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August 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: E-Rod, Vazquez rehab; Cuevas delivers knockout


8/27 Cup of Coffee: It would've been a perfect day on the farm if not for a loss from Lowell. Fine pitching performances from William Cuevas (pictured), a rehabbing Eduardo Rodriguez, and Enmanuel De Jesus all resulted in wins. CJ Chatham could not be contained at the plate as the shortstop helped Salem steal an extra-inning victory.

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William Cuevas cruised through seven innings of work, matching a career-high with 10 strikeouts to push Pawtucket past Buffalo. The 27-year-old allowed five hits and two earned runs (a two-run blast from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the bottom of the first inning) while issuing just one walk to pick up his 10th win of the season. Travis Lakins picked up his second save with the PawSox with two innings of scoreless relief. International League batting average leader Rusney Castillo continued to pad his lead, going 2 for 5 with two singles and an RBI. Kyle Wren also added two hits.

The win puts Pawtucket 5.5 games back of Indianapolis in the Wild Card race.  

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Christian Vazquez had his first rehab assignment with Portland on Monday, making his way back from finger surgery, and the catcher played five innings behind the plate and went 1 for 2 at the dish with a two-run double and RBI sacrifice fly. Portland jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two frames, giving Eduardo Rodriguez plenty of breathing room. The left-hander, who is working his way back from an ankle injury, went four innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six. Trey Ball picked up the win in relief, although the former first-round pick allowed six hits and three runs in three innings of work.

Jantzen Witte went 4 for 5 with a three-run blast in the second innings, finishing with two runs and four RBI on the evening. The Sea Dogs collected a total of 16 hits.  

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Ryan Scott's RBI sacrifice fly in the top of 10th proved to be the difference as Salem won in extras. CJ Chatham was the real hero at the plate, however, as the 2016 second-round draft pick went 4 for 5 with two runs and a double. It marked the fifth multi-hit contest for Chatham in his last five games. Algenis Martinez wound up with the win, his fourth of the year, thanks to three innings of two-hit, no-run ball. 

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A quick start from the Drive was all Enmanuel De Jesus needed to garner his eighth victory of the year. The 21-year-old southpaw out of Venezuela lasted six frames and allowed two runs on six hits, runs, and one walk while punching out seven. De Jesus' ERA now sits at 3.74 on the season.

Jarren Duran continues to swing a hot bat, following up a 2-for-3 performance on Sunday with a 3-for-5 showing on Monday, which included a triple, run, and two RBI. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick is now hitting .351 across his stints in Lowell and Greenville this year. Garrett Benge also collected three hits.

The Drive now sit two games back of the Lexington Legends in the second half standings of the South Atlantic League Southern Division.

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Devlin Granberg's five-game hit streak came to a halt as the Spinner bats failed to generate many runs, going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Grant Williams picked up three singles and the lone RBI. Jose Gonzalez, a 20-year-old right-hander out of Venezuela, got the start and allowed four hits, three runs and four walks across five innings. It was Gonzalez' third loss of the season with Lowell.
  
The defeat dropped the Spinners three games back of a wildcard spot and was their sixth straight loss. 

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Player of the Night: CJ Chatham collected four hits, but it was William Cuevas who was the real hit of the night. Matching a career-high with 10 strikeouts of Buffalo batters, the 27-year-old from Venezuela outdid a June 24 performance, when he struck out nine in a win over Columbus. Cuevas now has 121 punchouts across 135 1/3 innings pitched this year with Pawtucket.  

Photo Credit: by Kelly O'Connor

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

 
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