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June 29, 2024 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Portland shuts out and was shut out; Diaz and Jimenez each have four hits


6/29 Cup of Coffee:
The offenses were quiet stateside, as just the FCL squad exceeded five runs on the day, even though Portland played twice. Luckily for the affiliates, Portland registered a shutout in the opener of its doubleheader, as did Greenville. The full-season affiliates combined for just three extra-base hits, all doubles. Two of them were off the bat of Bobby Dalbec. However, the FCL squad broke out for 17 runs on 16 hits, including four each from Frederik Jimenez and Kelvin Diaz, each of whom also had two doubles and three RBI as part of the effort. On the mound, Wikelman Gonzalez provided three scoreless innings for Portland, while Jacob Webb scattered just one hit over his three shutout frames in the nightcap.

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Worcester ended the seventh inning up a run, but the RailRiders scored three in the eighth to take the win. Bobby Dalbec knocked two doubles while Chase Meidroth and Eddy Alvarez each had a pair of hits. The home side drilled three home runs off starter Richard Fitts, though he limited the damage with four runs over five innings of work. He allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out three. Sal Romano and Justin Hagenman struck out the side in order in the sixth and seventh, respectively before Cam Booser struggled in the eighth, as all three runs were charged to him.

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Portland had a doubleheader for the second straight Friday in a sloppy affair, with more errors than runs in the opener. The Sea Dogs opened the scoring in the second as Eddinson Paulino and Tyler Miller executed the double steal with the runners on the corners. Marcelo Mayer, who had two hits, took advantage of a throwing error to score in the following frame. There were no extra-base hits for either team. It was a strong outing for Wikelman Gonzalez, who turned in three scoreless innings. He coughed up one hit with two walks against six strikeouts. Christopher Troye (one inning), Theo Denlinger (two innings) and Alex Hoppe (one inning) completed the shutout.

The teams managed to score even fewer runs in the nightcap, but this time it was Portland that wasn't able to cross the plate. Kristian Campbell had two hits, but the Sea Dogs weren't able to do anything with the six singles they mustered. Jacob Webb scattered one hit over three innings, striking out five. He was followed by Robert Kwiatkowski, who allowed the fateful run, a solo shot in the fourth.

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This was a scoreless contest going into the bottom of the eighth, when Greenville was able to score a pair on a two-run double by Eduardo Lopez, which delivered the game's only runs. The Drive had 10 hits but left nine runners on base and were 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. Dalton Rogers went five innings, allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out four. Jeremy Wu-Yelland followed with two hitless frames, while Reidis Sena had just one knock on his tab over the eighth and ninth.

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The Red Sox mustered just four hits on the evening, each of which were singles. Marvin Alcantara's RBI knock made it 1-1 after six, but Fredericksburg had three in the seventh and two in the eighth to run away with the win. Ovis Portes allowed just one run on his watch, but there was plenty of traffic, as he allowed two hits and walked three over 3 1/3 innings of work. Nathanael Cruz was the only arm to not allow a run as he threw a clean ninth.

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The only squad to really break out offensively on Friday, the Red Sox scored 17 runs on 16 hits, taking advantage of four errors to score eight unearned runs. Frederik Jimenez and Kelvin Diaz each knocked a pair of two-baggers with three RBI as part of 4-for-5 performances. Not far behind, with three hits, was Franyer Noria. The start went to Adam Bates and the only run he allowed over his 3 1/3 innings of work was on a solo shot in the first. The bulk of the scoring was on Luis Jerez's watch, as he allowed three to cross the plate and recorded just two outs. Meanwhile, Diego Hernandez struck out the side in order to finish off the contest.

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The game was close late, as the Red Sox trailed by just three going into the seventh-inning stretch, but four in the seventh and another two in the eighth turned it into a laugher. The squad mustered just five hits, all of which were singles. All four arms on the mound allowed at least one run before the game was called with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Denison Sanchez had the best stat line with one run on two hits over three innings. He did walk three but also had a trio of strikeouts.

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Similarly to their DSL counterparts, Red's game ended early, but this one was called in the top of the ninth. The tying run was on first for the Astros with two outs. Anderson Fermin and Avinson Pinto each had two hits at the top of the lineup. Yermain Ruiz had the start and had just one unearned run as the Red Sox committed two errors. Overall, he allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings, with four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.

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Player of the Day: When two players have identical stat lines on the same team, it's co-player of the day. Frederik Jimenez and Kelvin Diaz each pounded four hits, including two doubles, driving in three runs in the process as part of a 4-for-5 day at the plate for the FCL team. Both hail from the Dominican Republic, while Jimenez is getting his first taste of the United States this season. Diaz moved stateside in 2023. Diaz is a strong athlete but needs to work on his approach. He's been succeeding so far this year, with an OPS over .800 in the FCL after a spending a week in Salem. Jimenez only has 38 at-bats but has done a lot with them, hitting nearly .400 with three extra-base hits. 

Photo Credit: Kelvin Diaz by Kelly O'Connor