Aneury Tavarez

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: 'A young K-Rod' leads Red Sox to GCL championship; Sam Travis reaches base 5 times

Ken Laird
September 03, 2015 - 4:42 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (56-83): W, 6-5, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies) -- Right fielder Aneury Tavarez, playing in just his second game in Triple-A since his Sept. 1 promotion, ended the game with a leaping catch at the wall in the top of the ninth inning to preserve the one-run victory. With a runner aboard and moving on contact as the ball was lofted to right, the 23-year-old Tavarez retreated a few steps and as he reached the warning track jumped and made a backhanded catch. At the plate, Tavarez had a hit for the second straight game and in his fifth overall, driving in center fielder Jonathan Roof to tie the game at one in the second inning. Signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic during the 2010 international signing period, the 5-foot-9 Tavarez slashed .226/.261/.355 over 67 games with Portland this year before his promotion with five homers and 13 doubles, while leading the Sea Dogs in outfield assists with seven. -- Third baseman Carlos Rivero gave Pawtucket the 6-5 lead with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning. After two outs, catcher Luis Martinez walked, shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston'€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com) singled and second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) also walked before Rivero'€™s free pass. Rivero was 1-for-3 with two free passes and two RBIs on the night, as he also drove in a run on an RBI single in the fifth inning. -- Every member of the PawSox lineup had a hit. Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run from the leadoff spot, while Chris Marrero finished 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored for his third straight multi-hit game. Roof finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. -- RHP William Cuevas, 24, had a quality start with a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (96 pitches, 68 strikes). The 6-foot hurler is now 2-2 with a 2.83 ERA over six starts with the PawSox, including 34 strikeouts and 13 walks over 35 innings. Cuevas has pitched at least five innings and allowed two runs or fewer in all six of his Pawtucket starts. Starting the year in Double-A, Cuevas went 8-5 with a 3.40 ERA over 19 starts with Portland, earning an Eastern League All-Star selection. -- RHP Jorge Marban earned the win (3-0, 0.69 ERA) with 1 2/3 innings of relief, recording the final two outs of the eighth inning and allowing a lone single in the ninth. Marban, 26, struck out two and now through six outings in Triple-A has 13 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched. The 6-foot-1 Marban has allowed just six hits and one earned run in those 13 innings with four walks. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (51-86): W, 4-3 in 10 innings, at New Hampshire (Blue Jays) -- First baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) reached base in all five of his plate appearances and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning, a single to center on an 0-1 pitch that brought home center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com). Travis, 22, singled home Margot in the first inning as well, in addition to walks in the third and sixth frames and a single and stolen base in the eighth. Selected by Boston in the second-round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis has reached safely in 58 of his 63 starts in Double-A this year, with a slash line of .298/.373/.429 over that span. It was the third multi-hit game in the past four for Travis, who leads all Red Sox minor leaguer's with 77 RBIs this year combined between Portland and High-A Salem -- Margot, 20, went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, scoring two runs and adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh that gave Portland a 3-1 lead. Margot has hit safely in 42 of his 59 starts with the Sea Dogs, and is slashing .245/.302/.359 with one homer, three triples, 18 doubles, 23 RBIs and 34 runs scored over that span. -- Left fielder Keury De La Cruz, 23, went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the seventh to give Portland a 2-1 lead, the team-leading ninth homer of the year for De La Cruz. Over his last 25 games, De La Cruz is batting .333 (29-for-87) with four homers, a triple, four doubles, and 11 RBIs. Beginning last season on the disabled list with a broken wrist that cost him two months of action, De La Cruz slashed .295/.327/.434 last year over 70 games with Portland and has now added 108 games of action this year with a 2015 line of .234/.279/.373. -- RHP Aaron Wilkerson allowed just one earned run over five innings, taking a no-decision with a final line of: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (89 pitches, 55 strikes). The 26-year-old Wilkerson stranded the three runners in the first with a strikeout, then allowing his lone run in the second inning after a leadoff walk and a pair of singles. After a leadoff single in the third, Wilkerson struck out the side and would allow just one walk the rest of the way, retiring eight of his final nine batters he faced. In six starts with Portland since his promotion, Wilkerson is 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA as he'€™s struck out 31 over 34 2/3 innings with 11 walks. Signed in 2014 while playing Independent ball, Wilkerson is a combined 10-3 this year with a 3.17 ERA over 28 outings combined with Portland, High-A Salem, and Single-A Greenville with 133 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings. -- RHP Kyle Martin, 24, picked up the win (2-0, 3.95 ERA) in relief with 1 2/3 innings allowing two hits and two walks but no runs. After RHP Kyle Kaminska allowed a game-tying two run homer in the bottom of the ninth, Martin relieved and recorded the final two outs of the frame. Then, in the bottom of the 10th with a one-run lead, the 6-foot-7 Martin allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases before getting a weak comebacker to the mound to end the game. