Shaw homers twice for Portland

No. 19 Boston prospect starting to show some power

By Josh Jackson / | July 2, 2013 10:10 PM ET

Don't pay attention to his numbers. Contrary to what the situational statistics say, Travis Shaw does not love playing the second game of doubleheaders.

"You would think so," Shaw said. "I actually don't particularly like them. But from the way I hit, I guess it looks like I do."

Boston's No. 19 prospect had his second career two-homer game Tuesday, finishing the nightcap of Portland's doubleheader sweep of Trenton with a walk-off round-tripper for a 7-6 victory. He was 2-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and three runs scored.

"It felt good to get the team back in it," Shaw said of the shot in the fourth that put the Sea Dogs within one run. "Then being able to hit the walk-off really capped it."

Shaw's dingers put him at nine for the season, four of which have come in his last six games.

"The swing just feels pretty good. I made a little mechanical adjustment after a pretty dreadful start. But it's been constant work and I'm letting the swing take care of itself," he said. "I knew the power numbers would come -- they usually do. I tend to start off with not much power, and then it shows up at some point. I'm glad it's started to happen lately."

His first multi-homer game came for Class A Advanced Salem last May 30 -- in the second game of a doubleheader.

Shaw was drafted out of Kent State by Boston in the ninth round of the 2011 Draft, playing 99 games for Salem and 31 for Portland last season. This year, he hit .305 through his first 17 games, but saw his average fall to .210 by June 13. His recent performance, which comes after he eliminated a toe tap from his swing and adopted a slight leg kick, brought that mark back up to .240.

"I thought last year would have been my adjustment period [to Double-A], and I would hit the ground running this season," he said. "And I kind of did in April, but in May, I slowed down quite a bit."

On Tuesday, he launched the first pitch he saw in his fourth-inning at-bat onto the Hadlock Field pavilion in left. Then in the eighth, it was a 1-1 pitch he hit over the wall in right-center.

"It was a line drive, and the only thing was, I didn't know if it was high enough or not," he said. "But I knew I hit it as best I could."

Shaw was also proud of his two walks in Tuesday's game and the .367 on-base percentage he's put together on the season.

"That's my biggest strength as a hitter," he said. "I get deep into counts and make pitchers work and tend to swing at pitches I can handle. My walk numbers have been consistent this year, so that's been one good thing."

He stole second base after his sixth-inning walk and said he ran on his own initiative, but with implicit permission from Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles.

"I have the yellow light, so he gives me opportunities. He tells me when to stop, but if I don't get a no and I think I can go, I go," Shaw said.

The 23-year-old corner infield prospect had spied something in the delivery of Trenton reliever and Yankees' No. 18 prospect Tommy Kahnle.

"I thought he was taking a little bit of extra time to get the ball to the plate," Shaw said, "and I got a pretty good jump."

Portland won the opener, 4-1. Boston's No. 7 prospect Garin Cecchini was hitless over the twin bill, but scored once in both games.

Yankees' No. 3 prospect Tyler Austin homered and scored twice in the nightcap, and No. 4 Slade Heathcott had an RBI double and a single in the first game.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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