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April 26, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cuevas, Swihart lead Pawtucket on a light night

4/26 Cup of Coffee: William Cuevas (pictured) was dominant over seven innings for the PawSox, with Blake Swihart, Sam Travis, and Marco Hernandez providing all the offense he needed. Kevin McAvoy was not as successful in Portland as he struggled mightily to throw strikes, ending the day with more walks than outs recorded. Both Salem and Greenville were off yesterday. 


Fresh off his major league debut, William Cuevas led the PawSox to a shutout victory. Cuevas went the first seven innings, allowing only three hits while walking three and striking out four. After struggling in his first appearance in Boston last week, Cuevas was able to get back on track and turn in his best start of the young season. Kyle Martin finished off the shutout with two scoreless innings, striking out four and allowing only one baserunner. While his 5.40 ERA is not pretty, Martin has not issued a walk and has struck out 11 batters over his first 10 innings. 

The heart of Pawtucket's order did plenty of damage, led by Blake Swihart who went 3 for 4 with a double and a walk while catching the shutout. Sam Travis went 2 for 5 with two doubles, and Marco Hernandez went 3 for 5 with a double. The 2 for 5 performance pushed Travis's batting average over .300 as the 22-year-old continues to adjust well to the International League pitching. Hernandez got his first start in left field as the Red Sox continue to groom him for a utility role. Jantzen Witte and Justin Maxwell each had two hits, with Witte adding a double and a walk. 


It was a night to forget for Kevin McAvoy, as he did not make it out of the second inning in a loss to the Mets. The silver lining is that McAvoy did not give up a hit or an earned run, but he walked six as his control completely escaped him. He struggled to throw strikes last year in Salem, walking over four batters per nine innings, but he had cut that number down to three walks per nine innings this season before last night's game. Mitch Atkins came on and allowed only one run over 3 1/3 innings, and Chandler Shepherd allowed three runs, two earned, over his two innings.

The Sea Dogs only recorded six hits, with Jake Romanski leading the way with two. Jordan Betts connected on his first home run of the season, and Tzu-Wei Lin added a two-run double. 


Player of the Night: William Cuevas battled back from a poor major league debut to stifle the Chiefs. Cuevas picked up the loss on Thursday against the Rays, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings. It was not a dream debut for the 25-year-old after more than seven years in the minor leagues, but he did a great job of bouncing back in Pawtucket, tossing seven shutout innings on Monday. If the Red Sox bullpen continues to be stressed, Cuevas may find himself back in the big leagues, and starts like this will go a long way towards getting him there.

Photo Credit: William Cuevas by Kelly O'Connor