May 6, 2015 at 7:00 AM
5/6 Cup of Coffee: Henry Owens turned in his best start of the year, and Rusney Castillo was on base three times in Pawtucket's win over Toledo. Despite great performances from Aaron Wilkerson and Aneury Tavarez (pictured), Salem fell to Myrtle Beach, and Portland was it's own worst enemy in a loss to Binghamton.
After struggling to varying degrees over his first four starts of the season, Henry Owens had his smoothest outing of the season yesterday, allowing only one run over six innings. The biggest positive from the outing was the lack of walks, as he issued only two free passes while striking out three. He came into the game averaging over seven walks per nine innings, which led to poor results despite the fact that he was holding batters to a .178 batting average against.
He got plenty of offensive support, as the PawSox notched 11 hits and five walks. Rusney Castillo and Quintin Berry each went 2 for 4 with a walk, Garin Cecchini went 2 for 5 and Matt Spring launched his third home run of the season.
Some shaky defense and a quiet offense caused Portland to lose it's 15th game of the year. Mike McCarthy got the start, going the first 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, though none of them were earned. Dayan Diaz followed with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Pat Light pitched a perfect eighth inning. On offense, Mike Miller's triple was the lone extra-base hit, while Jantzen Witte went 1 for 3 with a walk.
A five-run fourth inning doomed the Red Sox, as their brief four-game winning streak came to an end. Teddy Stankiewicz cruised through the first three innings, facing the minimum while allowing only one hit, which was later erased on a double play. Things fell apart in the fourth inning however, as the lead-off batter reached on an error and then the next six batters all reached via a hit or a walk.
Aaron Wilkerson was dominant in relief, striking out six and allowing only one baserunner over 3 1/3 innings, making a good impression after being called up from Greenville on Monday. Aneury Tavarez did his best to carry the offense, going 2 for 4 with a double and a home run, and Tzu-Wei Lin added a home run as well. Sam Travis's eight-game hitting streak was snapped, as he went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Player of the Night: Aneury Tavarez hit his first home run of the year and added a double in Salem's 5-2 loss. The 2 for 4 performance raised his average to .329, and the 23-year-old is now 7 for his last 19 with four extra-base hits and two walks.
Photo Credit: Aneury Tavarez by Kelly O'Connor