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August 14, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Gonzalez goes six hitless; Mayer a lone bright spot for Greenville


8/14 Cup of Coffee: A few of the affiliates' contests came down to the wire, with Worcester earning a late win while Portland and Greenville fell late. Wikelman Gonzalez (pictured) threw six no-hit innings before being lifted in Salem's two-hit victory. And while the DSL teams furthered their pace ahead of everyone in their respective division, the FCL Red Sox came up short in a game that featured 50 runners left on base.

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Despite striking out 16 times and leaving 21 runners on base, Worcester rode a 4-run third inning and held on for a narrow victory. Ronaldo Hernandez and Connor Wong homered in the third as the WooSox claimed a lead they would not relinquish. Enmanuel Valdez and Devlin Granberg had two-hit offerings for Worcester.

Connor Seabold was roughed up in his start, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings, though he struck out 6. Andrew Politi took the win despite giving up the other run in the contest. Zack Kelly picked up the save with 2 hitless innings.

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An attempt to win a fifth straight game against Richmond came up short as the Flying Squirrels scored two in the 11th inning to earn a victory. A rehabbing Kike Hernandez was among the offensive highlights as he ripped two doubles and drove in two RBI. David Hamilton also added two hits and drove in a run to pace the offense. Oddanier Mosqueda was the only pitcher among the five to take the mound who did not allow a run, pitching two perfect innings.

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Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead midway through the contest, Greenville struggled in the late innings and dropped its third straight, 6-4. Marcelo Mayer was the lone bright spot, managing 3 of the team's 6 hits including an 8th-inning solo home run. The hits were a much-needed boost at the new level, as Mayer had started his promotion to high-A just 1 for his first 18. Yusniel Padron-Artiles pitched a strong game with one earned run on four hits, no walks, and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings. But it was a rough outing by Robert Kwiatkowski that erased the stellar start to the tune of four earned runs on three hits and two walks without recording an out. Jacob Webb pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings with two punchouts.

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Wikelman Gonzalez was pulled after six innings of no-hit ball in what proved to be a two-hit shutout for Salem on Saturday. Gonzalez was masterful, allowing just one walk and striking out five. Osvaldo De La Rosa and Miguel Suero combined to complete the shutout, allowing just a hit apiece.

Offensively, Kier Meredith and Eddinson Paulino got things started with two hits apiece at the top of the order, with both adding a solo home run. Johnfrank Salazar also had two hits for Salem. Yorberto Mejicano reached three times with a hit and two walks.

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Imagine a game where two teams combine for 26 runs. Now imagine a game where those two teams also strand a combined 50 runners and walk a total of 20 batters. The result is a 3-hour, 54-minute game that FCL Boston dropped, 16-10. Though few pitching performances were of note in this one, Henry Nunez' two runs in 2 2/3 innings were unearned, while Barbaro Pinero tossed two scoreless innings. Alex Zapete was the Red Sox' offensive star, going 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Brooks Brannon and a rehabbing Danny Santana also added two-RBI performances.

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Blue may have lost a half-game in the North Division standings thanks to Red's two wins on the night, but the squad still enjoys a 7.5-game advantage over their affiliate counterparts after a strong offensive performance -- even despite leaving 14 runners on base. Blue managed seven hits but scored 10 runs thanks to two walks with the bases loaded, two runs scoring on an error, and another run scoring on a wild pitch. The squad also plated two runs on sacrifice flies. Albertson Asigen and Rivaldo Avila each contributed two RBI; nobody managed more than one hit in the contest. On the mound, Willian Colmenares struck out six and scattered five hits, allowing two runs -- one earned -- in four innings. Denison Sanchez had a bizarre outing, giving up three runs but none earned, two walks, and no hits in just 2/3 of an inning and earned the win. Cesar Soto gave up a run in 2 1/3 innings for the save.

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In the completion of a game from July 21, Red Sox Red rallied from an early deficit to clip DSL Houston. Red's pitching staff surrendered just four hits but fell behind 1-0 early despite a good start from Eybersson Polanco, who gave up two hits and two walks against two strikeouts in three innings of work. Axel James brought around the tying run with a triple in the sixth inning and later scored himself to give his team the lead. Freili Encarnacion had his team's only multi-hit effort. Ovis Portes earned the win after four innings of one-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts. Simon Pacheco earned the save, striking out four and allowing just one hit in the final two innings.

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Red took the mini sweep with a 7-inning win in the second half of the twin bill. Offense was slightly easier to come by in the shorter game, and Red took the lead on RBI singles by Franier Noria and Renny Flores. Noria later scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, while Axel James added a two-RBI single to put the lead out of reach. Cristofher Paniagua, Noria, James, and Flores all had two-hit efforts in the win. Smil Guzman allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings in the start, but it was Irving Medina who took the win thanks to four strikeouts, no walks, and one hit in 2 1/3 innings of work. Junior Delanda allowed a hit and an unearned run, picking up the save.

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Player of the Day: This hasn't been the ascendant season Wikelman Gonzalez had hoped for, but a borderline perfect performance on Saturday may have gotten the No. 19 prospect in the SoxProspects rankings (though formerly the No. 11-ranked player) back on track. His six no-hit innings with just one walk helped Salem improve to 55-51 on the campaign. Gonzalez currently owns a 4.54 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings pitched.

Photo Credit: Wikelman Gonzalez by Kelly O'Connor