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July 21, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Scott blasts two three-run shots, Rafaela triples twice in WooSox comeback


7/21 Cup of Coffee:
The Greenville debut of Luis Perales was put on hold due to rain, but there was plenty of other action down on the farm. Stephen Scott (pictured) and Ceddanne Rafaela powered Worcester to a late surge. Another pair of top-20 prospects led the way down the farm as Mikey Romero and Johanfran Garcia were vital in wins for Salem and the FCL Sox. Portland came up short at Hadlock, while the two DSL squads managed just seven hits while getting swept. 

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The WooSox pounded out 14 hits, including 10 for extra bases, in their come-from-behind victory. Stephen Scott keyed the rally, hitting a three-run homer in the eighth inning. then another with two outs in the ninth inning while trailing by one. Ceddanne Rafaela continues to enjoy his time in Triple-A, ripping a double and two triples, adding a walk and run scored. Ronaldo Hernandez hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning. Niko Kavadas doubled for his first extra-base hit since his promotion from Portland. 

Dinelson Lamet got the start, allowing three runs on five hits in 4 1/3. Oddanier Mosqueda was a highlight out of the bullpen, striking out three and walking two in 1 2/3 hitless frames. Chase Shugart retired the last batter of the eighth inning to get credit for the win, and AJ Politi fired a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. 

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Portland fell into an early deficit at Hadlock and a late rally fell short. Matthew Lugo was a highlight, blasting a three-run homer in the eighth inning to snap the shutout bid as part of a 2-for-4 night. Blaze Jordan had his first multi-hit campaign since his promotion from Greenville, and Nathan Hickey doubled as part of his own two-hit game. Sterling Sharp took the loss, giving up seven runs in three innings. Robert Kwiatkowski shone with three shutout innings of relief. John Schreiber passed an important test on his rehab as he appeared in consecutive games. He pitched a scoreless seventh before giving way to Brendan Cellucci, who provided two scoreless of his own.

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Greenville Drive vs. Asheville Tourists (HOU) postponed
The long-awaited High-A debut of Luis Perales will be awaited at least a day longer, as Thursday's contest was rained out. They'll try for a doubleheader on Friday. 

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Mikey Romero keyed the end of Salem's three-game skid, going 2 for 4 with a walk, RBI, and three runs scored. The 2022 first-round pick is now 11 for 29 (.310) since rejoining the team. Albertson Asigen chipped in with a pair of hits, a walk, and a stolen base. Luis De La Rosa slid into the Perales spot in the rotation, allowing one unearned run on one hit in 3 2/3, striking out four and walking four. Nathanael Cruz struck out one and walked two in a hitless seventh inning to get the win. Jhonny Felix got the save with two hitless frames, striking out two against one walk. 

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A 12-hit barrage led the way for the Sox, led by Johanfran Garcia. The catcher was 3 for 4 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored on the afternoon, raising his season slash line to .327/.430/.545. Natanael Yuten and Armando Sierra had three hits apiece, with Yuten adding a double. Johnfrank Salazar blasted a solo home run in the second inning, his third of the season. On the mound, Elvis Soto turned in a strong start, allowing one run on two hits in four innings, striking out three without issuing a walk. A quintet of relievers went a scoreless inning apiece, with Yizreel Burnet getting the win in his first appearance of 2023. 

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Team Red led a crisp, well-pitched game 1-0 into the eighth inning, then things fell apart as the Dodgers had two straight innings in which three out of the four runs allowed were unearned. Starter Gilberto Batista scattered three hits across four scoreless frames, followed by three hitless innings from Geiser Figueroa. Nixson Cueche led the way at the plate with a 2-for-4 afternoon, doubling for the squad's only extra-base hit. 

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The Blue squad managed just two hits, with Kleyver Salazar notching a double and Starlyn Nunez delivering an RBI single. Nicolas De La Cruz took the loss, giving up three runs (two earned) in 3 2/3. 

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Player of the Day: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" - Stephen Scott. Scott took Scranton by storm on Thursday, blasting three-run homers in back-to-back innings to provide professional leadership to a wacky, ensemble-driven come-from-behind victory. He is now hitting .318/.427/.576 in 21 games since his promotion from the Portland branch in late May. The SoxProspects.com team has not yet confirmed whether he celebrated his successful day a the office with a visit to Poor Richard's. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Scott by Kelly O'Connor