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July 4, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Blaze Jordan grabs three hits despite Greenville shellacking


7/4 Cup of Coffee:
It was a tough day on the farm, as two full-season affiliate victories for Portland and Salem were met with blowout losses by Worcester and Greenville. It wasn't all bad for the Drive, however, as Blaze Jordan (pictured) had three hits and was a triple shy of the cycle. Worcester had just four hits, while Alex Binelas went yard for Portland. It was a mixed bag for the complex league squads, as DSL Blue put together a six-run ninth and came up a run short, while the FCL team fell in a slugfest with the Pirates, and Yohander Linarez was 3 for 5 for DSL Red.

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The Worcester defense struggled in Buffalo on Monday night, committing a pair of errors as the Bisons scored eight unanswered runs after the Red Sox got on the board first in the top of the second. Narciso Crook plated Ronaldo Hernandez with a double, which was one of just four Worcester hits in the game. Shane Drohan took the loss, as he gave up five runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks in four innings of work, though he did register five strikeouts. Three more runs went on Chase Shugart's tab as he handled the fifth, but Norwith Gudino and Brendan Nail combined to throw three shutout innings to stop the bleeding, even if there was plenty of traffic on the basepaths.

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Alex Binelas and Nathan Hickey each went yard in Manchester as the Sea Dogs took down New Hampshire. Marcelo Mayer, who has had bad BABIP luck since his Double-A promotion, was one of three Sea Dogs with two hits, along with Binelas and Nick Yorke, who tied Binelas for the RBI lead with three. It was a bullpen game for Portland, but each of the six arms that appeared did their job and limited the damage. Robert Kwiatkowski and Taylor Broadway set the tone with a pair of shutout innings each, while Christopher Troye contributed a scoreless sixth and Joe Jones closed it out with a clean ninth.

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Asheville got going quickly, with five runs over the first two innings, then after laying dormant for a few frames, put up a trio of crooked numbers in the fifth, sixth, and eighth to secure the runaway victory. Greenville did make it 5-2 headed into the bottom of the fifth, but the onslaught in the middle innings was too much to overcome. Blaze Jordan was a triple short of the cycle, hitting his 11th home run, a solo shot, in the fourth. Behind him, Bryan Gonzalez also was in the multi-hit club.

The first five runs were charged to Dalton Rogers, who calmed down to fire shutout frames in the third and fourth before giving way to Nate Tellier, who surrendered nine earned runs and 10 total, securing just four outs and giving up that many home runs.

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Our own Chris Hatfield has been on the scene all week as Salem makes a trip to Maryland. He saw some bottom-of-the-lineup bats do enough damage to take home the win, as Yorberto Mejicano (2 for 3) had a pair of RBIs out of the sixth spot in the order, including a solo homer in the eighth, and No. 7 hitter Albertson Asigen added another with a pair of walks, as well. Behind him, Albert Feliz had two hits.

Yordanny Monegro took the mound and pitched five shutout innings, working around four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. After all three Fredericksburg runs came around in the middle innings off of a combination of Luis Talavera and Felix CepedaCaleb Bolden came in and completed the six-out save.

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It was an explosive afternoon in Fort Myers, as the Pirates and Red Sox swapped six-run fourth innings and combined for 21 runs on 25 hits, as the home team lost and fell to .500 on the season. Four hitters had multi-hit outings: Mikey Romero, Johanfran Garcia, Johnfrank Salazar, and Armando Sierra each delivered two knocks. Eight of the hitters in the starting lineup registered in the hit column except for Natanael Yuten, who had recorded a base hit in nine of his last 10 games before Monday. Kelvin Diaz also recorded a triple.

Eybersson Polanco took the brunt of the punishment from the Pirates, as he was tagged for 10 earned runs on eight hits and a pair of walks in 3 1/3 innings as a starter and was saddled with the loss. Connor Butler, who replaced Polanco, was the only other arm to cough up an earned run. The 12th run, which was of the unearned variety, was on Royman Blanco's tab in an otherwise strong outing, as he threw three innings with just a pair of hits. He also struck out three.
 
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Six runs in the ninth weren't enough, as Blue fell by one run to their Cubs counterparts after being shut out through seven innings. The Red Sox committed three errors and recorded only seven hits. Cristofher Paniagua and Jhoan Solarte provided some punch from the bottom of the lineup, as they each had two hits. Both of Solarte's were home runs, including a grand slam in the ninth.
 
On the mound, Yeferson Vargas was solid, surrendering just one run in four innings of work. He gave up six hits and two walks, so there was plenty of traffic. No pitcher came out unscathed, as each permitted at least one runner to cross the plate, but Emmanuel Polo did not allow an earned run across his one-inning stint.
 
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It was offense galore for Red, as the squad broke out for 11 runs on 15 hits. Eight of the nine starters got into the hit column, including a 3-for-5 day from Yohander Linarez that included a pair of two-baggers. Jose Liriano, who hit a solo home run in the seventh, was one of six hitters with multiple hits.

Each team committed a pair of errors, leading to a four-run fourth, all of which were unearned. They went on Wuilliams Rodriguez's ledger, who was otherwise effective over his four innings of work. Brahian Rijo got the win, as he scattered a pair of hits in two innings of work.

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Player of the Day: The corner infielder can certainly hit the ball deep. Blaze Jordan socked his 11th home run of the season for Greenville, providing a bright spot in what was an otherwise brutal 19-3 defeat to Asheville. After a 2-for-23 start with the Drive, Jordan has been a crucial piece of the lineup, as he's up to a .323/.382/.532 slash line in 301 plate appearances. It'll be crucial for the Mississippi native to keep on making consistent contact to tap into his raw power, as he has just a 14.5 percent strikeout rate.

Photo Credit: Blaze Jordan by Kelly O'Connor