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (62-72): W, 7-2, at Lynchburg (Indians) -- RHP Kevin McAvoy won his sixth consecutive start (11-9, 3.90 ERA) with a final line of: 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. With 11 wins, McAvoy is one off the pace for the Carolina League lead in victories. The 22-year-old McAvoy allowed a solo homer in the second inning, just his fifth long ball allowed this year and first in seven starts, before allowing a run in the sixth after a two-out walk and back-to-back hits. Selected by Boston in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft, McAvoy has allowed just 10 earned runs in his last six starts over 42 2/3 innings (2.10 ERA) with 26 strikeouts and 18 walks. -- The top four batters in the Salem lineup combined for nine hits, five runs, and four RBIs as Salem scored runs in four consecutive innings from the fourth through the seventh frames. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs for his second straight multi-hit game, to go with his tenth stolen base of the year. Dubon, 21, is slashing .270/.336/.320 over 58 games in High-A with 18 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, run, and two RBIs. Rijo'€™s two-bagger in the fourth scored Dubon and tied the game 1-1 and was Rijo'€™s 26th double on the season. Through 103 games with Salem, the 19-year-old Rijo is slashing .253/.317/.362 with 40 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Rijo has also now gone 27 games (since July 28) without committing an error in the field, and has just two miscues in 55 second-half games played. Center fielder Kevin Heller went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI, and run scored. The 25-year-old Heller is slashing .294/.407/.433 over 88 games with Salem this season. Heller has seven homers, 16 doubles, two triples, 50 RBIs and 39 runs scored in High-A this year. Still shy of enough plate appearances to qualify for Carolina League leaders, Heller'€™s average and on-base percentage would be second best in the circuit. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (69-66): L, 6-2, at Rome (Braves) -- Greenville dropped their final road game of the regular season and fell 1/2 game back of Asheville in a battle for a wild card berth in the South Atlantic League playoffs. The Drive return home for a season ending five-game homestand as they host divison-leading Savannah beginning on Thursday. -- First baseman Nick Longhi (Boston'€™s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, coming home with left fielder Danny Mars on two-RBI single from catcher J.T. Watkins in the second inning to tie the game 2-2. Longhi, 20, also committed his eighth error of the year in the field as he was unable to backhand a grounder up the line to start the seventh inning, leading to a two-run Rome inning and two eventual unearned runs charged to RHP Edward Garcia. Longhi has hits in four straight games and is slashing .281/.340/.404 over 111 games this season with Greenville. Selected by Boston in the 30th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Florida, Longhi now has 26 doubles on the year to go with seven homers, three triples, 60 RBIs and 50 runs scored. -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-3 with a double, also reaching on a hit-by-pitch, as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. His double came to leadoff the eighth inning, an opposite-field gap shot that came on a 1-2 pitch. Benintendi, 21, is slashing .321/.409/.518 through 14 games with Greenville, with three homers, two doubles, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored; Benintendi has hits in 12 of his 14 games played with the Drive. -- LHP Jalen Beeks started but lasted just two innings, taking the loss (9-6, 4.35 ERA) with a final line of: 2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO (53 pitches, 32 strikes). Beeks, 22, allowed four hits in the first and four in the second, with two runs allowed in each, as Rome took a 4-2 lead after two. Selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas, the 5-foot-11 Beeks has allowed 13 earned runs over his last three starts, a total of 12 innings pitched, with 20 hits against over that span. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Watkins and right fielder Joseph Monge each went 2-for-4. