Cuevas Fans 10 in 4-2 Win over Buffalo
BUFFALO, N.Y. - William Cuevas matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts and navigated the Pawtucket Red Sox to their third straight win with a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Bisons on Monday night at Coca-Cola Field.
Down 2-1 after the first inning, Pawtucket (64-68) plated a pair of runs in the sixth and then fended off the Bisons (61-69) to win a third straight game after it fell in Friday's series opener.
For the fifth time in his professional career and for the first time with Pawtucket, Cuevas (W, 10-7) racked up 10 punchouts, doing so Monday in seven sterling innings of two-run ball. Cuevas - who also struck out 10 in 2017 with Triple-A Toledo (Detroit), 2015 with Double-A Portland, 2013 with High-A Salem and 2012 with Short-Season Lowell - only walked one batter. The winner of Pawtucket's Most Valuable Pitcher award, Cuevas began the night ninth in ERA and fifth in WHIP in the International League among qualifying starting pitchers. Over his last two outings, Cuevas has only yielded two earned runs in 13 innings with 16 strikeouts and two walks. Right-handed reliever Travis Lakins (S, 2) earned a two-inning save with three strikeouts.
Pawtucket center fielder Rusney Castillo (2-for-5, RBI) and right fielder Kyle Wren (2-for-4, RBI) headlined an offense that entered the night on the heels of three straight 13-hit performances. With two more hits, Castillo boosted his hit total (150) and batting average (.323) - both of which lead the league. The last Pawtucket player to lead the league in hits was Joe Thurston (160 hits) in 2008. The last PawSox player to win the International League batting crown was Wade Boggs, who hit .335 in 1981. Castillo is just the second Pawtucket player in the last 15 seasons to reach 150 hits in a season.
First baseman Michael Chavis, who had stacked up the most total bases (17) in all of MiLB and MLB over the weekend in his first three games in Triple-A, went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
On a bullpen day in response to Blue Jays roster moves, Buffalo spot starter Zach Stewart tossed three innings of one-run ball. Juliandry Higuera (L, 0-1) and Craig Breslow, however, ran into trouble in the sixth and surrendered the lead.
The PawSox loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, and left fielder Sam Travis rolled an RBI grounder to third to reel in leadoff man Tzu-Wei Lin and make it 1-0.
Buffalo climbed ahead 2-1 in the bottom half of the first when 19-year-old sensation Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cracked a two-run homer to left-center field.
Pawtucket stirred to life in the top of the sixth inning. Second baseman Mike Miller socked an RBI single into center to tie the game, and the next batter, Wren, followed suit to vault the PawSox ahead 3-2.
In the top of the ninth inning, Castillo stroked an RBI single into right field to extend Pawtucket's lead to 4-2.
Following the eight-game road trip, the PawSox now return home to McCoy Stadium to open up a three-game midweek series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Rehabbing Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright (0-0, 4.30) is scheduled to start opposite IronPigs lefty Ranger Suarez (2-0, 2.92). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 6:35 p.m.
The three-game series at McCoy Stadium runs Tuesday-Thursday (August 28-30) with all three games at 7:05 p.m. Good tickets are available, and fans can visit the McCoy Stadium box office, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and during all home games. Fans can also call (401) 724-7300 or log on to PawSox.com for tickets.
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