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June 28, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: FCL Red Sox shut out Braves, drama in the Dominican for both squads


6/28 Cup of Coffee:
 It was an undefeated day for the summer affiliates, as the two DSL squads and the FCL team each took home victories. Both Blue and Red in the Dominican Republic had late-inning drama, while Luis De La Rosa (pictured) twirled a gem for the FCL Red Sox as part of a shutout. Offensively, BJ Vela was 3 for 3, while Claudio Simon also had three hits.

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Luis De La Rosa spun a gem, striking out 10 hitters against one hit and one walk over five shutout innings of work, leading the way for a victory, the team's eighth in its last 10 games. Offensively, the FCL squad was paced by BJ Vela, who had a 3-for-3 performance with a pair of doubles. Lyonell James also had a mutli-hit game, while Daniel McElveny had two RBI. De La Rosa retired the final seven hitters he faced and passed the baton to a quartet of relievers that each handled an inning to preserve the shutout. Barbaro Piniero had a clean sixth inning, while Michael Valera's seventh was of the no-hit variety. Railin Perez and Merfy Andrew each permitted a single, while Andrew added a pair of walks in the ninth, but did not allow a run to score.
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Despite two runs in the ninth for the Astros, Blue locked up its 15th win of the season and preserved its spot atop the Dominican Summer League standings. Its plus-66 run differential paces the league by nearly 30 runs. The Red Sox scored three in the seventh and another two in the eighth to take the lead, helped by walks and wild pitches. The game-winning run came off the bat of Kelvin Diaz, who drilled a two-run double in the eighth. He would drive in a third run on a walk in the seventh, as well.

Andy Lugo, Rivaldo Avila and Helison Mota each had a pair of hits, representing 75 percent of their team's offensive production. Avila drove in a run with each of his base knocks. Luis Cohen was effective, but wild, surrendering just one run in four innings, but he did walk three hitters with five strikeouts. Denison Sanchez also allowed a run to score while handling the fifth and sixth, while Wandy Abreu was tasked with finishing the game, striking out four hitters across three innings. Two runs scored on his watch as a result of two hits. 

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Thanks in part to a 3-for-5 day with two RBI from Claudio Simon, Red took home the win. Jancel Santana also had a multi-hit outing. The Royals took the lead in the seventh, but a wild pitch tied the game in the eight and a fielding error gave the Red Sox the lead back for good. The miscue was one of three by the home team on Monday. Smil Guzman pitched 3 2/3 innings and struck out seven hitters, though three runs scored on a pair of walks and hits each. Free passes were an issue for Red, as Yonfi Rodriguez walked four batters in just two innings, while Starlin Santos had another three across his 3 1/3 frames of work.

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Player of the Day: Acquired as a player to be named later in the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City, Luis De La Rosa is having a strong start to the season in the FCL. The right-handed pitcher surrendered just one hit and one walk across five innings of shutout ball on Monday, handling the bulk of the work against the FCL Braves, which did not score a run. He also struck out 10 hitters after punching out just five in his prior six innings of work this season. The 19-year-old has shown feel for pitching, but does need to add some velocity, as he sits in the high 80s to low 90s at present.

Photo Credit: Luis De La Rosa by Kelly O'Connor