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April 17, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Holt begins a rehab assignment, Crawford strikes out eight

4/17 Cup of Coffee: A late Greenville rally was the only thing that saved the system from being swept on Tuesday night, though there were some impressive performances in the losses. Brock Holt made a rehab appearance with the PawSox, Mike Shawaryn and Kutter Crawford (pictured, right) pitched well in losses, and Grant Williams hit a clutch double to lift Greenville. Darwinzon Hernandez struck out the first two batters he faced, but he slowly lost his control as he continues to be stretched out after working as a reliever in spring training.


It was a busy day in Pawtucket, with Brock Holt starting a rehab assignment and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in town with Buffalo. Mike Shawaryn was the tough-luck loser in the first game of the doubleheader, allowing two runs on six hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six. Shawaryn now has 20 strikeouts against only three walks over 17 1/3 innings this season. Josh Taylor followed with a scoreless inning of relief. 

Holt started at shortstop and went 0 for 2 with a walk and two strikeouts. Tzu-Wei Lin had three of Pawtucket's four hits, going 3 for 4 with a double though he was also caught stealing. The other hit was a double from Michael Chavis, and the PawSox only run scored after three walks and a hit batsman. 

The PawSox entered the final inning with a 4-1 lead, but Jenrry Mejia gave up four runs while only recording one out to blow the save. This spoiled an otherwise good pitching performance, with Domingo Tapia tossing three innings of one-hit ball to start, and Trevor Kelley added two scoreless innings. Travis Lakins gave up a run on a double and a single, and Matthew Gorst, who was promoted earlier in the day from Portland, recorded the final two outs. 

Another player who just joined the PawSox on Tuesday was Jake Romanski, who filled the roster void left by Sandy Leon. Romanski wasted no time after being activated for the first time this season, going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Mike Miller launched a two-run home run, his second of the year, and Sam Travis went 1 for 3 with a double. 


It was not a great second start from Darwinzon Hernandez as he suffered his first loss of the season. Hernandez allowed three runs, two earned, over five innings while walking three and striking out five. Two of the three walks came in his last inning of work as he started to lose his control as the game went on. Dominic LoBrutto, who was just promoted from Salem earlier on Tuesday, allowed two runs in his two innings, and Durbin Feltman struck out two without allowing a baserunner. 

The Sea Dogs recorded eight hits but they struggled to string the hits together. Jeremy Rivera went 2 for 2 with a home run, and Josh Tobias went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. 


Another strong pitching performance was wasted, as Salem could not capitalize on Kutter Crawford's 5 2/3 shutout innings. Crawford struck out eight and walked two while allowing only four hits. Crawford's ERA dropped to 1.32 as he looks to improve on his April numbers from last year which saw him pitch to a 2.25 ERA in Greenville. Jake Cosart took the loss after allowing two runs in the top of the ninth. 

It was no surprise that Jarren Duran led the offense, going 2 for 4 to raise his average to .386, and Victor Acosta went 2 for 4 with a double. Jagger Rusconi went 0 for 3 with a walk, but he also stole a base and had an outfield assist. 


A ninth-inning rally saved the day for the Drive as they came back to beat the RiverDogs. Grant Williams was the hero, lacing a two-run double to give the Drive the lead in the top of the ninth. Rio Gomez pitched a scoreless eighth and then a perfect ninth to lock down the victory. Thaddeus Ward got the start and allowed three runs over 4 1/3 innings, and Yorvin Pantoja was electric out of the bullpen, striking out six in 2 2/3 innings. 

The young offense continued to struggle, with Triston Casas going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and Brandon Howlett going 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. Williams and Tyler Esplin were the two players to record multiple hits, and Cole Brannen went 1 for 4 with a walk while stealing his seventh base in as many attempts. 


Player of the Night: Eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 shutout innings has been par for the course for Kutter Crawford early this season as the 23-year-old has come out of the gate hot for the second straight year. Crawford is now up to 20 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings, and the former 16th-round pick continues to outperform his draft slot. 

Photo Credit: Kutter Crawford by Kelly O'Connor