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June 26, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Kavadas, Mayer homer again, Murphy dominates for Portland


6/26 Cup of Coffee: It was a big offensive night for the system, as Marcelo Mayer, Niko Kavadas, and Nick Northcut each belted home runs. Pedro Castellanos also made his first career appearance in Triple-A and homered. Hudson Potts homered for Portland as well, as the Sea Dogs won behind a great outing from Chris Murphy (pictured). 

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This one got away from the Sox late, but the offense still saw a few good performances despite scoring just twice. Pedro Castellanos belted a home run in his Triple-A debut after hitting eight with Portland. Christin Stewart continued his solid season in the power department with his eighth double and 13th long ball of the season. Ryan Fitzgerald and Devlin Granberg each went 2 for 5 with a double. Josh Taylor opened up a Worcester game for the fourth time this year, allowing three hits and two runs (none earned) in his lone inning. He struck out a batter and did not issue a walk. Andrew Politi was the lone bright spot on the pitching staff, tossing two hitless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. 

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Hudson Potts was the star of this one for Portland, as he blasted a solo home run, his seventh, in the fourth inning, then roped an RBI double in the sixth. He is hitting .327/.417/.481 in June. Left-hander Chris Murphy continued his phenomenal season with six shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, three walks, and struck out eight. His ERA moves down to 2.58 in 76 2/3 innings this year. Oddanier Mosqueda tossed a scoreless seventh, and Jake Thompson closed it out with two strikeouts in a clean ninth. 

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Niko Kavadas and Nick Northcut seem to go deep every game nowadays, and they each did so last night. Kavadas went 2 for 4 with with his ninth home run in his last 11 games, including his second in as many games with Greenville. Northcut his his 22nd homer of the year and drove in his 50th run. Joe Davis and Tyler McDonough each singled twice and Nathan Hickey belted a pair of doubles in his Greenville debut. Wyatt Olds started and lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) with three strikeouts. Ryan Zeferjahn had a nice appearance out of the bullpen with 1 1/3 scoreless frames with two strikeouts and no walks. 

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The bats were hot for Salem, headlined by the No. 2 prospect, Marcelo Mayer. The left-handed hitter went 3 for 4 with his fifth home run of the year and three runs scored. He also swiped his ninth bag of the year. Eduardo Lopez, ranked 29th at SoxProspects.com, went 4 for 4 with four singles and two runs scored, raising his batting average to .357 in June. Blaze Jordan also stayed hot, going 2 for 4 to raise his average to .312 on the year. In the eighth inning, it was Jose Garcia with the big blow, hitting a grand slam to give Salem a five-run lead. He drove in five. 

On the mound, Mason Denaburg surrendered three runs in four innings. He struck out one without a walk. Bryan Pena was dominant in his three innings, allowing just one hit, one walk, and no runs with five strikeouts. 

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Chris Sale made his second rehab appearance of the year and was dominant in this one. He tossed 2 2/3 innings without allowing a run while striking out six of the 12 hitters he faced. He did not issue a walk, but allowed three singles and hit a batter. Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz also fanned six batters in his three innings of work. He allowed three runs, but none were earned. Each of the top five hitters in the Sox lineup had at least two hits, highlighted by Alexis Hernandez' 3-for-5 day. A trio of top 60 prospects also had two hits, including Miguel Bleis, Juan Chacon, and Jhostynxon Garica

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The Sox DSL squads faced off against each other for the second time this year, with the Blue team coming away with the win again. They've won six in a row and moved to 14-3 this year. Marvin Alcantara and Miguel Rojas continued their terrific seasons, each going 2 for 4. Alcantara doubled for the third time this year and drove in a run. Inmer Lobo was very good for four innings, allowing just a run with five strikeouts and no walks. The southpaw has a 1.06 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 17 innings this year. Elvis Soto and Stiwar Adames each tossed two scoreless frames with two strikeouts as well. 
For the Red squad, Yohander Linarez had a nice day at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a pair of singles. Axel James also doubled and scored their lone run. Royman Blanco tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts, while Simon Pacheco gave up just a hit and no runs in three innings of work with a couple strikeouts of his own. 

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Player of the Day: Despite some great offensive games, the nod goes to Chris Murphy. The 24-year-old left-hander completed at least six innings for the sixth time in 2022, striking out at least eight for the fourth time. He has earned his way into the SoxProspects.com top 10 prospects, as he has 91 strikeouts to go along with a 1.00 WHIP and a .170 batting average against so far this year for Portland. 

Photo Credit: Chris Murphy by Kelly O'Connor