BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — William Cuevas waited a long time for this opportunity.

Pitching on the Double-A level for the first time in his career in this, his seventh season in the Boston Red Sox system, Cuevas is finding a groove.

Cuevas struck out 10 while allowing just four hits in 61/3 innings Wednesday night to lead the Portland Sea Dogs to a 6-3 win over the Binghamton Mets.

“I was waiting for this,” Cuevas said. “Two years ago, I thought I was on schedule.”

Cuevas, a 24-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, was 8-2 with a 1.40 earned-run average in 15 games, including six starts, at Lowell in the short season New York-Penn League in 2012.

Over the last two seasons with Salem, however, Cuevas posted the highest ERAs of his career, delaying the breakthrough.

“He’s gotten it all figured out, how to pitch,” Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon said. “It’s a continual learning curve for these guys.

“The fact that he’s throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes is allowing him to be himself and expand the strike zone and get batters off balance.”

That’s exactly what Cuevas did Wednesday while matching his career high for strikeouts. He threw 61 of 102 pitches for strikes.

“I had a good pace and I was mixing up all my pitches,” said Cuevas, who considered this his strongest outing of the season.

Cuevas struck out four while retiring six straight to open the game.

After allowing an RBI single by Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the third, he struck out six of the next 10 batters.

Through 6-plus innings, the Sea Dogs were up 6-1 and Cuevas was working on a two-hitter with one of them an infield single. His final pitching line included four hits, three runs, two earned runs and two walks.

Cuevas (4-1) is the first Sea Dogs pitcher to four wins this season. He has won three straight starts with a 1.62 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 162/3 innings.

Portland clinched a winning trip, improving to 4-2 with just Thursday’s game in Binghamton remaining before returning to Hadlock Field to play New Britain on Friday night.

The Sea Dogs had a 7-1 advantage in hits through three innings but led just, 2-1.

Keury De La Cruz fixed that with a long, two-run shot to right field with two outs in the fifth inning.

De La Cruz was 3 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.

The Sea Dogs finished with 12 hits.

The top five spots in the order combined to go 11 for 22.

Leadoff hitter Mike Miller had two hits and drove in the first two runs.

Carlos Asuaje, Jantzen Witte and Oscar Tejada followed him in the order and also had two hits each. Tejada had a double and scored twice.

The Sea Dogs made two moves earlier in the day.

Mike Brenly retired from the Sea Dogs and took a position as the assistant bullpen catcher in Boston.

Brenly, 28, was a veteran of 477 games in eight minor league seasons. He hit .154 in 54 Portland games over the past two seasons.

The Sea Dogs added Mike Blanke from Long Island of the Independent League.

Blanke, 26, played in Double-A with Birmingham of the Southern League in 2013, hitting .226 in 94 games.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.