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (36-35): W, 10-7, at Aberdeen (Orioles) -- Lowell won to remain two games back along with three teams to leap in a chase for a wild card playoff berth, as West Virginia (38-33) won in 11 innings in separate New York-Penn League action while Hudson Valley (37-34) split games of a doubleheader and State College (37-34) lost. -- Left fielder Kyri Washington went 2-for-4 for his third straight multi-hit game with a walk, double, RBI, and three runs scored. The 21-year-old Washington walked and scored in the first as part of a two-RBI single from center fielder Tate Matheny and then doubled home a run in the third, later scoring on an RBI hit by catcher Jhon Nunez; and singled to leadoff the fifth as he came around to score on a Nunez sacrifice fly. Selected by Boston in the 23rd round of this year'€™s draft out of Longwood University, Washington is slashing .276/.345/.408 through 23 games this season with 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored with Lowell. Washington has reached safely in eight straight games. -- Third baseman Victor Acosta went 2-for-4 with a walk, double, two RBIs, two runs scored, and a stolen base. The 19-year-old Acosta singled home a run as part of a four-run Lowell first inning, doubled to leadoff the third inning and came home to score on an error, and walked with the bases loaded in the eighth to bring home an insurance run. The 5-foot-11 Acosta is slashing .249/.308/.348 through 54 games this season, all with the Spinners, with 25 RBIs and 27 runs scored. -- Matheny (2-for-4, two RBIs, run) and second baseman Chad De La Guerra (2-for-4, walk, double, two runs) also had multi-hit games as part of an 11-hit Lowell attack. -- LHP Matt Kent earned his first professional save with 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, helping starter Austin Glorious earn the win (2-2, 2.92 ERA) despite allowing five earned runs. Kent, 22, entered with two outs and two aboard in the sixth inning, ending the frame on a groundout to keep the score 9-7. Kent allowed a single base runner in each of the next three innings but stranded all three, getting his final six outs via ground out. Selected by Boston in the 13th round of this year'€™s draft out of Texas A&M University, Kent is 7-1 with a 1.86 ERA over 14 relief appearances, with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks over 48 1/3 innings pitched. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (41-17): W, 1-0 in 7 innings, at GCL Blue Jays -- The Gulf Coast League Red Sox captured their second straight GCL championship with a 1-0 win in Game 2 of the best-of-three series, as the road team in its home JetBlue Park. The seven-inning win came in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader, with the second game of the finals postponed Tuesday due to rain, setting up the standard seven-inning, doubleheader format. Game 3 was not needed. GCL Red Sox manager Tom Kotchman allowed his players to take the field in celebration after the victory. "When you spend a summer in the GCL, you want anything cold on your head," Kotchman told MiLB.com. "So there was water, champagne, all of that. As coaches, we just kinda sat back and watched the kids celebrate. That'€™s what you work for down here. First is to develop, second is to win."€ -- RHP Roniel Raudes pitched five scoreless innings in his first professional playoff game to pick up the victory, pitching a final line of: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO. The 17-year-old Raudes allowed lone singles in each of the first three innings, stranding all three runners with seven of his first nine outs recorded via strikeout. Then, in the fourth, Raudes allowed two singles before inducing a double play ball, started on a diving stop by second baseman Rafael Oliveras, to end the inning. In the fifth, a two-out walk was erased on a pickoff throw by catcher Andrew Noviello. In four regular season appearances with the GCL Red Sox, Raudes was 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA as he allowed just two earned runs over 20 innings of work while striking out 16 and walking six. A 6-foot-1 hurler from Nicaragua, Raudes signed with Boston for $250,000 during the 2014 international signing period. "We know what we'€™re getting with him,"€ Kotchman said. "€œHe'€™s a fearless strike-thrower who tops out at 92 [mph] right now, but he'€™s only gonna get faster. He reminds me of a young K-Rod [Francisco Rodriguez] in that he'€™s skinny with a loose arm and an average-to-plus curveball. We had a high-schooler [Noviello] catching him today, and he did a great job with him." -- The GCL Red Sox scored their lone run of the game before Raudes took the mound, with leadoff man and DH Andy Perez hitting a single and then coming around to score after an Oliveras hit-and-run single to left and an RBI ground out by first baseman Jerry Downs. Oliveras, 20, finished 2-for-3 for the game and 4-for-11 over three postseason games. "He'€™s probably the MVP of the club," Kotchman said of Oliveras. "€œI said Javier Guerra could be my second son last year. Well, maybe Oliveras can be my third son. He'€™s that valuable. With Perez in motion there, the way he manipulated the bat to put the ball where it needed to be near the hole in short was huge." -- RHP Nick Duron, 19, and RHP Adam Lau, 21, each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to seal the win. Duron had a strikeout during his perfect sixth inning, and Lau allowed a leadoff single and a two-out walk before ending the game on a swinging strikeout. The 6-foot-4 Duron was selected by Boston in the 31st round of this year'€™s draft out of Clark Community College, while the 6-foot-2 Lau was selected in the 37th round out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Check out the latest WEEI Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable, joined this week by MLB.com's Jim Callis.