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May 19, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Penrod strikes out 10, Mata starts for Greenville

5/19 Cup of Coffee: Zach Penrod (pictured) pitched another gem to lead Portland past Somerset. Bryan Mata is getting closer to a full return as he made a rehab start in Greenville. In the lower minors, Miguel Bleis drove in three runs and Yoeilin Cespedes returned to shortstop and drove in two. 

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) @ Worcester Red Sox, PPD (rain)
Saturday's game was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday at 1:05 pm. 


Portland's pitching staff was dialed in as they shut down the Patriots. For the second straight outing, Zach Penrod struck out 10 over six innings of one-run ball. Brendan Cellucci scattered three hits over two innings while striking out three, and Felix Cepeda worked a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save. Tyler McDonough drove in both Portland's runs with a single and a double, and he stole his fourth base. Roman Anthony went 1 for 2 with two walks, and Phillip Sikes went 1 for 4 with a double and a steal. 


After making his first rehab start in the FCL on Monday, Bryan Mata started for Greenville on Saturday. He allowed two runs on four hits over two innings and did not strike out a batter. Cooper Adams followed and gave up four runs (three earned) over 2 1/3 innings. Kristian Campbell again led the way offensively, driving in two runs as part of a 2-for-4 night. Juan Chacon stole a base and went 2 for 4 with a double and a triple, and Karson Simas went 1 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base. 


Salem mounted a comeback attempt, but could not dig out of a 7-0 hole. A bases-clearing double from Miguel Bleis was the big hit as part of a 1-for-5 day for the 20-year-old. Nelly Taylor and Jhostynxon Garcia went 2 for 4 with a double, and Andy Lugo went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. Matt Duffy struggled through 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out one. Francis Hernandez did not allow a run over 2 1/3 as he continues to rebound from a slow start. 


Playing shortstop for the first time this year, Yoeilin Cespedes went 1 for 3 with a two-run double. Franklin Arias also laced a two-run double as he went 1 for 1 with three walks. Armando Sierra was the only starter to record multiple hits as he went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Stijn Van Der Schaaf struck out two batters over two spotless innings, and Cristofer Soriano struck out five over three shutout innings. 


Player of the Day: Zach Penrod moved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.10 as he struck out 10 and allowed one run over six innings. On the season Penrod has 44 strikeouts over 30 innings, with 20 of the strikeouts coming in his last two starts. The 26-year-old continues to be one of the top starters in the system. After signing out of the Pioneer League in August of 2023, Penrod posted solid numbers in High-A. This year in Double-A his numbers are even more impressive as he has lowered his ERA, cut his walk rate, and increased his strikeout rate.

Photo Credit: Zach Penrod by Kelly O'Connor