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August 7, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Rafaela, Rosier stay hot; Sale, Story continue rehab


8/7 Cup of Coffee:
As the big-league club capped off a tough weekend with another loss to Toronto, Boston's minor-league affiliates went 2-2 on Sunday. Despite getting walked off on by Syracuse, Worcester received positive contributions from rehabbing veterans and the red-hot Ceddanne Rafaela. Corey Rosier (pictured) made his impact felt at the plate and on the base paths in Portland's blowout win over Bowie. In Greenville, Eddinson Paulino powered the Drive to a comeback win over Rome. While not much went right for Salem, Mikey Romero did double in two runs.

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His home run streak may have come to an end, but Ceddanne Rafaela still enjoyed a productive day at the plate in Sunday's series finale. Batting third for Worcester, Rafaela went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Three other members of the WooSox' starting lineup recorded multiple hits as well. The rehabbing Trevor Story went 2 for 3 with a double, a two-run home run, and two runs scored out of the two-hole. Bobby Dalbec and Ronaldo Hernandez each went 2 for 5 with a solo homer. For Dalbec, the third-inning blast was good for his 27th big fly of the season. Enmanuel Valdez went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts in his return to action after missing the last three weeks with a left hamstring strain.

Chris Sale was extremely sharp in his second rehab outing for the WooSox. The veteran lefty scattered just three hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts over 4 1/3 scoreless innings of work. Of the 53 pitches he threw, 38 went for strikes and 11 elicited a swing-and-a-miss. In relief of Sale, Brian Van Belle was tagged for five earned runs on five hits (two home runs) across 1 2/3 innings. Oddanier Mosqueda then contributed with two scoreless frames before Chase Shugart surrendered a game-tying three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. An inning later, Brendan Nail allowed the winning run to score on a Tomas Nido walk-off single and was charged with the loss as a result.

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Corey Rosier led the way offensively for Portland by going 3 for 5 with a two-run home run (7) and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. He also added a stolen base to bring his season total up to 40. In addition to Rosier, Tyler Dearden and Tyler McDonough each homered as well. The former went 2 for 4 with a three-run blast while the ladder went 1 for 4 with a solo shot. Nathan Hickey went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Matthew Lugo and Blaze Jordan each went 2 for 5, though Jordan recorded two RBIs on a two-run double in the third inning.

Isaac Coffey picked up the win in his seventh start of the season for the Sea Dogs. The 23-year-old righty allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts over six quality innings of work. Both of those runs came by way of the long ball and one of them was hit by top prospect Jackson Holliday. Outside of that, though, Coffey finished with 101 pitches (63 strikes) and induced 14 swings-and-misses. Out of the Portland bullpen, Wyatt Olds and Jacob Webb combined for three scoreless frames of relief.

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A seven-run seventh inning proved to be the difference maker in Greenville's come-from-behind win over Rome. Eddinson Paulino paced the Drive lineup out of the leadoff spot by going 2 for 4 with a double, a three-run home run (9), and one run scored. Tyler Miller also had multiple hits, as the No. 5 hitter went 2 for 4 with a run-scoring double and triple. Batting in front of him, Bryan Gonzalez scored two runs and stole two bases. Allan Castro doubled and swiped one bag by executing a double steal with Gonzalez in the bottom of the sixth.

Fresh off earning South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month honors, Angel Bastardo lasted just two innings in his 20th start of the season for Greenville. The 21-year-old righty surrendered four earned runs on four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. In relief of Bastardo, Dan Altavilla and Casey Cobb each allowed one run in two innings of work. Reidis Sena also gave up one run, but Nate Tellier and Brock Bell combined for two scoreless frames. Bell, who worked his way around a leadoff walk, was credited with the save.

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Noah Dean failed to get out of the first inning in his 17th start of the season for Salem. The Old Dominion product allowed two earned runs on two hits, three walks, and one strikeout over two-thirds of an inning. He most notably gave up a solo shot to Dylan Crews, marking the first home run of the No. 2 overall draft pick's professional career. In relief of Dean, Luis Talavera and Luis De La Rosa combined to spin 4 1/3 scoreless frames. Royman Blanco was, however, tagged for three runs in the fifth inning. Jonathan Brand then surrendered a walk-off, three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth and was hit with the losing decision.

Two members of Salem's starting outfield registered multiple hits on Sunday. Center fielder Jhostynxon Garcia went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored while right fielder Albertson Asigen went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Mikey Romero made his only hit of the day count by doubling in two runs in the third inning. Gilberto Jimenez, Johnfrank Salazar, and Albert Feliz drove in runs as well.

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Player of the Day: Corey Rosier closed out his week with four straight multi-hit games in Bowie. Following Sunday's strong performance, the left-handed hitting outfielder is now batting .306/.359/.478 with 17 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, 33 RBIs, 48 runs scored, an Eastern League-leading 40 stolen bases, 23 walks, and 72 strikeouts in 79 games (306 plate appearances) for Portland this season. He is currently ranked as the No. 56 prospect in the organization. 

Photo Credit: Corey Rosier by Kelly O'Connor