Allen Craig

Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: Sam Travis homers to lead Portland; Michael Chavis hits 2 homers for Greenville

Ken Laird
August 16, 2015 - 8:52 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-75): W, 5-2, and L, 6-5, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies) -- In Game 1 of a doubleheader, the makeup of a game postponed by rain on July 9, starter Rich Hill pitched 6 1/3 shutout-innings in his Pawtucket debut, two days after he was signed out of the Independent Atlantic League. Hill'€™s final line read: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO (91 pitches, 62 strikes). The 6-foot-5, 35-year-old lefty was released by the Washington Nationals this year on June 24 after making 25 appearances in Triple-A out of the bullpen, where he had a 2.91 ERA over 21 2/3 innings, with 32 strikeouts and 21 walks. In 2014, Hill made 16 major league relief appearances split between the Anaheim Angels and the New York Yankees. -- Center fielder Quintin Berry homered in the first inning, his third long-ball in his last five games, to give Pawtucket a 1-0 lead. The PawSox added a run in the fifth on an RBI-single from first baseman Matt Spring, and three more runs in the eighth on an RBI double from third baseman Carlos Rivero and a two-RBI single from right fielder Allen Craig. -- In Game 2 of the doubleheader, Pawtucket'€™s attempted rally from a 6-1 deficit fell short after a four-run ninth inning, with Rivero striking out to end the game with two runners aboard in his second at-bat in the frame. -- Shortstop Marco Hernandez (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) tripled home two runs in the ninth and came home to score on a sacrifice fly from right fielder Jonathan Roof. Left fielder Chris Marrero, just signed by Boston to a minor league contract, went 2-for-4 in his Pawtucket debut and chipped in with a ninth inning RBI-single. -- Marrero, 27 and the older brother of Pawtucket'€™s Deven Marrero (Boston'€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com), played in 39 games this year for the Chicago White Sox'€™ Triple-A affiliate and slashed .278/.347/.444 with four homers, a triple, and eight doubles over 39 games. A 6-foot-3 righty bat, Chris Marrero was a first round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in 2006 and spent eight seasons in their organization including 39 games in the majors. -- Allen Craig, playing first base, went 3-for-4 in the nightcap with a first inning RBI double and a run scored. All told on the day, Craig went 4-for-8 with three RBIs, raising his slash line to .271/.372/.340 through 79 games this year with Pawtucket. In August, the 29-year-old is hitting .296 (16-for-54) with three doubles. -- With RHP Shawn Haviland being placed on paternity leave, RHP Mike McCarthy was promoted from Double-A Portland and got tagged for six earned runs over six innings on eight hits, two of them home runs, and three walks to go with three strikeouts. The 27-year-old McCarthy went 6-6 this year with a 3.52 ERA in Double-A with 14 starts and 25 appearances, with 49 strikeouts and 34 walks over 99 2/3 innings. -- Catcher Humberto Quintero left the game in the second inning after colliding with a Lehigh Valley player at second base. -- Garin Cecchini (Boston'€™s No. 14 prospect at MLB.com) was promoted to the majors as RHP Steven Wright was placed on the 7-day concussion DL. The 24-year-old Cecchini slashed .293/.366/.354 in July and hit four doubles over 14 games in August, but was on a 3-for-29 mini-slump at the time of his call-up. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (43-76): W, 6-4, vs. Akron (Indians) -- First baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI double, with two runs scored. The 21-year-old Travis hit a towering blast on a 2-0 pitch over the "Maine Monster"€™ in left field to lead off the fourth inning for his third Double-A homer. Then, in the sixth, Travis broke a 2-2 tie with an opposite-field drive on a 3-2 pitch that one-hopped the wall to bring home shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin. "€œI'€™m just going up there, swinging at strikes, waiting for something you can hit hard, not being too aggressive," Travis told the Portland Press Herald. "As you move up, guys are better, obviously, more experienced, and you just have to learn something new every day. It'€™s worked out." Selected by Boston in the second-round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis is now slashing .301/.372/.426 over 47 games with Portland, with hits in 18 of his last 21 contests. The 6-foot righty bat has reached safely in 44 of his 47 starts with the Sea Dogs, after a first half with High-A Salem where he slashed .313/.378/.467 with five homers, four triples, and 15 doubles in 66 games. -- Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) also homered, his second in as many days, a drive estimated at 415 feet in the fourth inning to extend Portland'€™s lead to 4-2 as he pulled one over the right-center field fence. The 23-year-old Asuaje drove in two more in the seventh with a two-out single to right to extend Portland'€™s lead to 6-2, scoring Lin and Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com). Selected in the 11th round of the 2013 draft, Asuaje is now slashing .255/.346/.377 with six home runs, six triples, and 21 doubles over 111 games this year with Portland. -- Margot was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base, his 14th, but his most memorable play was a catch made crashing against the wall in center after a long run that he secured as he fell to the ground. On the play, Akron scored a run from second base as the runner tagged-up and advanced two bases, while Margot was slow to get up from the collision. The 20-year-old stayed in the game. -- RHP Madison Younginer picked up the win (7-4, 2.84 ERA) in relief of starter Luis Diaz (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO) as Younginer pitched 2 2/3 innings with just one hit allowed with two walks and four strikeouts. The 24-year-old stranded two in scoring position in the seventh after a walk and a double, getting two ground outs to end the frame. Younginer was pulled in the eighth after a two-out walk. Selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, the 6-foot-4 Younginer has struck out 48 and walked 22 this year over 66 2/3 innings of work, all in relief. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (55-63): L, 7-3, vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox) -- LHP Trey Ball (Boston'€™s No. 13 prospect at MLB.com) took the loss (8-11, 4.32 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. Ball, 21, allowed three straight singles to start the game and two runs would score in the frame after a sacrifice fly and another single. After a scoreless second, Ball allowed two more runs in the third as he walked the leadoff man and balked him to second, with two singles and a wild pitch to follow in the inning. A final unearned run finished Ball'€™s line in the fifth, as the leadoff batter reached via a fielding error charged to first baseman Jordan Betts. Selected by Boston in the first-round of the 2013 draft (seventh overall) out of high school in Indiana, Ball has made 22 starts with Salem in 2015 and has pitched 116 2/3 innings with 67 strikeouts and 53 walks. Ball has lost each of his last three starts, with 14 earned runs allowed over 14 1/3 innings as his ERA has climbed from 3.69 to 4.32. -- RHP Kyle Kraus relieved Ball and pitched three innings of relief, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. RHP Taylor Grover pitched a scoreless ninth with a walk and a strikeout. -- Trailing 7-0 and being no-hit through five innings, the Salem offense rallied for three runs in the sixth inning with doubles from Betts, third baseman Deiner Lopez, and second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com), plus a single from DH Cole Sturgeon and an RBI groundout from right fielder Kevin Heller. Betts finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, while shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) reached base twice with a single and a walk. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (59-58): W, 8-5, vs. Charleston (Yankees) -- DH Michael Chavis (Boston'€™s No. 11 prospect at MLB.com) hit two homers, his 13th and 14th of the season, as he went 2-for-4 with three RBIs from the two-hole in the lineup. Chavis'€™ first blast came on an 0-1 breaking ball and was pulled over the Fluor Field '€˜Monster'€™ in left field to give Greenville a 2-1 lead. Then, in the eighth, the 20-year-old Chavis tied the game at 5-5 with an opposite field drive over the right field fence to start a five-run inning. Selected by Boston in the first-round of the 2014 draft (26th overall) out of high school in Georgia, Chavis has his four homers this month and is slashing .280/.345/.560 over his last 12 games to raise his season-long line to .230/.284/.404 over 92 games. -- After the Chavis home run in the eighth, Rafael Devers (Boston'€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) followed with a double, first baseman Nick Longhi (Boston'€™s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) with a single, and shortstop Javier Guerra (Boston'€™s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) drove in the eventual game-deciding run with an RBI-single that scored Devers. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) got Greenville on the board in the first with a leadoff walk and subsequent steals of second and third base (his 34th and 35th swipes of the year), scoring on a throwing error by the Charleston catcher. The 20-year-old Moncada led off the eighth with a single and would score on the Chavis'€™ dinger. On the season through 64 games, Moncada is now slashing .286/.379/.444 with six homers, two triples, and 16 doubles with 31 RBI and 48 runs scored. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (29-25): Suspended due to rain in 4th inning, 4-0 lead, vs. Tri-City (Astros) -- Rehabbing major leaguer Rick Porcello pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings before lightning and rain suspended play. Porcello, 26, allowed three singles and a walk, inducing two double plays and striking out one after 36 total pitches, 26 of which went for strikes. Porcello was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 2 with a right triceps strain, with has last start for Boston taking place on July 29 and lasting just two innings with five earned runs allowed on 10 hits. "I was trying to work on my sinker down in the zone, maintain that same arm slot and be consistent with it," Porcello said to WEEI.com'€™s Rob Bradford. "€œIt felt good. Hits, or swings, or outs, it'€™s hard to gauge off of that what your ball'€™s doing, but I could tell I had good sink and most importantly I was locating. I felt strong. I felt like I could continue to pitch and maintain my pitch count, my velocity and strength. We'€™ll see what they say and how everything responds tomorrow and the next day" -- The Lowell offense scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning on a sacrifice fly from third baseman Victor Acosta, an RBI single from first baseman Josh Ockimey, and two more runs via Tri-City errors. Ockimey, 19, was 2-for-2 with a run scored to raise his slash line to .262/.353/.408 through 38 games with two homers, three triples, and seven doubles. -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-2 with a double, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Selected by Boston in the first round (seventh overall) of this year'€™s draft out of the University of Arkansas, the 21-year-old is hitting .438 (14-for-32) over that nine game span with three homers, a triple, and a double. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (33-15): W, 3-0, vs. GCL Twins -- The GCL Red Sox got a combined shutout from LHP Logan Allen and LHP Emmanuel De Jesus. Allen, 18, started and pitched three innings with two hits allowed and five strikeouts to go with no walks and one wild pitch. Selected by Boston in the eighth round of this year'€™s draft out of high school in Florida, Allen has allowed just one earned run over five starts and 12 total innings with 14 strikeouts and just one walk. De Jesus, 18, pitched six innings of relief with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts to go with no walks. The 6-foot-3 De Jesus retired the final 13 batters of the game in order, earning the victory and improving to 5-2 with a 1.88 ERA over nine games. In 38 1/3 innings, De Jesus has struck out 24 with eight walks. -- DH Jerry Downs drove in two runs and went 2-for-3 with a run scored to improve his slash line to .273/.414/.404 through 33 games this season. Selected by Boston in the 15th round of this year'€™s draft out of St. Thomas University, Downs has three multi-hit games over his last five games with five RBIs and three runs scored. -- Center fielder Yoan Aybar went 1-for-3 with a triple. Third baseman Roldani Baldwin went 1-for-2 with a walk and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. For more, check out the latest WEEI Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.