SoxProspects News

May 9, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Lakins impresses for Portland; Wright rehabs


5/9 Cup of Coffee: Pitching was the story on Tuesday, with two starters and a six-inning reliever all turning in strong outings. Travis Lakins (pictured) turned in another stretch of three scoreless innings against a very-tough lineup in Manchester, while Roniel Raudes was solid once again for Salem. Steven Wright got his first work of 2018, pitching six strong innings out of the bullpen as he tunes up for a return to the major league squad. 

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With his 30-day suspension set to expire next week, Steven Wright made his first rehab appearance for Pawtucket. The knuckleballer may be in a relief role when he rejoins the major league squad, and that was how he was used on Tuesday, entering the start of the third inning. The IronPigs reached Wright for a run in his first inning of work, but he quickly settled in, closing with five consecutive scoreless frames. In all, Wright gave up one run on eight hits in six innings, striking out one without issuing a walk. Marcus Walden got the start and struggled with his control, walking three and allowing three runs in 1 2/3, throwing just 21 of 43 pitches for strikes. Jordan Betts ripped a double for the PawSox only extra base hit, while a single by Rusney Castillo gives him at least one hit in 17 of his last 19 games.

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Travis Lakins excelled against a stiff test Tuesday night, holding a fearsome Fisher Cats lineup scoreless in three innings. Lakins allowed three hits, did not issue a walk, and struck out five of the 12 batters he faced in his start, including top-100 prospect Bo Bichette twice. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall was on hand, and he recorded Lakins as high as 96 with his fastball, mixing in a cutter and curve. Portland's scoring all came when it strung together six singles on its way to a five-run fourth inning outburst. Danny Mars later added the Sea Dogs only extra-base hit of the game with a double in the sixth inning. 

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Roniel Raudes turned in a quality start for Salem, allowing three runs in six innings, striking out five while walking a pair. Raudes also induced seven ground ball outs in his outing. Of the nine hits allowed by the 20-year-old, eight were singles. CJ Chatham made his High A debut at designated hitter after being promoted from Greenville earlier in the day, grounding out in each of his three at-bats. Ryan Scott homered in the eighth inning, his first of 2018 after going deep 14 times last season. 

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Player of the Day: We don't often give Player of the Day honors for a pitcher who goes only three innings, but pitchers don't usually shut down a white-hot Vlad Guerrero Jr. and his All-Star band of legacies. That's what Travis Lakins did, striking out five batters in three shutout innings. In three starts since his return, Lakins has yet to allow an earned run in nine innings, striking out 13 batters while walking only one. 

Photo Credit: Travis Lakins by Kelly O'Connor

 
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