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August 24, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Barraclough remains unbeaten; Garcia has career night in Salem

8/24 Cup of Coffee:
Wednesday's slate featured plenty of drama, as three of the four games were decided by one run. Kyle Barraclough and Enmanuel Valdez led Worcester to a bounce-back win over Rochester. In Portland, Alex Binelas and Blaze Jordan had big nights at the plate for the Sea Dogs, but it was not enough to knock off Richmond. Noah Song offered signs of encouragement on the mound while Allan Castro put together another multi-hit effort in Greenville's loss to Hickory. And in Salem, Jhostynxon Garcia (pictured) tallied a career-best four hits in a loss to Fredericksburg.


The WooSox remain unbeaten in games started by Kyle Barraclough. Making his ninth start and 10th appearance of the season for Worcester on Wednesday night, Barraclough allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts over a season-high seven innings of work. The journeyman right-hander finished with 91 pitches (62 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses. In relief of Barraclough, Nick Robertson and Joe Jacques combined for two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Jacques, pitching for the second night in a row, was credited with the save.

Enmanuel Valdez led the way offensively for the WooSox, going 2 for 4 with a double, two RBIs, one run scored, and one walk out of the three-hole. David Hamilton and Bobby Dalbec each went 1 for 5 with a run-scoring triple and run-scoring double, respectively. Ronaldo Hernandez drove in a run on a game-tying sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Yu Chang went 3 for 5 with three singles while Ceddanne Rafaela, Christian Arroyo, and Narciso Crook combined to score three of Worcester's five runs. 


It was a tough night on the mound for CJ Liu, who made his 22nd start of the season for Portland. The 24-year-old righty surrendered six earned runs on six hits (two home runs), one walk, and one strikeout over just 1 2/3 innings. Sterling Sharp -- making his first relief appearance of the year -- and Theo Denlinger were each tagged for a run out of the Sea Dogs bullpen. Brendan Cellucci then struck out three over two scoreless frames of relief before making way for Ryan Zeferjahn, who entered in a tied game and ultimately took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run to score in the top of the ninth.

Four members of Portland's starting lineup recorded two or more hits on Wednesday. Alex Binelas went 2 for 5 with a two-run triple and solo home run, his 14th of the season. Chase Meidroth went 2 for 5 as well, doubling twice and driving in a pair of runs out of the three-hole. Blaze Jordan recorded three hits (all singles) while pushing across one run and scoring another. Like Binelas, Tyler McDonough tripled and scored two runs as part of a two-hit showing in which he also drew a walk. Corey Rosier, the Sea Dogs' No. 9 hitter, went 1 for 3 with a double, two RBIs, and one run scored. Nick Yorke doubled for his only hit of the contest and drew a walk.


Greenville pushed across two runs in the ninth inning to make it interesting but were unable to avoid dropping their eighth straight. Tyler Miller accounted for both of those runs by driving in a pair with a groundball single. He also stole a base to bring his season total up to 15. Allan Castro went 2 for 4 with a run scored to extend his hitting streak to six games. Ronald Rosario (who doubled) and Roman Anthony each had one hit.

Despite taking the loss, Noah Song bounced back after getting roughed up last week. This time around, the 26-year-old righty allowed only one run on three hits and two walks to go along with one strikeout over four solid innings of work. Song, who retired the final nine batters he faced, threw 69 pitches (41 strikes). In relief of Song, Robert Kwiatkowski gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. Brock Bell then came on and spun two scoreless frames of relief.


Leadoff man Jhostynxon Garcia had a night to remember at the plate, going 4 for 5 with a double, a home run (4), two RBIs, three runs scored, a stolen base, and one walk. Luis Ravelo also went deep for the sixth time this season as part of a 2 for 5 showing in which he drove in three runs. Lyonell James and Natanael Yuten each tripled while combining for three hits and two runs. Batting behind Yuten, Marvin Alcantara went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Elvis Soto went 3 2/3 innings in his fifth start of the season for Salem. The 19-year-old righty allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Luis De La Rosa also struck out five over 2 1/3 innings of relief in which he gave up one run. Jhonny Felix, on the other hand, was tagged for four runs in 1 1/3 innings and was hit with the losing decision as a result. Railin Perez then recorded the final two outs of the eighth and put up another zero in the ninth inning.


Player of the Day: Jhostynxon Garcia set a new single-game career high with four hits on Wednesday, finishing a triple shy of the cycle for the second time in as many months. Following this latest strong performance, the 20-year-old outfielder is now batting .233/.332/.370 with four home runs, 23 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in 60 games (256 plate appearances) for Salem this season. 

Photo Credit: Jhostynxon Garcia by Kelly O'Connor