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August 16, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis' multi-home run night powers Drive comeback

8/16 Cup of Coffee: Salem and the DSL Red Sox2 were the only Red Sox minor league affiliates to emerge winless from last night's contests, which featured Pawtucket splitting a doubleheader with Lehigh Valley and Greenville mounting an eighth-inning rally to steal a victory at Fluor Field thanks to a Michael Chavis (pictured) power surge. Rain and thunderstorms forced Lowell to suspend its game against Tri-City in the top of the fourth inning, while Portland edged out Akron thanks to solid showings from Carlos Asuaje and Sam Travis.


The PawSox grabbed game one of their day-night doubleheader thanks to a quality start from newly-signed left-hander Rich Hill, who tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings. The 35-year-old journeyman, who joined Pawtucket on Friday from the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, allowed four hits and three walks against two strikeouts before making way for right-hander Jonathan Aro. The Dominican turned in two innings of work, allowing both Lehigh Valley runs in a nervy bottom of the ninth. Closer Heath Hembree extinguished the IronPigs' late rally, facing just two batters and striking out one en route to his eighth save of the season.

The Red Sox offense was largely stagnant outside of a three-run top of the eighth inning, which included an RBI double from third baseman Carlos Rivero and a two-RBI single from right fielder Allen Craig. The productive half inning extended Pawtucket's lead to five runs and all but sealed the victory. Center fielder Quintin Berry opened the game with a bang, hitting a solo home run in the top of the first. Berry finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Second baseman Jemile Weeks also showed well at the plate, going 2 for 4 to post the PawSox lone multi-hit game.

Pawtucket failed to sweep the doubleheader despite mounting a ninth-inning comeback, scoring four times in the final frame to shorten the IronPigs' lead from five runs to one. Shortstop Marco Hernandez' two-RBI triple was the highlight of the rally, as well as the lone hit for the former Chicago Cubs prospect. Craig turned in another solid showing, going 3 for 4 with an RBI double. Left fielder Chris Marrero, older brother of PawSox designated hitter Deven Marrero, went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Right-hander Mike McCarthy drew the loss after allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings of work. McCarthy, who also struck out three batters, gave up two Lehigh Valley home runs in the early going, allowing the IronPigs to jump out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the third inning. Right-hander Dayan Diaz tossed two scoreless frames to round out the game, allowing one hit and one walk against two strikeouts.


Second baseman Carlos Asuaje and first baseman Sam Travis powered Portland's offense, which posted three two-run runnings to tie the series at one game apiece. Asuaje had a banner night batting out of the No. 5 spot, going 3 for 4 with three RBI, one of which came via a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Travis also showed well, going 2 for 4 with a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Right fielder Henry Ramos turned in an extra-base hit of his own, finishing 2 for 4 with a double.

Starter Luis Diaz allowed two runs on four hits and four walks against two strikeouts in five innings of work before being replaced by right-hander Madison Younginer in the top of the sixth. Younginer earned his seventh win of the season after allowing only one hit and striking out four across 2 2/3 frames. 6-foot-7 right-hander Kyle Martin grabbed his third save of the year despite allowing Akron to creep back into the game, giving up two runs on two hits in the bottom of the ninth inning. He finished his 1 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.


First baseman Jordan Betts was the lone bright spot in a Salem offense that was held hitless through the first five frames and scored all three of its runs in a single inning. But Betts' 3-for-4 night (double, run scored) was far from enough to prevent the Red Sox from drawing their eighth loss in their last 10 games, sinking the squad deeper into last place in the Carolina League Southern division. Second baseman Wendell Rijo finished 1 for 3 with an RBI double and a run scored, while third baseman Deiner Lopez went 1 for 4 and also posted an RBI double.

Starter Trey Ball dropped to 8-11 after getting roughed up in his five innings of work, allowing five of Winston-Salem's seven runs on seven hits and one walk. The loss marked the first outing this season in which Ball failed to record a strikeout. Right-hander Kyle Kraus replaced the 2013 first-round pick in the top of the sixth inning and allowed a pair of Dash runs shortly after taking the mound, increasing Salem's deficit to seven runs. Kraus steadied things defensively in the seventh and eighth frames, keeping Winston-Salem off the board before making way for right-hander Taylor Grover in the top of the ninth.


