Allen Craig

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Portland walks it off again at home on Aneury Tavarez blast

Ken Laird
July 31, 2015 - 5:52 am

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-63): L, 6-1, vs. Norfolk (Orioles) -- The Pawtucket offense had nine hits, eight of them singles, but finished just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and scored just one run. The lone PawSox run came in the ninth inning on an RBI single by right fielder Jonathan Roof, scoring DH Allen Craig. Pawtucket'€™s July record fell to 4-21, with an 0-8-1 record in nine series played during the month. -- Craig finished 1-for-3 with a walk, putting his season-long slash line at .263/.373/.338 with three home runs and eight doubles in 63 games played. After hitting .328 in May, Craig has connected at just a .240 (40-for-167) clip combined in June and July with two homers. The 31-year-old righty bat has particularly struggled against right-handed pitching this year, hitting just .227 on the season compared to .354 against lefties. -- Shortstop Marco Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a double, the lone Pawtucket extra-base hit, to put his average at .298 through 13 games played in Triple-A. It was the third multi-hit game for Hernandez since his promotion from Double-A Portland, where he led the Eastern League with a .326 average. The 22-year-old Dominican was charged with his third Triple-A error as he dropped a throw from pitcher Zeke Spruill at the second base bag after a comebacker in the third. -- Spruill took the loss (4-7, 4.54 ERA) despite allowing just one earned run through six innings of work. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO (96 pitches, 60 strikes). Spruill also hit two batters. The 25-year-old was making his seventh start of the season, after his first 18 came in relief. As a reliever, the 6-foot-5 Spruill had a 4.21 ERA in 36 1/3 innings pitched. As a starter, he is now 0-5 with a 4.88 ERA. Boston acquired Spruill in a December 2014 trade from Arizona; the Red Sox designated him for assignment and off their 40-man roster on July 3. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (40-66): W, 5-4, vs. Harrisburg (Nationals) -- Right fielder Aneury Tavarez led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run to give Portland its eighth walkoff win of the season and fifth this month at Hadlock Field. Tavarez fouled off an attempted bunt on the first pitch of his winning at-bat, then fouled off two two-strike pitches before launching one over the right-center wall for his fourth homer of the season. The 23-year-old Tavarez was on the temporary inactive list from July 8 through July 21 for the Pan-Am Games, and since his return has delivered three homers, a triple, a double and six runs scored in eight games played. The 5-foot-9 Dominican native was signed by Boston for $80,000 during the 2010 international signing period. -- Left fielder Keury De La Cruz went 3-for-4 with a double and a bases-loaded RBI single in the sixth that tied the game at 3. De La Cruz also scored a run in the second on a wild pitch. The 23-year-old Dominican has a four-game hit streak, going 7-for-16 over that span. On the season, however, De La Cruz is slashing just .219/.268/.333 through 87 games after hitting .295 last year in 70 games with Portland. De La Cruz was signed by Boston in 2009 as an international free agent. -- First baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at went 2-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to seven games and raise his average to .312 through 33 games in Double-A. The 21-year-old Travis has reached safely in 23 of his last 27 contests and is hitting .356 (37-for-104) over that span with 16 RBIs. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis was a first-half Carolina League All-Star with High-A Salem this year, hitting .313 through 66 games. -- Thursday'€™s game was delayed by rain for an hour and 38 minutes, causing starter William Cuevas to be replaced by reliever Heri Quevedo after getting in just two innings of work before the delay. Cuevas allowed three earned runs on five hits. Quevedo pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out one and walking two. -- RHP Madison Younginer pitched the final three innings and earned the win (5-4, 2.91 ERA), allowing a run in the seventh that tied the game at 4 but recovering to retire the side in order in the eighth and ninth. The 6-foot-4 Younginer has allowed just the one earned run over his last three appearances, a total of eight innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Younginer was selected by Boston in the seventh round of the 2009 draft out of high school in South Carolina. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (51-54): L, 6-5, at Lynchburg (Indians) -- RHP Aaron Wilkerson struggled with his command in a no-decision start, with a final line of: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO. Wilkerson, 26, walked the leadoff batter in three of his four innings, escaping a jam in the third after two free passes by picking off the lead runner between second and third. The 6-foot-3 Wilkerson is 7-2 with a 2.96 ERA this season over 17 appearances with Salem, 12 of those starts. He has struck out 85 in 79 innings, with 21 walks. -- Right fielder Cole Sturgeon went 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. It was Sturgeon'€™s first multi-hit game since being demoted from Double-A Portland on July 22. Sturgeon scored in the fourth after a leadoff walk, a steal, and a sacrifice fly from shortstop Mauricio Dubon. Sturgeon was also brought home in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Yolian Cerse, with Cerse driving him home again in the eighth to tie the game at 5. Selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of Louisville, Sturgeon is slashing .241/.286/.330 in 54 games this year with Salem, with 30 games in Portland producing a .213 average. -- Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 27 prospect at went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. DH Kevin Heller drove Dubon home twice, on a single and a fielder'€™s choice, finishing 1-for-3 to go with two walks and his 10th stolen base of the year. Heller has reached safely in eight straight games and is slashing .311/.433/.444 through 60 games with Salem. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (52-51): L, 8-4, vs. Lexington (Royals) -- RHP Ben Taylor impressed with his first professional quality start, compiling a final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (70 pitches, 54 strikes). Taylor retired the first 11 batters he faced, allowing lone singles in the fourth and fifth before surrendering his lone mark in the sixth on an RBI double. Selected by Boston in the seventh round of this year'€™s draft out of South Alabama University, Taylor earned a quick promotion from Lowell to Greenville and in three starts with the Drive has struck out 10 in 13 innings, allowing four earned runs and four walks. -- DH Michael Chavis (Boston'€™s No. 8 prospect at went 3-for-4 with a homer and two doubles while driving in three runs. A Chavis double in the sixth brought home second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at and center fielder Joseph Monge to gave Greenville a 2-1 lead. Then in the eighth, Chavis launched a leadoff blast, coming on a 1-1 offspeed pitch, over Fluor Field'€™s Green Monster in left to put the Drive within a run at 5-4. It was the 10th home run of the season for Chavis, selected by Boston with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 draft. It was also the fourth home run in July for Chavis, who is hitting .221 on the season with 30 of his 69 hits going for extra bases. -- Monge reached base twice, with an RBI double and a walk, to bring his July slash line to .295/.333/.397. For the season Monge is hitting .234 with Greenville through 79 games played. -- Moncada finished 1-for-4 with the run and his 22nd stolen base of the season, and he has reached safely in 14 straight games. Moncada is slashing .326/.425/.543 in July with four homers, six doubles, 23 runs and 13 RBIs. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (20-19): W, 5-2, at Williamsport (Phillies) -- RHP Jake Cosart (Boston'€™s No. 21 prospect at had his best start of the season and first quality start as a professional, with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO (67 pitches, 49 strikes). Cosart retired the side in order in the first, second and fifth innings, allowing a single run in the third and sixth frames. Selected by Boston in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Seminole State Junior College, Cosart is 2-2 with a 5.62 ERA over eight starts this season after starting seven game in 2014 in the Gulf Coast League. -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi went 1-for-2 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored before being removed from the game in the sixth inning. A sacrifice fly by Tate Matheny brought home Benintendi in the first after his one-out triple, and a Kyri Washington sacrifice fly scored Benintendi in the sixth to give Lowell a 3-1 lead. Benintendi, selected seventh overall by Boston in this year'€™s draft out of the University of Arkansas, has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games with a season-long slash line of .229/.396/.471 through 21 games as a professional. -- Second baseman Chad De La Guerra was the lone Lowell batter to have two hits, going 2-for-4 to raise his average to .282 through 27 games played this year. De La Guerra, 22, has hit safely in 21 games with 12 extra-base hits. Selected by Boston in the 17th round of this year'€™s draft out of Grand Canyon University, the left-handed-batting De La Guerra is hitting .289 against right-handed pitching. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (20-10): L, 5-4 in 11 innings, at GCL Orioles -- Right fielder Tyler Hill went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth, but the GCL Red Sox couldn'€™t hold the lead and lost in extra innings. Hill, who also reached on a hit-by-pitch, had an RBI single in the third to tie the game at 1. Hill, 19, is 6-for-17 over his last six games with seven walks to raise his on-base percentage to .370 through 20 games this season. Hill was selected by Boston in the 19th round of the 2014 draft out Delaware Military Academy. -- DH Raiwinson Lameda had the lone extra-base hit for the GCL Sox, a triple in the eighth that would later produce a run on a wild pitch. Lameda, getting his first action since July 4, also walked in the 10th inning but was stranded at third base as first baseman Jerry Downs grounded out with the bases loaded. Lameda, 19, is hitting .375 over 10 games this year in the Gulf Coast League. He was signed by Boston out of Venezuela during the 2011 international signing period. -- Downs was 0-for-2 but walked three times, as did third baseman Rafael Oliveras. -- LHP Logan Allen, selected by Boston in the eighth round of this year'€™s draft, made his second professional appearance and pitched two innings, allowing a run in the second on a single, stolen base, Downs'€™ throwing error and RBI groundout. Allen, 18, was drafted out of high school in Bradenton, Florida, and was signed away from a commitment to the University of South Carolina with a $725,000 bonus.