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May 15, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Ferguson homers; Anthony drives in three as part of three-hit day

5/15 Cup of Coffee:
Outside of Salem, it was a relatively quiet Sunday afternoon for Boston's minor-league affiliates. Despite getting 10 combined strikeouts from Jake Faria and Justin Garza, Worcester was held to just one hit in a shutout loss to Rochester. Ceddanne Rafaela stole three more bases as Portland salvaged a series split with Somerset. Marcelo Mayer fanned four times in his return to Greenville's lineup, but Max Ferguson was a bright spot in a loss. Down in Salem, Allan Castro homered, Roman Anthony (pictured) drove in three runs, and Albert Feliz delivered with a walk-off single. 


Jake Faria made the most of his first start of the season for Worcester. The veteran right-hander yielded just one hit and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over four scoreless innings of work. He induced 10 swings-and-misses and finished with 55 pitches (33 strikes). Fellow righty Justin Garza was even filthier out of the bullpen, as the 29-year-old induced 12 whiffs and struck out five of the nine batters he faced over two scoreless innings of relief. Kaleb Ort was charged with the loss after allowing an unearned run to score in the seventh. Joe Jacques followed by putting up a zero in the eighth. 

Worcester's lone hit came on a leadoff single from Jorge Alfaro in the second inning. Though they went hitless, David Hamilton and Wilyer Abreu each drew two walks. Abreu also stole a base as the WooSox were shut out for the first time this season.


After racking up a franchise-record seven stolen bases on Saturday, Ceddanne Rafaela swiped three more bags on Sunday to bring his season total up to 19. At the plate, the 22-year-old went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Corey Rosier, who went 2 for 3 with a run scored, and Phillip Sikes, who went 0 for 3 with a walk and run scored, each stole two bases as well. Alex Binelas went 2 for 4 with a double.

Despite walking a season-high four batters, Brian Van Belle held Somerset to one run over 6 2/3 innings. The Miami product scattered six hits and struck out four on 89 pitches (51 strikes) to earn his first winning decision of the year. Out of the Portland bullpen, Ryan Zeferjahn and Luis Guerrero combined for 2 1/3 scoreless frames. The former was credited with his first hold and the latter picked up his sixth save of the year. 


Max Ferguson paced the Greenville lineup by going 2 for 4 with his second home run of the season, one walk, and two stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. Brainer Bonaci also drove in a run while Tyler Miller and Nick Decker each doubled. Marcelo Mayer returned to action after missing the last five games with minor left shoulder soreness. He went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts. 

Hunter Dobbins made his second start of the year for the Drive and allowed six runs (four earned) over five innings. The 23-year-old righty surrendered six hits and one walk with five strikeouts on 83 pitches (52 strikes). All six of those runs were scored in the second. Though Joe Jones got tagged for three runs in the sixth, Casey Cobb, Nate Tellier, and Joey Stock combined for three scoreless innings of relief. 


It was a dramatic and high-scoring affair in Salem on Sunday afternoon. Allan Castro and Yorberto Mejicano provided some pop by crushing a pair of solo home runs in the fifth inning. Castro also singled and stole two bases as part of a 2 for 5 day at the plate. Roman Anthony led the way out of the leadoff spot by going 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Juan Montero and Albert Feliz each had two hits. Feliz made his second count by driving in Ahbram Liendo on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Noah Dean allowed four runs (two earned) over four innings in his sixth start of the season for Salem. The left-hander out of Old Dominion gave up three hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. He also hit a batter. In relief of Dean, Luis Talavera and Caleb Bolden each surrendered two runs before Jonathan Brand earned the win by striking out two in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. 


Player of the Day: Following a second straight multi-hit performance on Sunday, Max Ferguson is now batting a respectable .275/.420/.450 with four doubles, one homer, two RBIs, 12 runs scored, eight stolen bases, nine walks, and 11 strikeouts in 10 games (50 plate appearances) this month. The speedy 23-year-old is currently tied for the South Atlantic League lead in stolen bases with 18 on the season thus far. 

Photo Credit: Roman Anthony by Kelly O'Connor