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July 11, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Eovaldi rehabs with Worcester, Van Belle stifles Binghamton


7/11 Cup of Coffee:
A rehab start for Nathan Eovaldi was a welcome sight as the Boston rotation struggles with injuries. Eovaldi went three innings and threw 54 pitches for Worcester. Ryan Fitzgerald and Connor Wong each homered for the WooSox, and Ronaldo Hernández racked up four more hits. Both Brian Van Belle (pictured) and Hunter Dobbins turned in their second great starts of the week, and Marcelo Mayer may be dealing with another injury. 

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Making his first rehab start after missing a month with low back inflammation, Nathan Eovaldi allowed two runs over three innings, including a solo home run. He struck out four without walking a batter. AJ Politi got the win with two innings of one-run ball, then four relievers followed with scoreless innings. One was Josh Taylor, who struck out one without allowing a hit. 

A three-run home run from Ryan Fitzgerald in the first inning set the pace for the offense. It was Fitzgerald's first home run since June 24, and he has hit just .174 in the 12 games between them. Connor Wong went 1 for 3 with a solo home run and two walks, and Ronaldo Hernández went 4 for 5 with a double and two RBI. 

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Brian Van Belle twirled seven shutout innings in his second strong start of the week. Van Belle allowed only three hits and struck out five without issuing a walk. His ERA is down to 3.21 in 28 innings with the Sea Dogs. Izzy Wilson had three of Portland's six hits, going 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Stephen Scott drove in two runs, one on a fielder's choice and one on an RBI double. 

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Greenville Drive @ Greensboro Grasshoppers (PIT), Canceled (inclement weather)
Sunday's game was canceled and will not be made up. 

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Overshadowing the loss in the first game was Marcelo Mayer getting pulled after going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. After missing games on Friday and Saturday, there is no word yet on whether Mayer is dealing with an injury. Juan Daniel Encarnacion struck out eight over four innings of one-run ball, and Maceo Campbell did not allow a hit but still gave up a run in his two innings. A solo home run from Tyler Miller was all the offense Salem could muster. 

It was another low-scoring affair in the nightcap, as Salem mustered just two hits. Brainer Bonaci and Eduardo Lopez each had doubles, but nobody could drive them in. Hunter Dobbins had another great start, striking out six over five shutout innings. He's now struck out 22 over his last 14 innings. Gabriel Jackson pitched a scoreless sixth, then gave up the winning run on a walk-off single in the seventh. 

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Player of the Day: Brian Van Belle's seven shutout innings capped off a great week that will put him in the running for our Pitcher of the Week award. Van Belle pitched to a 6.14 ERA over 58 2/3 innings with Greenville this year, though his underlying stats were stronger than his ERA would suggest. He had a 55/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio before being promoted to Portland. The 25-year-old has found his groove in Portland, striking out 32 and walking just two in 28 innings with a WHIP of 0.89. 

Photo Credit: Brian Van Belle by Kelly O'Connor