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September 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dalbec homers in return to Triple-A; Drohan, Gonzalez both solid on mound


9/8 Cup of Coffee:
Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 2-2 on Wednesday, as both upper-level squads won and both lower-level squads lost. On a night that was highlighted by strong starting pitching within the organization, Connor Seabold struck out six over six one-run innings for Worcester while Shane Drohan and Wikelman Gonzalez each scattered three hits over five one-run innings for Portland and Greenville respectively. On the flip side, Bobby Dalbec (pictured) hit his first home run with the WooSox and David Hamilton stole his 64th base of the season for the Sea Dogs. In Salem, Mikey Romero collected two run-scoring extra-base hits.

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Connor Seabold put together his second straight strong start for Worcester. The 26-year-old right-hander surrendered just one earned run on four hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work. He retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.06. Out of the Worcester bullpen, Hirokazu Sawamura, Darwinzon Hernandez, and A.J. Politi combined for three scoreless frames. Politi faced the minimum in the ninth to notch his first Triple-A save.
It took until the seventh inning, but Ryan Fitzgerald got Worcester on the board with a two-run ground-rule double. An inning later, Bobby Dalbec clubbed a solo shot to left field for his first home run since his demotion. Dalbec went 3 for 4 in his WooSox debut while Fitzgerald went 1 for 4 with the two RBIs. Jaylin Davis also doubled, walked, and scored a run as part of a two-hit night at the plate. 

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Shane Drohan, making his fourth start since being promoted from Greenville, allowed just one earned run on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over five solid innings of work. Forty-eight of the 83 pitches the 23-year-old lefty threw went for strikes. In relief of Drohan, Oddanier Mosqueda and Ryan Zeferjahn combined for two scoreless frames before Brendan Nail gave up a home run in the eighth. Brett Kennedy struck out two in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season.

Offensively, Portland needed just three hits to improve to 11-2 in its last 13 games. Izzy Wilson went 1 for 3 with a two-run double. Stephen Scott went 1 for 3 with a walk and run scored. David Hamilton did the same, though he also stole two bases to bring his season total up to 64 to tie Portland's franchise record. Christian Koss stole a base as well while Wilyer Abreu drew three walks and drove in one run.

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Continuing the trend of strong starting pitching within the organization on Wednesday was Wikelman Gonzalez. The 20-year-old right-hander scattered just three hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts over five one-run innings of work. He now owns a 2.65 ERA in four starts with Greenville. In relief of Gonzalez, Aaron Perry and Luis Guerrero put together three scoreless innings. Jacob Webb and Casey Cobb, on the other hand, got rocked for six runs (three earned) in the final four innings of Wednesday's 12-inning loss.

Four members of Greenville's lineup had multiple hits. Matthew Lugo went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a walk, Blaze Jordan went 2 for 5 with a walk, Corey Rosier went 2 for 6 with a double, and Alex Erro went 2 for 5 with a two-run single. Marcelo Mayer also went 1 for 4 with an RBI, a run, and a team-high two walks. 

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Salem rallied by scoring eight unanswered runs on Wednesday, but it was too little, too late. 2022 first-round pick Mikey Romero led the charge by going 2 for 5 with an RBI double and RBI triple. Johnfrank Salazar also recorded multiple hits out of the nine-hole, going 2 for 4 with a pair of run-scoring singles. Yorberto Mejicano, Chase Meidroth, and Roman Anthony each doubled while Allan Castro tripled. Brainer Bonaci drew two walks and stole his 28th base of the season.

Luis Perales took the mound for the fourth time since being promoted to Salem last month. The 19-year-old right-hander allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits, zero walks, and four strikeouts over three innings. All four of those runs crossed the plate in the top half of the third. In relief of Perales, Luis Talavera got tagged for six runs (one earned) in the fifth inning. Bryan Lucas impressed by yielding just one hit across 3 1/3 scoreless frames while Nate Tellier put up a zero in the ninth. 

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Player of the Day: Bobby Dalbec certainly made his impact felt in his first Triple-A contest in more than three years. The Red Sox optioned Dalbec to Worcester on Sunday with the hopes that the 27-year-old would benefit from getting regular at-bats while Triston Casas was in Boston. So far, so good following Wednesday's three-hit performance. 

Photo Credit: Bobby Dalbec by Kelly O'Connor