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June 7, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Opening Day for FCL, DSL


6/7 Cup of Coffee:
It was Opening Day for the Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League, with a trio of Red Sox affiliates celebrating by starting 1-0. DSL Blue had the biggest offensive day, scoring 11 runs on 16 hits, but each squad recorded at least 10 base knocks. Ranked No. 42 in the system, Freili Encarnacion had three hits for DSL Red, while Marvin Alcantara did the same for DSL Blue.

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Down 6-0 headed into the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox responded with four in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two in the seventh to claim victory. Eight of the team's nine hitters recorded a base hit, including four doubles, one of which was from No. 8 prospect Miguel Bleis (pictured). Three runs went on the tab of Jose Ramirez, who got the start, while three more were charged to Francis Hernandez. Ramirez threw four innings and struck out three with just two hits allowed, but did walk three Braves. Hernandez followed with 3 2/3 innings of work with five punchouts, but had similar control issues, issuing a pair of free passes, with five hits. Retiring the final four outs, Luis Guerrero earned the save.
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Aided by a 16-hit barrage, Blue scored in each of its first four at-bats and added four more in the eighth to cruise to victory on Opening Day. Aside from Marvin Alcantara's three-hit effort, Fraymi De Leon, who is ranked No. 41 in the system, as well as Andy Lugo, each recorded two hits. Of the 13 players to record an at-bat on Monday, 11 of them had a hit, and the only two that did not were pinch-hitters with only one at-bat. The Red Sox did it with small ball, as they had just two extra-base hits and worked seven walks.

Jean Carlos Reyes earned the Opening Day start and contributed 3 1/3 frames of one-run ball, working around a trio of hits and walks each, while striking out five. Ali Ascanio was most impressive out of the bullpen, adding two no-hit innings, and registering three punchouts.

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The Guardians tied the contest with a four-run seventh inning, but the Red Sox responded with a crooked number of their own, adding three in the eighth to secure a perfect day for the organization. As part of his three-hit day, Freili Encarnacion had a pair of doubles, while the corner infield duo of Franyer Noria and Jose Liriano each had two hits, including a three-bagger for Liriano. On the mound, Eybersson Polanco and Cesar Ruiz threw three and two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball, respectively, to begin the game. Polanco struck out three batters, while Ruiz added one.

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Player of the Day: With two doubles, in addition to another single, Freili Encarnacion earns player of the day honors. Ranked No. 42 in the system, the 17-year-old signed a $1.1 million bonus in January 2022, the second-largest bonus handed out by the organization as part of the 2022 international free agent class. Already at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Encarnacion started at shortstop but may be required to move to third base, where his strong arm and projectable power should play well.

Photo Credit: Miguel Bleis by Kelly O'Connor