SoxProspects News

June 24, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis homers on first pitch with Sea Dogs


6/24 Cup of Coffee: Portland has quickly become the affiliate to see, as 2017 breakout performer Michael Chavis has joined top prospect Rafael Devers (both pictured) in the heart of the Sea Dogs lineup. Chavis made a quick acquaintance with the Hadlock Field faithful as Portland rolled to a 9-2 win. Lowell also registered a convincing win, while the PawSox slide continued. Salem and Greenville both fell in tough one-run losses.

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The PawSox have found themselves in a brutal slump. They have lost eight in a row, and have dropped the first two games to rival Scranton by a score of 20-3. Henry Owens struggled, walking eight batters and giving up three hits in four innings, surrendering four runs. Control continues to be a major issue for Owens, who now has 60 walks in 69 innings on the year. Austin Maddox also was roughed up in his return from a brief stint with the major league club. Maddox gave up four runs on four hits in 1 2/3, leading to an ERA jump from 1.32 to 3.52. Brian Bogusevic picked up two hits while getting the start in center in place of Rusney Castillo, who was placed on the DL with a groin injury.

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After setting the Salem Red Sox season franchise record for home runs by the All-Star break, Michael Chavis went deep on his very first pitch after his promotion to Double-A Portland. It was the 18th home run of the season for the 2014 first-round pick. Chavis also singled and walked on a night where he started at designated hitter and hit in the fifth spot in the lineup. Chavis wasn't the only player making his Portland debut, Tuesday, as Chad De La Guerra went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Tzu-Wei Lin tripled and homered following a 5-for-5 day on Wednesday. Kevin McAvoy took care of things on the mound, giving up only two unearned runs in six innings, striking out six against three walks.

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There was no epic nine-run eighth-inning comeback to be had for Salem. Bryan Hudson was the offensive bright spot, turning in his second straight three-hit game. A .227 hitter in the first half, Hudson has raised that mark 23 points in two days. Opposing pitchers wanted no part of Josh Ockimey, who walked four times in five plate appearances. Dedgar Jimenez had a strange-but-effective start, getting a no decision. The burly southpaw gave up 11 hits in six innings, but only surrendered one run. Jimenez struck out five and didn't walk a batter. Gerson Bautista gave up a pair of runs in the seventh that tied up the contest at three, and Adam Lau took the loss, giving up a run in two innings of work.

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The first-half Southern Division champs fell to 0-2 since the break with their second straight one-run loss. The defeat came despite a very strong effort from starter Kyle Hart. The left-hander scattered four hits over six shutout innings, striking out three and without issuing a walk. Harrison Cooney had a rough introduction to Greenville, giving up four runs in two innings to take the loss. All-Star representatives Lorenzo Cedrola and Roldani Baldwin both had three-hit nights, with Baldwin registering his 17th double. Santiago Espinal blasted his second home run of the year, a two-run shot in the seventh.

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The Spinners took advantage of some Tri-City wildness, walking eight times and getting hit by three pitches, while cruising to victory. Yoan Aybar doubled twice and is 7 for 17 with Lowell after going just 16 for 100 during a stretch with Greenville. A pair of 2017 draftees made their professional debuts, with Garrett Benge (13th round) getting the start at third base and Frankie Rios (17th) at shortstop. It was a particularly strong introduction for Benge, who doubled, walked, and was hit by a pitch. Starter Nick Duron allowed two runs on three hits in 3 2/3. Ben Taylor threw a scoreless inning as part of his rehab, and Denyi Reyes struck out four in three innings of one-hit shutout relief.

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The DSL squad crept within a game of .500 after winning for the fourth time in their last five. Eduard Conde delivered the most devastating blow, a three-run shot in the fifth inning. Raynel Moreno gave up just one unearned run on three hits in five innings to get the win, with Geraldo Perez and Jose Zacarias combining for four shutout frames from the bullpen.

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Player of the Day: On the night when the Red Sox honored one of the greatest designated hitters to ever play the game, it is fitting that a DH is recognized here. Michael Chavis has a long way to go to match David Ortiz, but his 2017 power production has been Papi-esque. The 21-year-old has been mostly a third baseman this season, but is likely to see a good share of time at DH at Portland, at least until Rafael Devers sees his seemingly inevitable promotion to Pawtucket. After setting Salem's franchise record for home runs in about 10 weeks, Chavis celebrated his promotion to Double-A by blasting the first pitch he saw in Double-A over 400 feet.

Photo Credit: Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers by Kelly O'Connor

 
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