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May 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Travis homers again, Lakins struggles in Portland debut

5/18 Cup of Coffee: It was a rough night on the mound for the affiliates, with every starter struggling to varying degrees. Pawtucket and Portland had good offensive showings, with Sam Travis (pictured) and Rusney Castillo homering for the PawSox and Josh Tobias driving in three runs for Portland. Michael Chavis stayed hot for Salem, while Roniel Raudes was roughed up again.


The RailRiders rallied for three runs in the eighth to beat the PawSox. A three-run home run by Sam Travis and a two-run home run by Rusney Castillo kept Pawtucket in the game, but the bullpen could not hold the lead. Travis now has two hits in six of his last nine games, and he homered for the second straight night. Castillo went 2 for 5 with a double and his fourth home run of the year, after entering the game in a 3-for-26 slump. 

Shawn Haviland allowed six runs on 11 hits over six innings, and Noe Ramirez allowed a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth that proved to be the difference in the game. Pawtucket had the tying run at third in the top of the ninth, but Travis and Steve Selsky struck out to end it. 


It was another high-scoring affair in Portland, with Travis Lakins having a forgettable Double-A debut. Lakins lasted only 1 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits while walking one. It was the shortest start of his career, and he induced only one swing-and-miss over his 49 pitches. Taylor Grover did not fare any better, allowing eight runs, six earned, while recording only one out. Jake Cosart had his best outing of the season, tossing three hitless innings and walking one while striking out two. Luis Ysla added a scoreless inning, striking out two. 

In what qualifies as an off-night, Rafael Devers only went 1 for 4 with a run scored. The offense was instead led by Josh Tobias and Cole Sturgeon, who each added a double and a single. Tobias drove in three runs while Sturgeon added a walk. 


It was another night at the office for Michael Chavis, who went 2 for 4 with a double, his system-leading 12th of the year. Trenton Kemp added two singles and a stolen base to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. After going 0 for 2 in his first game for Salem, Kemp is now 17 for his last 46 with six walks and nine strikeouts. Roniel Raudes struggled again, surrendering four runs on eight hits over five innings. Batters are hitting .282 against Raudes this season, and his WHIP is 1.51. 


Player of the Night: Sam Travis went deep for the third time in nine games, and he now has an OPS of .902 over his last 70 plate appearances. Travis was on base three times, and he has fully shaken off his slow start to the year. The 23-year-old is currently the 3rd ranked prospect in the system, and he seems to be fully recovered from the ACL tear he suffered one year ago. 

Photo Credit: Sam Travis by Kelly O'Connor