April 27, 2015 at 12:07 PM
It was a tough night for Pawtucket, as Keith Couch got roughed up for three runs in the first inning. The PawSox answered back in the top of the third when catcher Humberto Quintero hit a two-run shot, his third on the campaign. Couch ran into more trouble in the sixth, but this time the Pawtucket defense let him down with two errors. Miguel Celestino relieved Couch in the sixth and gave up four hits and two unearned runs. First baseman Matt Spring added a solo home run in the seventh, but it was not enough to overcome the early hole.
Trenton Thunder (NYY) 8, Portland Sea Dogs 2
Just like Pawtucket, the Sea Dogs struggled all the way around in this one, as right-handed pitcher Justin Haley was tagged for eight hits and six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Pat Light threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Dayan Diaz came on for two scoreless innings of his own, lowering his ERA to 0.96 in six appearances.With the Sea Dogs down 6-0 in the sixth, Portland started a rally and designated hitter Keury De La Cruz ripped a two-run double to left, but the deficit proved too large to overcome.
Salem Red Sox 2, Carolina Mudcats (ATL) 1 (Game 1)
In the first game of a doubleheader, Salem received a great start from right-hander Kevin McAvoy. He went 5 2/3 innings and gave up just earned run on four hits to notch his first professional win. His ERA is now 1.72 for the season. The Red Sox were down 1-0 in the fifth, but took the lead on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Manuel Margot and an RBI single from right fielder Aneury Tavarez. Austin Maddox got the final out of the sixth and finished the game to nail down his second save of the season.
Salem Red Sox 4, Carolina Mudcats (ATL) 1 (Game 2)
Salem swept the doubleheader, earning a 4-1 victory behind some more great pitching in game two. Daniel McGrath started and went five innings, yielding just one unearned run. He struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 3.65. Kyle Kraus notched his second save of the year, going the final two innings and retiring all six batters he faced, three by way-of-the-K. Offensively, center fielder Manuel Margot led the charge again, going 3 for 4 with an RBI double. He is now batting .362/.391/.586 in 64 plate appearances and still has yet to strike out. Aneury Tavarez added an RBI double as well, and finished 3 for 7 with two RBI in the doubleheader.
Greenville Drive 3, Asheville Tourists (COL) 2
Derek Miller played hero yet again for the Drive, walking off for the second time in four days. This time, it came in the 14th inning of an exciting comeback win for Greenville. Righty Ty Buttrey (pictured, right) tossed five no-hit innings, walking just two and striking out seven. With the Drive down by one in the bottom of the ninth, Ben Moore came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and delivered a run-scoring single to send it to extra innings.
Kuehl McEachern and Williams Jerez combined for five innings of tremendous pitching in extra frames, surrendering just two hits from the ninth until the 14th. That set the stage for Miller, who followed a double from Moore with a single to center to give Greenville their 11th win of the season. McEachern now has a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings this year.
Player of the Night: Kevin McAvoy takes home the night's honors for winning his first game as a professional. A 4th-round draft pick just under a year ago, McAvoy went 0-2 with a 1.91 ERA across 11 games started for the Lowell Spinners after signing last July. Thus far with Salem, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3 innings spanning three starts.
Photo Credit: Ty Buttrey and Kevin McAvoy by Kelly O'Connor