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April 10, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Walter bounces back as Worcester gets swept in doubleheader


4/10 Cup of Coffee:
With Portland, Greenville, and Salem all having a rare Sunday off, Worcester was the only affiliate in action to close out Easter weekend. Despite getting strong starts from left-handers Brandon Walter (pictured) and James Paxton, the WooSox were swept by the Buffalo Bisons in a doubleheader and fell to 5-3 on the season as a result.

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Playing in their second doubleheader at Sahlen Field within the last three days, the Red Sox turned to Brandon Walter to start Game 1 of Sunday's twin bill. The 26-year-old southpaw bounced back from a rough season debut last week by scattering just four hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings this time around. All four of those hits came within the first two innings as Walter finished with 82 pitches (53 strikes). Out of the bullpen, Ryan Sherriff surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits in the seventh and was ultimately charged with the loss. Andrew Politi also recorded an out. 

Offensively, the Worcester lineup was held to just four hits by four different Bisons pitchers. Two of those hits belonged to Jorge Alfaro, who doubled and tripled. Their only run came on Ryan Fitzgerald's first homer of the season to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Greg Allen and Jarren Duran also picked up one stolen base apiece.

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Shortly after Game 1 ended, a rehabbing James Paxton got the start for Worcester in Game 2. Working his way back from a right hamstring strain that sidelined him during spring training, Paxton yielded just two hits and two walks with three punchouts over three scoreless frames. The 34-year-old threw 58 pitches (34 strikes) before making way for Norwith Gudino in the fourth. Gudino, in turn, was charged with two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth after throwing errors from infielders David Hamilton and Nick Sogard

Hamilton provided Worcester's only offense a half-inning prior by plating Sogard on a two-out RBI single off Bisons reliever Thomas Hatch. Hamilton also stole one base while Sogard and Greg Allen each stole a pair.

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Player of the Day: Brandon Walter was tagged for five runs over 3 2/3 innings in his 2023 debut against the Syracuse Mets on April 1. Even though he had to wait longer than anticipated to make his next start on account of the weather in Buffalo, Walter took a step in the right direction on Sunday. The Delaware product is currently ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the organization. 

Photo Credit: Brandon Walter by Kelly O'Connor