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August 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Casas and Mayer come through in the clutch


8/18 Cup of Coffee:
 With the rookie-level squads having the afternoon off, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 3-1 on Wednesday. Triston Casas came through with the walk-off single in Worcester's low-scoring win. Nick Northcut accounted for Portland's only two runs in a loss. Much like Casas, Marcelo Mayer (pictured) delivered in the clutch with a big home run in Greenville's comeback win over Bowling Green. Finally, in Salem, Eddinson Paulino and Chase Meidroth combined for six hits while Juan Daniel Encarnacion tossed five scoreless innings in a home win for the Red Sox.

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Triston Casas proved to be both the catalyst and hero in Worcester's walk-off win over Rochester on Wednesday afternoon. Casas went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, driving in his side's first run on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning and his side's last run on a game-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Ronaldo Hernandez also went 2 for 4 while Jaylin Davis, Jeter Downs, and Nick Sogard accounted for Worcester's other three hits. Downs had a nice game defensively at shortstop as well. Enmanuel Valdez drew three walks out of the two-hole.

Chris Murphy made his ninth start for Worcester and allowed one earned run on four hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts over four-plus innings of work. The 24-year-old left-hander worked through a tough first inning before settling in, but his day prematurely came to a close due to a 59-minute rain delay in the top of the fifth. Geoff Hartlieb took over for Murphy on the other side of the delay and fanned four across two scoreless frames. Eduard Bazardo faced the minimum in the seventh before making way for Jake Thompson, who issued three walks while only recording the first out of the eighth. Zack Kelly escaped the jam he had inherited by inducing an inning-ending double play. He then worked his way around a one-out single in the ninth to ultimately earn his sixth win of the season. 

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Not much went right for Portland offensively on Wednesday. Nick Northcut drove in the Sea Dogs' only two runs on a two-run double in the fifth inning. Wil Dalton also doubled as part of a 1 for 2 night at the plate while Hudson Potts and Tyler Dearden both singled. Elih Marrero drew a walk and stole his 15th base of the year.

Brian Van Belle, making his 10th start since being promoted from Greenville in June, surrendered three runs (two earned) on eight hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over five innings of work. This was just the third time all season that Van Belle gave up multiple walks in a single game. Out of the Portland bullpen, Kyle Hart fanned six across 2 2/3 scoreless frames while Brett Kennedy recorded the final out of the eighth. 

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A seven-run eighth inning lifted Greenville to a come-from-behind win on the road. Marcelo Mayer, who went 2 for 3, dealt the finishing blow by crushing a game-winning three-run home run with two outs in the eighth. Fellow 2021 draftee Phillip Sikes also clubbed a three-run homer as part of a 1 for 3 night at the plate. Nick Yorke, Nathan Hickey, Gilberto Jimenez, and Max Ferguson each drove in one run while Niko Kavadas, Blaze Jordan, and Sikes all drew two walks. Matthew Lugo went 1 for 4 with a double, walk, and his 13th stolen base of the year.

On the mound, Wyatt Olds made his 21st start of the season for Greenville. The Oklahoma native gave up five runs on six hits, zero walks, and two hit batters while striking out four over 4 1/3 innings. Jordan DiValerio also plunked a batter in the process of getting rocked for three runs in just 1 2/3 innings. Jacinto Arredondo, on the other hand, hurled three scoreless frames to secure the victory and lower his ERA on the season to 7.85. 

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Eddinson Paulino led the way out of the leadoff spot, going 3 for 5 with two RBIs, one run scored, and one stolen base. Eduardo Lopez also drove in two runs despite not recording a hit, while Chase Meidroth tallied three singles, one RBI, and one walk out of the cleanup spot. Kier Meredith, meanwhile, went 2 for 4 with a double and one RBI. 

Juan Daniel Encarnacion made his 21st start of the season for Salem. The 21-year-old right-hander yielded two earned runs on three hits, two walks, and four strikeouts en route to earning his ninth win. Graham Hoffman struck out four while twirling two scoreless innings of relief before Adenys Bautista and Luis Guerrero combined to give up four runs.

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Player of the Day: Following Wednesday's performance, Marcelo Mayer has now recorded three multi-hit games in his last four games with Greenville. The left-handed hitting shortstop is batting .242/.342/.424 with two homers and five RBIs as a member of the Drive and is currently regarded as the top prospect in the Red Sox organization. 

Picture Credit: Marcelo Mayer by Kelly O'Connor