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June 11, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Northcut belts three home runs, drives in eight


6/11 Cup of Coffee: Offense was the story in the system last night, as Portland and Greenville combined to score 28 runs. Nick Northcut (pictured) had the biggest day, crushing three home runs and driving in eight. Tyreque Reed also lifted a couple home runs, while Ceddanne Rafaela had a huge game for the Sea Dogs. Brayan Bello and Bryan Mata each turned in very good outings on the mound as well. 

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Worcester dropped this one but Brayan Bello was very good in his start. He allowed just two runs in six innings and struck out eight. He walked three but only gave up three hits and has been doing a great job of keeping the ball on the ground. Andrew Politi also struck out three in his 1 2/3 scoreless innings. At the plate, Ronaldo Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a double, while Connor Wong also picked up two hits. Jaylin Davis added a double and a walk. 

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The Sea Dogs' offensive explosion unfortunately wasn't enough in this one. Ceddanne Rafaela had a huge game at the plate, going 4 for 5 with his first Double-A home run, a double, and three runs scored. He did it all, making a great play in center field as well. Tyreque Reed also went 2 for 4, belting his first two long balls of the year. Tyler Dearden added three hits, including a home run and four RBI. Elih Marrero also homered. Kyle Hart wasn't sharp in his start, allowing five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Dylan Spacke also struggled allowing eight runs in 1 2/3 frames. Jake Thompson and Oddanier Mosqueda were both terrific out of the bullpen, each tossing two scoreless frames with four strikeouts.

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Nick Northcut had the game of his life in this one. The DH went 4 for 5 with three home runs and eight RBI. He was a two-run shot shy of the home run cycle, as he blasted a grand slam, a three-run shot, and a solo home run. He has 19 home runs and 43 RBI this year. Gilberto Jimenez had a big game as well, going 3 for 5 with a double, a walk, and three runs. Joe Davis added two hits and three RBI, while Matthew Lugo doubled, walked three times, and scored three runs. Bryan Mata, making his second rehab appearance, struck out five in three innings and gave up one run. Brian Van Belle struck out six without a walk in four innings. Cody Scroggins struck out three in his lone inning, giving up no runs. 

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Marcelo Mayer stayed hot since coming back from his injury, going 2 for 4 with a walk. He's hitting .318 with a .918 OPS. Eddinson Paulino went 3 for 6 out of the leadoff spot, roping his 16th double and knocking in a pair. Karson Simas added a double and a single, while Niko Kavadas reached four times with a single and three walks. On the mound, the Sox had five different pitchers, and four of them gave up at least two runs. Juan Daniel Encarnacion started and struck out three in his two innings. Phillip Sikes was good in his appearance, striking out two in 2/3 of an inning without allowing a run.

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It was a quiet day for the offense, as they Sox were held to just six singles. Freddy Valdez had a nice game, going 1 for 3 with an RBI. Lyonell James and Ronald Rosario each singled and drew a walk. Luis Perales, the 54th-ranked prospect at SoxProspects.com, started and allowed a pair of runs on five hits in three innings. He struck out two. Michael Valera had a nice outing out of the bullpen with five strikeouts in just two frames, allowing one run.

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Freili Encarnacion continued his scorching start to the season, going 2 for 5 with a pair of doubles. The 42nd-ranked prospect at SoxProspects.com already has four doubles on the young season to go along with a 1.302 OPS. Franyer Noria had a big day with three singles, a walk, and an RBI. Claudio Simon also singled twice and scored twice. Smil Guzman started and was good for four innings, allowing just one run on one hit. He punched out three. Yonfi Rodriguez picked up the win, closing out the final three innings without allowing a hit or a run.

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Armando Sierra led the way with a monster day at the plate, as he went 4 for 5 with a double, a two-run home run, and four RBI. The 18-year old has a 1.455 OPS in four games to begin the campaign. Marvin Alcantara is also off to a monster start, and he continued that today with two hits, including a double. He is hitting .647 so far. Miguel Rojas and Andy Lugo each notched three hits as well. On the mound, Luis Cohen started and struggled, allowing four runs (three earned) in 2 1/3 innings, but he did strike out four and did not issue a free pass. Ali Ascanio and Giancarlos Santana each tossed two shutout innings, with Santana striking out three. 

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Player of the Day: Nick Northcut continued his huge season in the power department with three home runs. He still has 19 home runs this year despite a recent scuffle at the plate, as he had homered in just one of his previous 16 games before last night. The three long balls pushed him right past his previous career high in home runs, as he hit 17 last year for Salem. He has also driven in 43 runs to go along with an .838 OPS. 

Photo Credit: Nick Northcut by Kelly O'Connor