino, but the 19-year-old utilityman has been the system's hottest player. Paulino doubled, tripled, and scored three runs in Salem's win, giving him 13 runs scored in 11 May games to go with a .383/.442/.638 slash line. His 18 hits on the month include five doubles, two triples, and a homer. After striking out 23 times in 82 April plate appearances, he has cut that number to five in 52 trips to the plate this month.

Photo Credit: Eddinson Paulino by Kelly O'Connor