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June 6, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela doubles before promotion; Dobbins debuts


6/6 Cup of Coffee: Ceddanne Rafaela has been one of the breakout players in the system this season, and he was rewarded with a promotion to Portland. He went 2 for 4 with a double in his last game with Greenville on Sunday. David Hamilton (pictured) and Alex Binelas both hit home runs, and Hunter Dobbins made his system debut for Salem. 

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The Mets hit four home runs, including two off Kutter Crawford, to take down the WooSox. Michael Feliz served as the opener with a scoreless frame, then Crawford came in and allowed three runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Durbin Feltman followed and gave up a two-run home run, and AJ Politi gave up a solo shot but was otherwise effective. Politi struck out four without issuing a walk in two innings. 

Connor Wong and Jeter Downs each hit solo home runs, their third and ninth of the year, respectively. Ronaldo Hernández went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Jonathan Araúz went 1 for 4 with a double. 

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In New Hampshire, five pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout of the Fisher Cats. After Jake Thompson fired a scoreless first, Victor Santos tossed five innings and gave up three hits while striking out four. Jacob WallaceCaleb Simpson, and Joan Martinez finished things off with an inning apiece. David Hamilton provided all the offense they would need as he went 3 for 5 with a home run. Pedro Castellanos went 1 for 4 with a double, and Kole Cottam went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. 

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A strong pitching performance from the Greenville staff helped the Drive avoid a six-game sweep. Brendan Cellucci continued to turn things around in his role as the opener, striking out three and walking just one over two innings. Cellucci had an ERA of 11.70 after 10 innings out of the bullpen to start the year. He was then moved into an opener role, and his ERA is 2.30 in 15 2/3 innings since. The win went to Chih-Jung Liu, who allowed two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked three and struck out four. Cody Scroggins loaded the bases on three walks in the ninth, but he escaped the jam unscathed. 

Mired in an 0-23 slump, Alex Binelas got back on track with a solo home run. Ceddanne Rafaela had another strong game, going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Joe Davis went 2 for 4 and scored a run, and Gilberto Jimenez went 1 for 4. 

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In his system debut, Hunter Dobbins allowed two runs in three innings. Dobbins was an eighth-round pick in the 2021 draft out of Texas Tech. He missed the 2021 season after Tommy John surgery in March. Juan Daniel Encarnacion got the win with two shutout innings, and Jacob Webb earned the save. The 11-hit Salem attack was led by home runs from Eddinson Paulino and Darel Belen. Every starter had at least one hit, with Brainer Bonaci and Blaze Jordan each notching multi-hit games. Marcelo Mayer went 1 for 3 with a walk and a double to move his OPS to .904. 

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Player of the Day: David Hamilton went 3 for 5 with a home run in Portland's win over New Hampshire. After an impressive April that saw him hit .294/.388/.471, Hamilton struggled in May with a line of .186/.239/.337. He is off to a good start in June, and despite his recent struggles, he still leads the system in steals with 22. 

Photo Credit: David Hamilton by Kelly O'Connor