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June 10, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Seabold returns from IL, Mayer homers again


6/10 Cup of Coffee: With the rookie league teams back in action and sweeping the competition, it was a 5-2 Thursday for Boston's minor-league affiliates. Connor Seabold returned to the mound while Ronaldo Hernandez homered in Worcester's win, Jay Groome allowed just one run over five innings in Portland's loss, Wyatt Olds fired five one-run innings of his own in Greenville's win, and Marcelo Mayer (pictured) went deep for the second time in three games in Salem's loss. 

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Worcester won its third straight game on Thursday thanks to a strong effort from its pitching staff. Connor Seabold returned after missing the last 3 1/2 weeks with a pectoral strain and tossed three scoreless innings in his eighth start of the season. The right-hander yielded two hits and three walks while striking out two on 51 pitches (32 strikes). In relief of Seabold, Brian Keller, Silvino Bracho, Thomas Pannone, Zack Kelly, and Frank German combined for six scoreless frames to preserve the shutout. 


Ronaldo Hernandez got Worcester on the board with a second-inning solo homer off Joe Biagini. Hernandez struck again in the ninth with an RBI double before Jaylin Davis and Jarren Duran broke it open with a pair of two-run singles. Hernandez stayed hot at the plate by going 2 for 4 with his ninth double and fifth home run of the season. Davis accounted for three hits while Duran and Connor Wong each had one. Yolmer Sanchez drew three walks out of the nine-hole as well.

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Portland dropped its third straight game to Hartford at Hadlock Field. Jay Groome, making his 10th start and 11th overall appearance of the season, allowed just one run on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over five innings. The 23-year-old southpaw immediately gave up a leadoff home run to Isaac Collins, but was able to limit the damage despite never facing the minimum in a single inning. Out of the bullpen, Jacob Wallace struggled immensely by permitting all four hitters he faced to reach base before making way for Joan Martinez, who allowed both of the runners he inherited to score. Zach Bryant, Rio Gomez, and Caleb Simpson gave up one total run from there. 

Portland's first two runs came on a pair of RBI singles from Tyler Dearden and Pedro Castellanos in the third inning. The other came on a run-scoring double off the bat of Tyreque Reed in the bottom of the fifth. Castellanos, who went 2 for 4 on Thursday, is now batting .357/.387/.500 this month. Hudson Potts also had two hits while Izzy Wilson drew two walks before being pinch-ran for by Nick Sogard in the fifth inning.

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A six-run sixth inning prevented Greenville from dropping its third straight to Asheville at Fluor Field on Thursday night. Alex Binelas got the rally started by scoring Matthew Lugo all the way from first on an RBI double. Bases-loaded walks to Nick Decker and Antoni Flores pushed across two more runs before Tyler Esplin plated Decker on a groundout. Alex Erro capped it off with a two-run triple. No Greenville batter recorded more than one hit, though Flores did draw three walks. 

Wyatt Olds was impressive on the mound for Greenville. The Oklahoma product surrendered just one run on one hit, three walks, and six strikeouts over five strong innings of work. Forty of the 69 pitches he threw went for strikes as he lowered his ERA on the season to 7.06. Jordan DiValerio followed with three one-run innings of relief while Ryan Fernandez closed it out by fanning one in the ninth.

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It was a productive night at the plate in Charleston for Marcelo Mayer. The organization's second-ranked prospect homered and doubled as part of a 2 for 5 showing in which he scored twice, including on a wild pitch in the ninth inning. His third home run of the season was a two-run shot that gave Salem an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Darel Belen plated his side's third run on a fourth-inning RBI single while Nathan Hickey drove in its fourth on an RBI single in the ninth. Fellow 2021 draftee Niko Kavadas went 1 for 2 with a double and three walks to raise his OPS on the year to .925. 

On the other side of things, Angel Bastardo got roughed up for six runs (five earned) while lasting just 1 2/3 innings in ninth start of the season. Miguel Suero did not fare much better, as he got tagged for four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Joey Stock struck out six and walked only one over three scoreless frames before Jacob Webb punched out a pair in the eighth.

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Juan Chacon led the way offensively for the FCL squad by going 2 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored out of the three-hole. Ahbram Liendo scored twice out of the leadoff spot while Lyonell James did the same out of the seven spot. Miguel Bleis also stole his first base of the season. Yordanny Monegro struck out two and allowed four runs in his first start of the year while three different relievers combined to give up one run.

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It was an offensive onslaught as all nine members of the DSL Red squad reached base at least once. Most notably, Freili Encarnacion went 1 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored while Johanfran Garcia went 1 for 5 with a two-run double. Jose Liriano and Franyer Noria also had four hits between them. On the mound, Darlyn De La Cruz made his first professional start and struck out two while walking three over two-run innings. Carlos Reyes followed by fanning six of the 12 batters he faced.

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Marvin Alcantara continued the hot start to his professional career by racking up two more hits and his first two stolen bases of the season. Jose Mendez also had two hits while Karim Ayubi drew two walks. In his first professional start, Inmer Lobo tossed four scoreless innings before Cristian Nunez and Andres Ortuno kept the shutout going with three scoreless frames of their own. Nunez was credited with the win and Ortuno was credited with the save.

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Player of the Day: Following Thursday's performance, Marcelo Mayer is slashing .311/.376/.534 over 25 games and 117 plate appearances in his first full professional season. The 19-year-old's 14 doubles are tied for the second-most among qualified hitters in the Carolina League. 

Photo Credit: Marcelo Mayer by Kelly O'Connor