July 17, 2016 at 7:00 AM
Cup of Coffee 7/17: It was a night of strong pitching performances for Red Sox affiliates on Saturday. Henry Owens began his evening with 7 2/3 hitless frames in a win for the PawSox and Josh Pennington was lights out in a shutout win for Lowell. Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon each reached base three times, setting the table in a win for Portland. Luis Alexander Basabe (pictured) and Michael Chavis turned in big games but Roniel Raudes struggled in a loss for Greenville.
Starting pitcher Henry Owens turned in a dominant performance for the PawSox on Saturday evening. The lanky lefty cruised through 7 2/3 hitless innings before running into trouble in the eighth inning and loading the bases with two outs. He exited the game in favor of Chandler Shepherd, who promptly allowed a bases-clearing double. On the whole, it was an encouraging outing for Owens, who tossed 7 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on one hit and two walks, punching out four.
The Pawtucket bats did most of their damage in a four-run third inning. The PawSox started the inning with four consecutive singles, including a two-run single by Ryan LaMarre. Chris Marrero capped the rally with a two-run homer, his 17th of the season. Pawtucket's other two runs scored via back-to-back home runs by Dan Butler and Chris Dominguez in the sixth inning.
The Sea Dogs scored in each of the first four innings, including a three-run second inning, en route to a clean win at Hadlock Field. Cody Decker was in the middle of the action for Portland, doubling to lead off the second, scoring on a Jake Romanski double, and homering in the third as part of a 2-for-4 night. Yoan Moncada reached base three times from the top of the lineup, going 1 for 2 with two walks, a run, and an RBI. Mauricio Dubon had a productive game, going 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Andrew Benintendi was 0 for 4.
Jacob Dahlstrand made a quality start on the mound for the Sea Dogs, tossing six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks. Portland's duo of promising left-handed relievers delivered as Williams Jerez threw two shutout frames and Luis Ysla pitched one scoreless inning to finish the game.
The Salem bats got off to a quick start on Saturday evening but were unable to capitalize in a loss to Potomac. Salem scored a pair in the first inning on an RBI forceout by Mike Meyers, scoring Reed Gragnani, and an RBI single by Danny Mars. The Red Sox then scored single runs in the second and fourth innings but that would be all for the Salem offense. Rafael Devers was 1 for 4 and scored a run.
Daniel McGrath began his outing with five shutout innings but Potomac scored two in the fifth and three more in the sixth to ruin his game. McGrath threw six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and two walks, striking out five. Anyelo LeClerc tossed three strong innings of relief, allowing only a hit and fanning three.
The Drive's bats turned in a solid performance on Saturday night but they were unable to overcome a poor performance by the pitching staff. Hagerstown rocked Drive starting pitcher Roniel Raudes for five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks in four innings pitched. Trevor Kelley didn't provide much relief for the Drive, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. Victor Diaz tossed two shutout innings to finish the game.
Four of Greenville's five runs came in a big fourth inning. Michael Chavis led off the inning with his sixth home run of the season. Later in the inning, Luis Alexander Basabe came through with a bases-clearing triple with two outs. Basabe was the offensive standout for the Drive, going 3 for 4 with four RBI and a walk while finishing a home run short of the cycle. Chavis was 2 for 5 with that solo home run and a pair of strikeouts.
Right-hander Josh Pennington was excellent in a shutout victory for the Spinners. He threw 5 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out four while allowing three hits and a walk. Matthew Gorst, selected in the 12th round of the 2016 draft, threw 1 2/3 shutout frames in his second professional appearance. Kuehl McEachern finished the game with two innings, allowing no runs on one hit. Four players recorded multiple hits for Lowell-- Steven Reveles, Chris Madera, Tyler Hill, and Carlos Tovar. Hill also smacked a solo shot in the sixth inning as part of a 2-for-4 performance.
The GCL Red Sox took the lead and scored all of their runs in a four-run sixth inning. After two walks to start the inning, the Red Sox came through with four consecutive RBI hits-- a single by Stanley Espinal, a double by Juan Barriento, and singles by Imeldo Diaz and Raiwinson Lameda. Lameda, who was 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI, was an offensive highlight. Yorvin Pantoja tossed five strong frames to begin the game, allowing just a run on two hits and three walks while punching out five. Hunter Smith threw two shutout innings of relief and Devon Fisher threw one before Nicolo Clemente allowed one run in the ninth en route to the save.
Player of the Night: Luis Alexander Basabe has been on a roll recently as he's now hit safely in seven of his last eight games. The toolsy outfielder had a huge night for the Drive on Saturday, going 3 for 4 with a double, a triple, a walk, and four RBI, three of which came on a bases-clearing triple in the fourth inning. The 19-year-old is performing well in his first year of full-season ball, slashing .256/.327/.458 with eight home runs and 15 stolen bases. Basabe placed ninth on the most recent SoxProspects.com rankings update.
Photo Credit: Luis Alexander Basabe by Kelly O'Connor