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September 5, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Valdez and Mata lead Worcester; Rafaela homers


9/5 Cup of Coffee: 
Enmanuel Valdez (pictured) and Bryan Mata led Worcester to a win in the series finale, while Ceddanne Rafaela and Christian Koss homered for Portland. Greenville was rained out, and Mikey Romero had another strong showing for Salem. 

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With Triston Casas debuting in Boston, Enmanuel Valdez put the offense on his back to lead the WooSox. He went 3 for 4 with a home run, triple, and double while driving in four runs. Valdez also stole a base for good measure. Abraham Almonte scored on three of Valdez's run-scoring hits and went 1 for 1 with three walks. This was enough for Bryan Mata, who picked up his first Triple-A victory. He fired six innings and allowed two runs while walking three and striking out five. Caleb Simpson pitched two scoreless innings and Frank German collected his seventh save. 

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A Red Sox prospect also homered and hit a triple in this game, with Ceddanne Rafaela following Valdez's lead. Rafaela finished 2 for 4 with two RBI. Christian Koss went 1 for 3 with a home run, a steal, and two RBI, and Wilyer Abreu went 1 for 3 with a double, two walks, and a stolen base. Kyle Hart led the shutout by going the first five innings. Jacob Wallace and Cody Scroggins each tossed a scoreless inning, and Oddanier Mosqueda struck out five over his two innings. 

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Greenville Drive @ Rome Braves (ATL), PPD (rain)
Sunday's game was postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.

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A three-RBI night from Mikey Romero was not enough for Salem. Romero went 2 for 4 with a double, and Eddinson Paulino went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk. Hunter Dobbins left the game with the lead, but the bullpen imploded behind him. Dobbins allowed two runs over five innings which was a good sign for him after a rough August. Jose Ramirez and Osvaldo De La Rosa combined to allow seven runs while recording just four outs. 

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Player of the Day: Enmanuel Valdez finished just a single shy of the cycle in Worcester's victory. The 23-year-old raised his OPS to .825 with the WooSox and has 14 extra-base hits in 28 games. He looks like a lock to be added to the 40-man roster after this season as his bat continues to impress. Between Double-A and Triple-A, he is hitting .304/.389/.579 on the season. 

Photo Credit: Enmanuel Valdez by Kelly O'Connor