Designated hitter Michael Chavis' first career multi-home run night highlighted a come-from-behind victory for Greenville, with the Drive scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to overcome a 5-3 Charleston lead. The wild half inning featured Chavis' second home run of the night – a two-run shot – as well as a double from Rafael Devers, a handful of singles and even a sacrifice bunt from right fielder Danny Mars. Chavis finished 2 for 4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Devers went 1 for 4 with a run scored. Second baseman Yoan Moncada reached base twice, going 1 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk.

Right-hander Jeffry Fernandez tossed 4 2/3 innings in his 22nd start of the season, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. Right-hander Jamie Callahan steadied things in relief, throwing 2 1/3 innings and giving up one run on three hits while striking out four. Right-hander Ryan Harris got the win after throwing two hitless frames in the eighth and ninth innings, leaving the door open for Greenville's late rally.


The Spinners' game against Tri-City was suspended due to rain, and will be resumed today. The Spinners had jumped out to a 4-0 lead before officials halted the game in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to hits from designated hitter Sean Coyle (1 for 2, double) – who is on a rehab assignment from Pawtucket – and first baseman Josh Ockimey (2 for 2, RBI) as well as a pair of ValleyCat errors in the bottom of the third.

Lowell starter Rick Porcello, with the team on a rehab assignment from Boston, had allowed three hits and a walk against one strikeout through 3 2/3 scoreless innings.


Left-hander Logan Allen made the most of his three-inning start, facing just 11 batters and fanning five against two hits. The 2015 eighth-round pick out of IMG Academy has thrown well in small doses since joining the professional ranks, and now has 13 strikeouts in nine innings this month, along with a 0.75 ERA for the season. Venezuelan left-hander Enmanuel De Jesus was even more impressive, completing the shutout after allowing only one hit across the final six frames, improving to 5-2 in the process. De Jesus, who received a $787,500 signing bonus after joining the Red Sox system as an International free agent in 2013, boasts a 1.88 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 38 1/3 innings pitched this season.

Designated hitter Jerry Downs knocked in two of the Red Sox three runs and scored another himself, finishing the day 2 for 3. Second baseman Andy Perez continued his productive stretch at the plate, going 1 for 4 with a run scored. Perez has a hit in seven of his last 10 games, and is batting .356 this season. Center fielder Yoan Aybar also contributed offensively, going 1 for 3 with a triple.


Catcher Eddy Reynoso led the Red Sox with three hits, finishing the day 3 for 4 with an RBI. Center fielder Dawill Aponte had the team's lone extra-base hit, going 1 for 5 with an RBI triple and a run scored. First basemen Hemerson Serven scored two runs and finished 1 for 5 with an RBI.

Starter Christopher Acosta gave up three runs on four hits in five innings of work, improving to 1-3 after turning in a five-inning outing. Italian right-hander Nicolo Clemente tossed three scoreless frames, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out one. Left-hander Francisco Tena earned his fourth save after throwing the final frame, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out one.

DSL Marlins 6, DSL Red Sox2 4
Center fielder Lorenzo Cedrola led the way offensively in a losing effort for the Red Sox, going 2 for 5 with three RBI. Left fielder Juan Hernandez (2 for 4, walk) and designated hitter Rafael Toribio (2 for 4, run scored) each posted multi-hit games. Darwinzon Hernandez was stellar in his start, tossing five innings and allowing three runs on five hits and striking out eight.


Player of the Night: Greenville designated hitter Michael Chavis didn't just earn a career milestone by swatting two home runs last night, he was also instrumental in helping the Drive pull out an improbable victory. The team not only dug itself out of a two-run hole to tie the game, it piled on three more runs to put the game out of Charleston's reach. Chavis, the Red Sox' 2014 first-round pick, now has 14 home runs this season, good for 4th-most in the South Atlantic League.

Photo Credit: Michael Chavis by Kelly O'Connor