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August 30, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Blue bows out of DSL playoffs


8/30 Cup of Coffee:
As the minor league season begins to wind down, the last of the complex league teams were eliminated from the postseason on Monday, as the DSL Red Sox Blue lost its semifinal series to the DSL Rockies 2-0 after a 3-2 defeat in extra innings. With that loss, the four full-season affiliates are the only ones still playing. Greenville and Salem wrap up their regular seasons September 11, while Portland finishes the following week and Worcester's slate extends to September 28. The WooSox stand five games back in their division, while Portland is a half-game up on Somerset for the second-half Eastern League Northeast Division title. Greenville has been eliminated from playoff contention, while Salem is eight games behind in its division.

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The Red Sox were down 2-0 at the seventh inning stretch, but were unable to come away with the victory in a win-or-go-home Game 2 of the DSL semifinals, falling in extras to the Rockies. The middle of the lineup did its part, as Armando Sierra, Albertson Asigen and Karim Ayubi combined to hit 7 for 14 as the four, five and six hitters, while each of the top three in the lineup recorded one base hit, including a home run from leadoff hitter Kelvin Diaz, but the bottom third was a combined 0 for 10 with four strikeouts, limiting the run-scoring opportunities. Additionally, Diaz's deep fly was the team's only extra-base hit, further limiting the offense. 

The pitching staff limited hits, as the Rockies had just three, but five walks, two hit batters and a pair of errors gave the team free bases, allowing runs to score on productive outs. Both of the first two Rockies' runs came on a ground out and sacrifice fly, respectively, while the game-winner came on an error. Smil Guzman, who was transferred from Red, made the start and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, over four-plus one-hit innings. He struck out a trio of hitters and walked three more. He was relieved by Wandy Abreu, who contributed five shutout innings, scattering just one walk and hit each, with three strikeouts.

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Player of the Day: Wandy Abreu had a gutsy appearance and gave his team a chance to force a Game 3 in the DSL playoffs. While Blue's offense generated hits, the team was not scoring runs and Abreu entered the contest after Smil Guzman walked a batter to lead off the fifth, already trailing. While the inherited run would cross the plate, Abreu settled down and scattered just a walk and a hit, contributing five shutout innings. In his 18 regular season appearances, he did not throw more than three innings, stretching himself out when his team needed it.