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August 1, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Polanco leads FCL; DSL squads split

8/1 Cup of Coffee:
It took extra-inning dramatics in the Dominican Republic, but the minor league teams in action posted a winning record, as the FCL squad joined DSL Blue in the win column. Blue came back from 4-1 down after seven innings to win in the 10th, while the FCL Red Sox held a 6-0 lead after seven and secured the victory. However, DSL Red was unable to get the offense going, with just four hits. Strong pitching performances carried teams to victory, including four innings of shutout ball by Eybersson Polanco (pictured).


The Braves got three in the eighth, but that wasn't enough to complete the comeback, as the Red Sox took home the victory on Monday. Eybersson Polanco was on the bump and had plenty of traffic, as he gave up four hits and walked two more hitters over his four innings of work, but didn't permit a run and struck out four hitters. He was followed by Francis Hernandez, who contributed two shutout frames, but walks, wild pitches and an error helped put three unearned runs on the tab of Garrett Ramsey.

Gilberto Jimenez knocked a triple as one of just seven hits on the day, but the Red Sox worked eight walks to help keep the pressure on Braves pitching. Claudio Simon and Fraymi De Leon each reached base three times with a pair of free passes each, while Bryant Zayas got into the hit column twice.


Blue got back to .500 as they held off the Guardians after getting a run across in the 10th and withstanding a walk-off bid. Blue needed to score three runs across the eighth and ninth to push the contest to extras. Frederik Jimenez brought in a run in the eighth on a productive out, while Yoellin Cespedes did the same in the ninth to bring Blue to within one. Starlyn Nunez, who had two hits, doubled to tie the game with his team down to its final out. He was joined in the two-hit club by Kleyver Salazar.

It was a true bullpen day, as starter Yeferson Vargas lasted just one out, with three runs on his tab after four walks.  Ali Ascanio (2 2/3 innings), Emmanuel Polo (2 innings), and Enrique Carta (3 innings) each had extended shutout relief appearances.


Jancel Santana scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the first to make it 1-0, but the Pirates took the lead in the third and held onto it for the remainder of the afternoon, preventing a perfect Complex day. Santana had one of his team's four hits. Breilin Arredondo was hit around, allowing seven hits over four innings of work. Three runs came across on his watch, all of which were earned. Yoelvin Chirino, who handled the ninth, was the only pitcher who did not permit a run to score. Each throwing two innings, two came across on Oscar Sanchez, while Marcos Almanzar coughed up just one.


Player of the Day: Eybersson Polanco is the Complex Monday Player of the Day for the second week running. He's combined for nine innings of shutout ball over the past two weeks after going for four frames on Monday and has lowered his BAA (batting average against) from .325 after his start on July 17 to .289 at the end of July, while his WHIP has fallen similarly, as one bad outing July 3 against the Pirates has less and less of an impact. 

Photo Credit: Eybersson Polanco by Kelly O'Connor