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September 14, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Dearden, Hickey lead offensive surge in Portland

9/14 Cup of Coffee:
Since Greenville was idle, it was a tale of two cities for Boston's minor-league affiliates on Wednesday. In Worcester, Kyle Barraclough was hit with his first losing decision at the Triple-A level since last July as the WooSox fell to Syracuse. Up the road in Portland, Zack Kelly continued his rehab assignment while Roman Anthony, Tyler Dearden, Nathan Hickey (pictured), and Kyle Teel all had productive nights at the plate in the Sea Dogs' blowout win over Hartford.


Kyle Barraclough suffered his first loss as a member of the WooSox. Making his 12th start of the season for Worcester on Wednesday night, the journeyman right-hander allowed six earned runs on four hits, four walks, and one hit-by-pitch with eight strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work. In relief of Barraclough, Justin Hagenman scattered two hits and two walks across 3 1/3 scoreless frames. Ryan Fernandez then worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning before yielding one run on two hits and a walk in the top of the ninth.

Enmanuel Valdez provided the only offense for Worcester in this one, going 1 for 4 with a fourth-inning RBI single that scored Nick Sogard. Sogard had reached base on his side's lone extra-base hit, a leadoff double. Corey Rosier went 1 for 3 with a single in his return to the WooSox lineup. Bobby Dalbec, on the other hand, collected a pair of singles and recorded two outfield assists, throwing out two runners -- including former teammate Daniel Palka -- at second base from right field.

With Worcester losing and Durham winning on Wednesday, the Red Sox now sit 5 1/2 games back of the Bulls for first place in the International League East second-half standings. That being said, they have just 10 regular season games remaining on their schedule.


The Sea Dogs went off for a season-high 16 runs at Hadlock Field on Wednesday night and won their fourth straight game as a result. Every member of Portland's lineup -- including two who came off of the bench -- reached base at least once. Out of the leadoff spot, Roman Anthony went 1 for 2 with a two-run double, two walks, three runs scored, and a stolen base. Batting behind him, Nick Yorke went 2 for 5 with a walk, two runs scored, and two stolen bases. Chase Meidroth and Nathan Hickey each went 2 for 4 with a walk, as the latter recorded a team-high four RBIs with a pair of two-run doubles. Kyle Teel and Alex Binelas each had one hit (a double) but combined to drive in five runs. Tyler Dearden went 2 for 5 with a two-run home run, his seventh big fly of the year. Out of the nine-hole, Tyler McDonough reached base twice, scored once, and swiped one bag to bring his season total up to 24.

Zack Kelly served as the opener for Portland. The rehabbing right-hander went two innings, allowing one earned run on one hit (a solo home run), no walks, and one strikeout. He threw 24 pitches (14 strikes) before making way for fellow righty Isaac Coffey, who served up two more homers in the process of yielding three earned runs on four hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over four innings. From there, Brendan Cellucci and Ryan Zeferjahn combined for three scoreless frames of relief to close it out. 


Player of the Day: The second half has not been all too kind to Nathan Hickey, but the 19th-ranked prospect appears to be finding his stride at the plate again. Following Wednesday's strong showing, Hickey is now riding a four-game hitting streak in which he has gone 5 for 15 (.333) with three doubles, seven RBIs, five runs scored, four walks, and six strikeouts. The 23-year-old backstop has been splitting catching duties with Kyle Teel since the latter was promoted to Portland earlier this month. 

Photo Credit: Nathan Hickey by Kelly O'Connor