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August 15, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Bello rehabs in Portland; Yorke heating up in Greenville


8/15 Cup of Coffee:
While the affiliate results were mixed, there were very strong performances on the farm on Sunday. Brayan Bello and Rob Refsnyder helped Portland, while Shane Drohan (pictured) and Nick Yorke led the way for Greenville. Connor Wong went deep for Worcester, and Yorberto Mejicano capped off a great week by reaching base five times for Salem. 

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Victor Santos struggled again in his second Triple-A start, allowing five runs over 3 2/3 innings. He gave up two home runs on Sunday after surrendering two in his previous start. James Norwood turned in his longest outing of the season, allowing one run and striking out five over 2 1/3. Chase Shugart and Frank German followed with scoreless innings, though German hit two batters. 

Pedro Castellanos went 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI, and Connor Wong went 2 for 5 with his eighth home run. Ronaldo Hernández went 2 for 4 with his 24th double and threw out the only attempted base stealer. 

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An infusion of talent helped Portland in the series finale. Brayan Bello struck out six and allowed one run over 3 2/3 in his first rehab start since straining his groin on August 3. Casey Cobb won in his Double-A debut, though he allowed two runs while recording just one out. Portland had a seven-run lead entering the ninth, but Kyle Hart's struggles turned it into a save situation. Michael Gettys put out the fire for his third save. 

Rob Refsnyder went 2 for 3 with two home runs and a walk out of the leadoff spot, while Kiké Hernández went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. Alex Binelas launched a three-run home run, and Stephen ScottWilyer Abreu, and Tyler Dearden all added a single and a double. 

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Dominant performances from Shane Drohan and Nick Yorke propelled Greenville to victory. Drohan threw five hitless innings, walking two and striking out seven. Drohan has allowed just four runs over his last 20 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to an even 4.00. Austin Lambright followed and walked all three batters he faced, but Ryan Zeferjahn was able to strand the runners without a run scoring. Zeferjahn then allowed four runs of his own in the next inning. 

Yorke went 3 for 4 with a home run, double, and a walk. It's been a rough season for Yorke as he has battled through injuries, but he now has four multi-hit performances in his last eight games. Marcelo Mayer finished 0 for 2 but did draw three walks. Matthew Lugo went 2 for 4 with a double, walk, and two RBI and Corey Rosier went 1 for 3 with a double, walk, and two steals. 

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A three-hit game from Eddinson Paulino was not enough as Salem dropped a one-run contest. Yorberto Mejicano had one of the more interesting stat lines of the day, going 1 for 1 with four walks and a steal. Kier Meredith reached base three times via a hit and two walks. Gabriel Jackson allowed two runs (one earned) over 4 2/3, and Blake Loubier struck out two in a scoreless inning. 

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Player of the Day: If Rob Refsnyder was not on a rehab assignment, he would be the choice, and Nick Yorke played well enough to win this award on most days. But five hitless innings with seven strikeouts from Shane Drohan gets the nod. The 23-year-old left-hander started the year just outside of the system's top 50, but he has shot up to number 32. He has shown impressive stuff with 136 strikeouts in 105 2/3 innings, and he is a candidate for a promotion to Portland. 

Photo Credit: Shane Drohan by Kelly O'Connor