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June 2, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Scherff and Thompson deal, De La Guerra reaches base five times

6/2 Cup of Coffee: William Cuevas, Jake Thompson, and Alex Scherff (pictured) all turned in strong starts, while Chad De La Guerra and Josh Ockimey hit home runs for Portland. C.J. Chatham stayed hot with two more hits for Salem and Trey Ball had another disappointing outing. 


Some shoddy defense doomed the PawSox as three unearned runs were the difference in the game. All three came in to score with William Cuevas on the hill as his record dropped to 2-3. He allowed five hits and a walk with five strikeouts over seven innings while not allowing an earned run for the first time since May 4. Ty Buttrey followed with a scoreless inning as he lowered his ERA to 1.42 over his last 10 appearances. 

The PawSox offense did not get on the board until the ninth when Mike Ohlman launched a solo home run, his fifth in only 24 games this season. Sam Travis was pulled from the game after one at-bat, which was shortly after the Red Sox placed Mookie Betts on the disabled list. Travis has been mired in a deep slump, but he has shown a strong ability to hit left-handed pitching.


Trey Ball allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game, and Adam Lau was burned by the new extra inning rules as he gave up the winning run in the 11th. Kyle Hart got the start and was able to limit the damage to one run over six innings despite allowing three hits and walking six. Portland left 13 men on base as they squandered several big chances. Chad De La Guerra was on base five times, going 2 for 3 with a solo home run and three walks and Josh Ockimey also went deep as part of a 2-for-4 night.


It was easily the best start of the year for Jake Thompson as he lowered his ERA to 4.64 with seven innings of one-run ball. He did not walk a batter and struck out five. After walking over four batters per nine innings in his first seven starts, that number has plummeted to 1.4 batters per nine innings over his last three starts. Brett Netzer and Chris Madera each had three hits and drove in a run, and C.J. Chatham went 2 for 4 with an RBI. 


Another young starter had a breakthrough in the lower minors as Alex Scherff tossed six shutout innings. This was a new season-high in innings pitched for Scherff and it was the second time he did not allow a run. Frankie Rios led the offense going 3 for 4 with two doubles, and Michael Osinski went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs. 


Player of the Night: After a disastrous April that saw him pitch to a 9.35 ERA over 17 1/3 innings, Alex Scherff turned things around with a solid May as his ERA was 3.71 over 17 innings. He took another big step forward on Friday with six shutout innings, walking one while striking out three as he earned his first victory of the season. Scherff received a lot of buzz in spring training, and he is starting to carry that forward to the regular season.

Photo Credit: Alex Scherff by Kelly O'Connor