6/5 Cup of Coffee: Beyond any game results, by far the biggest news on Saturday was the return of Bryan Mata (pictured, right) to the mound. Mata was the consensus top-ranked pitcher in the system three years ago but had not pitched in game action for just over 33 months due to the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season followed by Tommy John surgery in April 2021. The 23-year-old helped Salem to a victory. Elsewhere, Worcester got a solid start from the system’s current top pitching prospect, as Brayan Bello was supported by Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez. Portland split its doubleheader, while Greenville suffered yet another one-run loss.


After getting out to a comfortable 6-1 lead, Worcester overcame two game-tying rallies to walk off with the victory. Brayan Bello turned in another strong start in his fourth Triple-A appearance. The right-hander surrendered a run in the first, then cruised through five innings without allowing another. Bello ran into some trouble…

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