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August 2, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: A trio of one-run games; two hits for Lyonell James


8/2 Cup of Coffee: It was nailbiters galore for Complex Monday, as all three affiliates played to one-run contests, though only DSL Blue finished with a win. Lyonell James (pictured) did his best for the FCL team, tying the game at 5-5 in the eighth as part of a two-hit day, but the FCL Rays would take a walk-off win, as did DSL Colorado in extra innings over Red. The DSL teams combined for just 11 hits over their 19 innings of baseball, going cold offensively.

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The Rays walked it off in the bottom of the ninth to spoil a three-run comeback by the Red Sox in the eighth, including RBI knocks by Johnfrank Salazar and Lyonell James. James had two hits on the day, as did Allan Castro. The eighth and ninth hitters in the order represented 2/3 of their team's offensive output. However, the Red Sox did walk eight teams, including three free passes issued to Juan Chacon. On the mound, Yordanny Monegro struggled, surrendering four runs (three earned) on six hits in 1 2/3 innings of work, though he was picked up by Jhonny Felix. The right-hander scattered just a hit in 2 1/3 frames of work and was the only Red Sox pitcher to not allow a run.

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Team Blue moved to an impressive 32-10, eking out a close win against one of the Mets' affiliates. Armando Sierra tied the contest at 1-1 with an RBI single in the fourth, while a base knock by Yevganni Reinita chased home the team's second run in the seventh, which proved to be the game-winner. No Red hitter would record multiple hits and the team had just eight baserunners, with six hits and a pair of walks. Cristian Nunez allowed the run, but was strong, surrendering just four hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, over four innings. He was followed by Stiwar Adames, who permitted just a walk and hit over three shutout frames, while Wandy Abreu punched out three Mets over a pair of no-hit innings.
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Like its FCL counterpart, Red could not come away on top of a one-run contest, as Colorado took victory in extra innings. Cristofher Paniagua had two of his team's five hits, though the team's offense came as a result of a two-run home run from Feili Encarnacion in the ninth inning to force the extra frame. In the bullpen, Irving Medina and Andres Jimenez each struck out four over two and three shutout relief innings, respectively, building a bridge after Smil Guzman gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over his four-inning stint. He did strike out six Colorado hitters.

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Player of the Day: Ranked No. 56 on the SoxProspects rankings, Lyonell James was one of the only hitters in the system with a multi-hit day and delivered a clutch RBI as part of the FCL team's comeback against the Rays in the eighth inning, though the team would lose in the ninth. With size, at 6-foot-3, James is an intriguing player with the potential to develop power, to go along with physical projection. He has hit well so far in his stateside debut, with a .366/.494/.479 line in 89 plate appearances for the FCL team this year, including six doubles and a triple.

Photo Credit: Lyonell James by Kelly O'Connor