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August 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cordero fuels Worcester's comeback, Mata puts together quality start


8/19 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 6-2 on Thursday. Franchy Cordero (pictured) homered twice while Ryan Fitzgerald provided the late-game heroics in Worcester's second straight walk-off win. Portland received a solid start from Bryan Mata in its low-scoring victory over Reading. Big Joe Davis went deep for the 17th time this season in Greenville's loss to Bowling Green. Chase Meidroth left the yard and Matt Donlan collected his first professional RBI in Salem's one-run win over Delmarva. 

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The WooSox walked it off for the second day in a row. Ryan Fitzgerald provided the late-game heroics this time around by driving in Triston Casas -- who was representing the winning run -- on an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Fitzgerald wound up going 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, one RBI, and two runs scored. Casas scored two runs in the process of going 1 for 4 with an RBI double and one walk. Franchy Cordero led the way out of the leadoff spot by going 3 for 4 with with two home runs and four runs driven in. Connor Wong also clubbed a two-run homer in the come-from-behind victory while Jeter Downs was forced to exit in the sixth inning due to an apparent leg injury. 


Connor Seabold did not last long in his 15th start of the season for Worcester. The 26-year-old right-hander only managed to record two outs in the process of surrendering five runs on seven hits, zero walks, and two strikeouts on 33 pitches (26 strikes). Chase Shugart did not fare much better, as he got tagged for three earned runs over 2 1/3 innings of relief. From the fourth inning on, however, James Norwood, A.J. Politi, and Franklin German combined for six scoreless frames out of the bullpen. German earned the win by striking out two across two perfect innings. 

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Bryan Mata, making his eighth start of the season for Portland, allowed just one unearned run over six quality innings of work. The 23-year-old right-hander scattered four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night. He finished with a final pitch count of 96 (53 strikes). In relief of Mata, Brendan Nail, Michael Gettys, and Brett Kennedy combined for three scoreless frames out of the Portland bullpen. Kennedy, who was responsible for the ninth inning, picked up the first save of his professional career. 

Tyler Dearden got Portland on the board first in the process of going 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the second inning. Elih Marrero also drove in a run with a second-inning single while Wilyer Abreu provided some insurance with a sacrifice fly in the top of the third. Christian Koss and Ceddanne Rafaela accounted for Portland's only extra-base hits with two doubles. David Hamilton stole two bases to bring his season total up to 53.

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Greenville's lone run on Thursday came in the form of a Joe Davis solo home run in the seventh inning. It was the 17th homer of the season for Big Joe. Marcelo Mayer, Blaze Jordan, and Gilberto Jimenez were responsible for the Drive's other three hits, all of which were singles. Yusniel Padron-Artiles yielded three runs on seven hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over five innings in his 16th start of the year for Greenville. Austin Lambright allowed two more runs to cross the plate in the bottom of the sixth before Ryan Zeferjahn and Robert Kwiatkowski each fanned two across 2 1/3 scoreless frames of relief. 

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A five-run eighth inning lifted Salem to a win over Delmarva on Thursday. Leadoff man Eddinson Paulino reached base four times and also scored two runs. Brainer Bonaci drove in two runs while Chase Meidroth crushed his second professional home run in the third inning. Yorberto Mejicano and Kier Meredith each collected two hits. The former went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, one walk, and one run scored while the latter went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and one run scored. UConn product Matt Donlan also drove in the first run of his professional career with a first-inning sacrifice fly. 

On the mound, Hunter Dobbins made his 13th start of the season for Salem. The 22-year-old righty allowed five runs on six hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts over five innings of work. Out of the bullpen, Luis De La Rosa earned the win despite surrendering five runs on five hits and seven strikeouts across four innings of relief. Four of those five Delmarva runs crossed the plate in the top half of the ninth inning. 

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A rehabbing James Paxton was pulled from his start after facing just two batters due to left lat tightness. Attleboro native Nate Tellier took over for Paxton and was charged with the loss after surrendering two runs on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Barbaro Pinero and Naysbel Marcano were the only members of the FCL squad's bullpen to not give up a run on Thursday. They combined to record two outs. 2022 draft selections Mikey Romero and Roman Anthony accounted for three of their side's four hits. Allan Castro also singled while Juan Chacon drew a pair of walks out of the cleanup spot. 

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The Blue squad improved to 41-14 on Thursday. Andy Lugo led the way offensively by going 3 for 5 with the first home run of his professional career. Helison Mota also tallied three hits and drove in two runs in the victory. Fraymi De Leon went 1 for 4 with two RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Cristian Nunez picked up the winning decision and lowered his ERA on the season to 1.15 by striking out two and scattering three walks over five scoreless, no-hit innings. 

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In the completion of a game that was originally suspended on August 5, Eybersson Polanco earned the win by allowing just one run on six hits, three walks, and six strikeouts over seven solid innings of work. Irving Medina closed things out by twirling two one-run frames of relief. Offensively, Claudio Simon led the way by going 3 for 5 with two doubles, three RBIs, and three runs scored. Yohander Linarez also enjoyed a three-hit game while Johanfran Garcia went 2 for 5 with a double, a triple, and five runs batted in. Jhon Garcia also smashed a two-run home run in the blowout. 

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In Thursday's regularly scheduled contest, the Red Squad needed just seven innings to score 14 runs. Axel James delivered by going 3 for 5 with a triple, a home run, and three RBIs. Johanfran Garcia and Ronny Ramirez both registered three-hit games as well while Freili Encarnacion and Yohander Linarez both went 2 for 4 with a double to go along with four RBIs between them. Yonfi Rodriguez improved to a perfect 3-0 by giving up two unearned runs on one hit, one walk, and four punch outs over 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

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Player of the Day: Following Thursday's three-hit performance, Franchy Cordero is now batting .359/.435/.641 with three home runs, six RBIs, nine runs scored, and three stolen bases in 10 games with Worcester in the month of August. 

Photo Credit: Franchy Cordero by Kelly O'Connor