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July 16, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Anthony homers again; Jordan lifts Portland


7/16 Cup of Coffee:
The weather prevented each stateside affiliate from earning a win as the Salem and FCL games were suspended with those teams in the lead. Blaze Jordan's heroics gave Portland a come-from-behind victory, while Roman Anthony and Angel Bastardo (pictured) starred for Greenville. A grand slam from Nick Sogard was the big hit for Worcester, and Yoeilin Cespedes reached base three more times in the DSL. 

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A five-run first inning set the table for the WooSox as they won their fifth straight. It was the bottom of the order that did most of the damage in this one, with Nick Sogard going 2 for 3 with a grand slam and two walks and Narciso Crook going 1 for 4 with a two-run home run and a walk. It was the second straight game with a grand slam for Worcester. Enmanuel Valdez hit the grand slam on Friday, but he was pulled from the game on Saturday after appearing to injure his hamstring. There is no word yet on the severity.

Seven pitchers completed the bullpen game for Worcester, led by Dinelson Lamet who went the first three innings. He allowed a solo home run and struck out three. Theo Denlinger got the win with two hitless innings, and Brendan Nail came on to earn the save after Jacksonville got to AJ Politi for four runs to start the bottom of the ninth. 

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Blaze Jordan deposited a hanging slider quickly over the left field wall to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth. The two-run shot was his first hit for Portland, as he finished 1 for 3 with a walk. Nathan Hickey went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Marcelo Mayer was removed from the game in the sixth inning after grounding out to the pitcher. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. 

It was an impressive showing from Portland's pitching staff, led by Grant Gambrell, who allowed just one run over six innings. He struck out seven, with a solo home run being the only real blemish. The win went to Jacob Webb, who allowed one run and struck out four over two innings, and Ryan Miller picked up the save as he struck out two in the ninth. 

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This one ended early after the rain moved in, with Greenville earning the shutout win. Angel Bastardo fired all six completed innings for the Drive, striking out nine while allowing just two hits without issuing a walk. The offense primarily came from Roman Anthony, who went 2 for 3 with a double, home run, and a walk. His line in High-A is now .365/.506/.873 in 63 at-bats. Brainer Bonaci connected on his ninth home run as part of a 1-for-3 night, and Allan Castro went 1 for 4 as he collected his first hit with the Drive. 

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Salem Red Sox @ Delmarva Shorebirds (BAL), Suspended
The game got postponed due to rain and will resume on Sunday. Salem is leading 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Jedixson Paez was cruising, striking out seven over the four innings. 

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FCL Red Sox @ FCL Twins, Suspended
Saturday's game got suspended in the fifth inning, with the Red Sox leading 3-0. The game will resume on July 21. Dan Altavilla did make a rehab appearance, opening the game with a scoreless frame.

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The Red Sox pitching staff walked 12 batters while the Rangers struck out 16. Yoeilin Cespedes was the top performer, going 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. Cristofher Paniagua also had a double, and Frederik Jimenez drove in both of the team's runs with a single and a sacrifice fly. The most notable pitching performance was Daury Pena, who made his professional debut after signing with the Red Sox on July 13. He allowed one run on one hit in his only inning. Ricardo Rodriguez did not allow a run over his three innings, but he did walk four. 

The Red squad had a disappointing offensive showing as well. Andruw Musett went 1 for 2 with an RBI triple and two walks, and Franklin Arias went 1 for 4 with a triple. Daniel Nunez kept Tampa Bay off the board with three hitless innings of relief after Juan Henriquez gave up three runs over his three innings. 

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Player of the Day: The weather was the only thing that stopped Angel Bastardo on Saturday, as he struck out nine and allowed just two baserunners over six innings. He needed just 80 pitches and could have gone more if the rain did not come. The 22-year-old is up to 40th in the system in the most recent rankings and has been one of the organization's best pitchers over the last two months. Since May 17, he has an ERA of 2.56 over 52 2/3 innings while walking 3.6 batters per nine innings and striking out 11.1 per nine. 

Photo Credit: Angel Bastardo by Kelly O'Connor