Pawtucket Red Sox Press Release

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Dan Butler and Aneury Tavarez each clubbed home runs and blasted the Pawtucket Red Sox to an 8-1 win over the Louisville Bats on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.

Buoyed by a four-run second inning, the PawSox (26-30) leveled the three-game series with the Bats (21-34) at a game apiece ahead of Thursday morning’s finale. Pawtucket, which snapped Louisville’s five-game winning streak, has now won seven of its last 10 games. The PawSox, who began the night ranked first in the International League offensively in pitches per plate appearance and tied for second in walks, coaxed six more free passes to follow Tuesday’s season-best 17-hit performance.  

Tavarez (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB), shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB), longtime big-league veteran Adam Lind (2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI) and center fielder Rusney Castillo (2-for-4, R, BB) anchored the offense. Castillo, who leads the International League with 69 hits and notched a career-high five knocks Tuesday, is now 10-for-14 over his last three games and has 22 multi-hit games already this season.

“The bat-to-ball skills, it’s incredible,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “He hits the ball to all fields. He works counts. Even when he gets behind in the count. This guy’s hand-eye coordination is terrific.”

Lind, meanwhile, has five hits over his last two games after joining the PawSox on Saturday.

“Having [Castillo] and Lind in the middle of this lineup, it’s stretched out our lineup pretty good there. I think that’s a pretty good 3-4 combo right there.”

Pawtucket starter William Cuevas (W, 3-3) cruised through 5.1 innings of one-run ball in which he only ceded three hits — the third a solo homer in the sixth that ended his night on his 106th pitch. The right-hander, who didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, has now yielded just one earned run in his last 19.1 innings, spanning three full starts. Left-handed reliever Williams Jerez followed with 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings and a trio of strikeouts, and fellow southpaw Robby Scott threw a scoreless eighth to lower his ERA to 1.77.

Louisville starter Robert Stephenson (L, 4-5), meanwhile, gave up five runs on five hits and four walks in 3.1 innings.

In the bottom of the second inning, Butler jumped on a 95 MPH fastball and hammered a three-run homer the opposite way to right field to make it 3-0. Two batters later, Lin pulled an RBI double into the right-field corner to plate second baseman Mike Miller.

With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the third inning, Tavarez drilled a solo homer to right-center field to push the lead to 5-0.

For the second straight night, Louisville catcher Tony Cruz tagged a home run — this a solo shot in the sixth that nudged the Bats onto the scoreboard, 5-1.

Tavarez dumped a two-run double down the left-field line in the seventh to pad the cushion to 7-1.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lind smacked the ninth pitch he saw back up the middle for a two-out RBI single to make it 8-1.

The PawSox conclude their three-game series with Louisville on Thursday at 11:05 a.m. Pawtucket right-hander Chandler Shepherd (3-4, 3.93) is scheduled to oppose Bats lefty Justin Nicolino (2-2, 3.79). Radio coverage on WHJJ (920 AM and 104.7 FM) and throughout the PawSox Radio Network begins with the pre-game show at 10:35 a.m.

The six-game homestand runs through Sunday. Good seats 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.