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July 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Cuevas calm, cool and collected; Diaz dialed in

7/15 Cup of Coffee: Dominant starting pitching from Pawtucket and Greenville led to victories while 13-hit performances from Portland and Lowell also resulted in wins on the farm. The lone loss came in a shellacking of Salem. William Cuevas (Pawtucket) and Jhonathan Diaz (Greenville) breezed to wins on the hill while Jordan Betts (Portland) and Xavier LeGrant (Lowell) powered their teams to wins. Oh, and Brandon Phillips picked up a hit in his debut with the PawSox.


A brilliant pitching performance by William Cuevas led the way for a dominant PawSox shutout. Cuevas pitched seven innings, allowing two hits while striking out six. The victory was his sixth of the season, as the right-hander allowed a total of three base runners. His near namesake Williams Jerez played the role of copycat, allowing just one hit in two innings of relief, striking out three.  

A bloop single from Oscar Hernandez just inside the right field foul line plated three runs in a four-run first inning for Pawtucket, providing all the run support Cuevas and Jerez would need. Brandon Phillips, in his first game with the PawSox, went 1 for 3 with a single, run and walk.


A 13-hit barrage from the Sea Dogs was just enough to hold off a ninth-inning comeback bid from the Fisher Cats. Jordan Betts collected a team-high three hits while Danny Mars (2 for 4, 3 RBI), Tate Matheny (2 for 4, RBI) and Austin Rei (2 for 4, run) all put together multi-hit performances for Portland.

In a bullpen game started by Daniel McGrath, the Sea Dogs took an all-hands-on-deck approach, with five pitchers getting action and not one hurler recording more than nine outs. Matthew Gorst picked up the win with three innings of relief, allowing one hit and two walks, while striking out two. In six appearances with the Sea Dogs, since a call-up from Salem, Gorst hasn't allowed a single earned run in 12 innings of work. Portland had previously announced that last night's starter would be  Mike Shawaryn, but he was scratched, getting the periodic extra rest that the Red Sox give their starters over the course of the season. Shawaryn is currently ranked seventh in the SoxProspects.com rankings.


A day after blowing out Wilmington and holding the Blue Rocks to just one run, Salem got rocked to the tune of a 15-run loss. Daniel Gonzalez didn't record an out in his start, allowing six hits, six runs (all earned) and one walk. His ERA rose 71 points to 4.14 as the 22-year-old right-hander took the loss.

A Bobby Dalbec solo home run in the top of the fourth was the lone moment of solace for Salem. It marked his 22nd homer of the season, as his batting average continues on an upward trajectory after the two-hit night, now standing at .260. Dalbec also struck out twice, giving him seven in his last three games.


A night after sweeping a doubleheader against the Rome Braves, the Drive kept their foot on the pedal against the Legends on Saturday, with Jhonathan Diaz cruising through seven innings and picking up the win for Greenville. Diaz gave up four hits and issued one walk while striking out five. The win was his sixth of the season to get him over .500 (6-5) while lowering his ERA to 3.43. Juan Florentino and Durbin Feltman each pitched a hitless, scoreless inning of relief, with the latter picking up his second save of the season by striking out the side, all swinging, working around a batter reaching on an error.

Pedro Castellanos (3 for 4, RBI, run) and Garrett Benge (2 for 4, run) provided the pop for the Drive. 


Lowell Spinners 8, Batavia Muckdogs (MIA) 4
Lowell's bats came alive in the middle innings, plating all eight runs from innings three to seven to win by a score of 8-4 for a second straight night. The Spinners finished with 13 hits, with Xavier LeGrant, Tyler Dearden, and Trey Ganns all collecting two or more, the former picking up two doubles and two RBI.

Yorvin Pantoja wasn't perfect, but navigated 5 2/3 innings of work and allowed just three earned runs despite allowing nine baserunners (8 hits, 1 walk). Pantoja struck out five and picked up his second win of the year.


GCL Red Sox 1, GCL Twins 0
A one-out RBI double to left field from Ivan Houellemont scored Brandon Howlett for the eventual game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning. The Red Sox pitching was superb, as five pitchers combined for nine innings of three-hit, shutout ball. Jose Gonzalez, who pitched three innings of relief, got the win while Andres Jimenez picked up the save.    


Player of the Day: Where there's a will, there's a way, and on the mound at McCoy Stadium on Saturday, there were two Will's in the way of the Chiefs in a dominating combined shutout from William Cuevas and Williams Jerez for Pawtucket. Yet, it was Cuevas who was lights out, keeping the Syracuse lineup off-balance, mixing in 57 of his 95 pitches for strikes and getting six of his 21 outs via punchout. It marked his first victory with the PawSox since June 22, after the right-hander has been buoyed around from Pawtucket to Boston over the past few weeks. 

Photo Credit: William Cuevas by Kelly O'Connor

Tommy Cassell is a Contributing Editor for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tommycassell44