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July 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bleis extends hitting streak, James reached base three times


7/22 Cup of Coffee: On the day before the big-league club returns to action, it was a relatively quiet Thursday for Boston's minor-league affiliates. Down in Florida, Miguel Bleis extended his hitting streak to five straight games while Lyonell James (pictured) got on base three times and scored one run. Down in the Dominican, the rain threw a wrench in the plans of the DSL squads. 

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After a five-day break, the FCL squad fell to 20-11 in Bradenton on Thursday. Lyonell James led the way offensively by reaching base three times on a pair of singles and a walk. He also scored a run. The same can be said for Juan Chacon, who went 1 for 4 with a single while also stealing his sixth base of the season. Despite hitless performances, Ahbram Liendo and Allan Castro each drove in a run. Miguel Bleis, meanwhile, went 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning RBI double.

Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz was charged with his second loss of the season, as the 18-year-old right-hander got the start and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, no walks, and three strikeouts over three innings of work. His ERA on the year now sits at 1.29. In relief of Rodriguez-Cruz, Luis Talavera hurled three one-run frames, Nate Tellier tossed a scoreless seventh inning in his first action since June, and Barbaro Pinero yielded three runs in the eighth before Michael Valera came on to finish the inning. 

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In the completion of a game that was first suspended on July 18, the Blue squad officially lost to Cleveland's DSL Blue affiliate. Jean Carlos Reyes was hit with the losing decision after surrendering four runs on six hits, two walks, one hit batsman, and zero strikeouts across two innings of work. After Ali Ascanio was touched up for two runs, three other relievers -- Henry Morales, Denison Sanchez, and Carlos Mendoza -- combined for five scoreless frames out of the bullpen.

Offensively, the Blue squad's only two runs of the contest came in the bottom half of the ninth on back-to-back RBI groundouts from Armando Sierra and Andy Lugo. Marvin Alcantara accounted for two of his team's five hits, as the 17-year-old shortstop went 2 for 5 with a walk and one run scored.

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DSL Red Sox Blue, DSL Guardians Blue (PPD)
Thursday's regularly scheduled contest between Boston's and Cleveland's DSL Blue affiliates was postponed due to rain. It will likely be made up when the two teams next play each other on July 26.

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Thursday's bout between Houston's Blue and Boston's Red DSL affiliates was also impacted by the weather, as it was suspended in the bottom of the third inning. To that point in the contest, Eybersson Polanco had allowed one run on two hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over three innings in his eighth start of the season. On the other side of the ball, Freili Encarnacion and Claudio Simon had accounted for their side's only two hits on a pair of singles. Natanael Yuten and Frank Astacio had each drawn a walk as well.

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Player of the Day: Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $440,000 a little more than three years ago, Lyonell James is now ranked as the No. 56 prospect in the organization. Following Thursday's performance, the right-handed hitting 19-year-old is batting .404/.530/.538 with six extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in his first 20 games (66 plate appearances) at the FCL level this season.

Photo Credit: Lyonell James by Kelly O'Connor