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Cup of Coffee: Sale strikes out five in first rehab start

06

7/16 Cup of Coffee: Chris Sale was the story yesterday, as he made his first rehab appearance for the FCL Red Sox, and all indications are that things went very well. The system saw some other great pitching performances as well, most notably from Kutter Crawford and Brian Van Belle. Hudson Potts (pictured) hit a massive home run to give Portland a win, and Tyreque Reed and Joe Davis continued to mash. 

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Worcester starter Kevin McCarthy was roughed up for seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Matthew Kent didn't fare much better out of the bullpen, allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Seth Blair was the bright spot for the pitching staff, tossing two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Yairo Munoz went 1 for 4 with the lone Sox extra-base hit of the night, his fourth triple of the year. Jonathan Arauz went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Josh Ockimey and Jack Lopez each went 1 for 3 with a walk. 

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Hudson Potts delivered in the clutch for Portland, belting a game-winning three-run blast with two outs in the top of the eighth inning on a full count. The home run was the fifth of the year for Potts. Pedro Castellanos and Jhonny Pereda both hit their eighth doubles of the year, while Triston Casas went 1 for 3 with a walk. Kutter Crawford was fantastic, going the first six innings and allowing just a run on three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. He lowered his ERA to 3.35 this year, but his WHIP is an even more impressive 0.77. Durbin Feltman, Rio Gomez, and Dominic LoBrutto each threw an inning, with LoBrutto picking up his fourth save of the year with a scoreless ninth and two strikeouts. Feltman also punched out a pair and Gomez tossed a clean eighth inning.

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Offense and pitching got it done in this one, as Tyreque Reed led the former with another huge night. He went 3 for 3 with two doubles, his 14th home run, five RBI, and two walks. He is now second in the league with 50 RBI. Christian Koss picked up three hits out of the leadoff spot, and Cameron Cannon and Kole Cottam each stroked two doubles. Tyler Dearden also added two hits and a double, and Jaxx Groshans went 3 for 5 with three single. On the bump, Brian Van Belle picked up his third win by surrendering just two hits and no runs in six innings. He struck out five and did not issue a free pass. Dylan Spacke tossed two scoreless frames with three strikeouts and no walks, and Oddanier Mosqueda finished it off with a scoreless ninth. 

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Pitching struggled right from the start for Salem, as Shane Drohan started and allowed five runs on four hits and five walks in three innings. Robert Kwiatkowski followed him with four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Yasel Santana was solid, allowing just a run in 2 1/3 innings with two strikeouts, and Nate Tellier pitched two hitless innings with a pair of punchouts. Joe Davis continued his big season with his 10th home run and 49th RBI of the year. Nick Decker went 2 for 4, Alex Erro drove in two, and Alan Marrero went 1 for 3 with a double. 

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This one had a little extra meaning today, as Chris Sale pitched in a professional baseball game for the first time since 2019. In his first rehab appearance, the lanky lefty looked fantastic, striking out five without a walk or run allowed in three innings. According to SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Ian Cundall, Sale touched 94 MPH with his heater and used both secondary offerings. Jose Larez also pitched well, allowing just an unearned run in 2 1/3 innings in relief. Cole Milam closed it out with a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. 

The offense came alive as well, as the Sox recorded 12 hits and drew 13 walks. Antoni Flores went 2 for 3 with a walk, and was then replaced at second base with Eddinson Paulino, who went 2 for 2 with a double. Blaze Jordan went 1 for 4 with a walk and three RBI, while Eduardo Vaughan reached four times with a single and three free passes. Jose Garcia added two hits including a double. 

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Ahbram Liendo led the way in this one, going 2 for 5 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot. Third baseman Frank Astacio had a nice game as well, going 2 for 4 with a home run and two runs scored. Enderso Lira also had two hits and Allan Castro walked three times. Francis Hernandez was great in his start, going the first four without allowing a run or a walk with four strikeouts. Jose Ramirez picked up the win despite five walks in two innings, limiting his damage to zero runs. Frailyn Sanchez got the final four outs without allowing a run. 

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The Sox managed just three hits in their seven innings, with Lyonell James and Ronald Rosario each picking up a double. Rosario also took a walk, and Johnfrank Salazar grabbed the only other Sox hit. Jedixon Paez impressed on the mound, as the 17-year old right-hander struck out seven without a walk in three scoreless frames. Carlos Reyes tossed an inning and gave up a run, and Barbaro Pinero gave up two runs in his two innings of work. 

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Player of the Day: Tyreque Reed tallied three extra-base hits last night, the first time he has done that this year, which is somewhat surprising considering the year he's having. He now has a .991 OPS this year for the Drive, picking up eight doubles, a triple, and 14 long balls. The 250-pound first baseman has also swiped four bags this year. The performance marks the finale of his time with Greenville, as news broke after the game that Reed will be promoted to Double-A Portland.

Photo Credit: Hudson Potts by Kelly O'Connor

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