SoxProspects News

June 2, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chavis triples, De La Guerra delivers winning hit in Salem walk-off


6/2 Cup of Coffee: Three of the four affiliated prevailed on Thursday, one in dramatic fashion. Chad De La Guerra (pictured) and Michael Chavis played key roles in Salem's 11-inning victory. Starting pitchers Hector Velazquez and Robby Sexton turned in strong outings for Pawtucket and Greenville, respectively. Portland took the only loss on the day, getting roughed up in the hitter-friendly environs of Reading, Pennsylvania.

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His major league debut in mid-May did not go as Hector Velazquez hoped, but the 28-year-old continues to dominate the International League. Velazquez scattered three hits across six shutout innings, giving him six straight starts where he has allowed two or fewer runs in at least five frames. His ERA now sits at 1.50 through 42 innings. Bryce Brentz continued his recent power surge, blasting a three-run homer for his seventh extra-base hit in his last eight games. Ryan Court added a pair of doubles, and Rusney Castillo added one of his own, his 12th of the season.

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Coming off a very strong month of May in which he posted a 3.00 ERA, Kevin McAvoy got a rough welcome to June. The sinkerballer allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, taking the loss. Danny Mars had a big afternoon out of the leadoff spot, going 4 for 5 with a run scored. In Wednesday's doubleheader, Jeremy Barfield reached base five times and pitched three innings, and he followed that up with a solo homer as part of a 2-for-5 day. Deiner Lopez and Jake DePew joined Barfield by going deep, and top prospect Rafael Devers had a pair of base hits.

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Salem walked off with the win in a thriller, with a Chad De La Guerra double in the bottom of the 11th inning scoring a pair of runs. Frederick had taken an 8-7 lead in the top of the inning before De La Guerra ripped his third hit of the night and 10th double of the season for the comeback win. Michael Chavis was 2 for 5 with a triple and two runs scored, but more importantly he started at third base for consecutive days for the second time this week. After not appearing in two straight games in the field for nearly two months as he recovered from an elbow injury, the 2014 first-round pick has started at the hot corner in five of the last seven days. The bad news was that he committed his ninth error of the season in only 138 innings in the field. Mike Meyers drove in three runs as part of his three-hit night, and Trenton Kemp was 2 for 4 with a double and walk.

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A solo home run off the bat of Tucker Tubbs in the bottom of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be decisive. Tyler Hill also played a leading role, going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Lorenzo Cedrola continues to be a consistent performer for Greenville, extending his hitting streak to 10 games with a fourth-inning single. Starter Robby Sexton allowed two runs in six innings, striking out seven, and Hildemaro Requena followed with three shutout innings to earn the win.

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Player of the Day: Sharing a lineup with Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, and Trenton Kemp has caused an excellent campaign by Chad De La Guerra to fly under the radar. With three hits last night, including a dramatic walk-off double, the Grand Canyon University product is now hitting .309/.389/.481 through 43 games. De La Guerra has also played an important role defensively for Salem. After largely playing second base the last two seasons, he has filled a hole at shortstop for the Sox, getting 35 starts there this year, though he was back at second on Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Chad De La Guerra by Kelly O'Connor

 
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