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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Lars Anderson and Keury De La Cruz double up

05.28.12 at 7:20 am ET
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Lars Anderson had his first multi-homer game in three years on Sunday. (AP)

A pair of multi-homer games headline the highlights from Sunday’s action in the Red Sox farm system:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-4 WIN VS. TOLEDO (TIGERS)

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– For the first time in over three years, Lars Anderson went deep twice in the same game. It was part of a season-best performance in which the 24-year-old went 3-for-3 with two homers, a single and a walk. He also matched a season-high for hits in a game and had a new season-high by reaching four times. The big day improved Anderson’s line for the year to .244/.370/.437/.807, roughly matching the .265/.369/.422/.791 line he totaled a year ago. His .370 OBP is the best among qualifying PawSox players.

Anderson’s previous two-homer game came on May 16, 2009, when he hit two homers for Double-A Portland.

Alex Hassan had his first multi-hit game in 13 contests, going 2-for-3 while hitting his fourth homer of the year. His homer came with a runner in scoring position, continuing a season-long theme in which Hassan has been much better with runners on base and/or in scoring position than with the bases empty. On the year, he’s hitting .205/.318/.315/.633 in 85 plate appearances with the bases empty and .277/.422/.462/.833 in 83 plate appearances with runners on base.

– Outfielder Darnell McDonald went 0-for-4 in the second game of his rehab assignment while working his way back from a strained oblique. He had a line out, fly out and two ground outs.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 8-5 WIN VS. NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)

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Bryce Brentz went 1-for-3 with a walk, marking the third straight game in which he took a free pass, his longest such streak in Double-A. After getting on base at a .266 clip in April, his .413 OBP in May is the eighth best in the Eastern League. For the year, he’s now hitting .289/.339/.445/.784.

Juan Carlos Linares went 3-for-5 with a double, and now has a five-game hitting streak during which he is 9-for-19 (.474) with four doubles and a homer. He is now hitting .327/.413/.537/.950 for the year.

Reynaldo Rodriguez continued his torrid month with a 3-for-5 day that included two doubles and his franchise record 10th homer of May. On the season, he is second in the Eastern League in homers (11) and slugging percentage (.577). The first baseman leads the Eastern League with a .736 slugging percentage and 1.099 OPS in May.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 2-1 LOSS AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES); CALLED DUE TO RAIN AFTER 7 1/2 INNINGS

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Miguel Celestino continued his solid work this year, tossing six innings in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out two and walking two. Celestino now has six starts of five or more innings and two or fewer runs, helping him to a 3.20 ERA. In 45 innings, he has 29 strikeouts and 13 walks while opponents are hitting .236 against him.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander has consistently been up to 96 mph with his fastball in his outings while sitting closer to 94 mph. It’s a four-seamer, but he’s able to use his size to leverage the ball down in the strike zone, employing a pitch-to-contact approach that generates groundballs.

“He pitches down in the zone very well and has a little downward action on his fastball. He creates really good angle on the fastball,” said Sox farm director Ben Crockett. “Both his breaking ball and changeup have pretty good success in keeping the ball on the ground as well. … He certainly has the mix to compete as he goes up the ladder.”

His 1.59 groundout-to-flyout rate ranks as the ninth-best in the Carolina League.

Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. He put the ball in play in all four of his plate appearances, going a second straight game without a walk — something he’s done just three times this year. Indeed, he does not have a single instance of having gone as many as three straight games without accepting a walk.

– Second baseman Sean Coyle, who had been in a 3-for-30 slump, was dropped from second to eighth in the lineup, the first time all season he’s batted in anything but the No. 2 spot. He went 1-for-3 with a single, and is now hitting .224/.304/.379/.683 in 2012. He has struck out in 27.8 plate appearances this year while walking in just 8.2 percent of plate appearances.

– Outfielder Ryan Kalish, in his second rehab game with Salem, went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and caught stealing.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-2 WIN AT CHARLESTON (YANKEES), 11 INNINGS

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Keury De La Cruz slammed his ninth and 10th homers of the season in a three-true-outcomes game that in which he homers (twice), struck out (twice) or walked (once) in each of his five plate appearances. On the year, he’s now hitting .307/.354/.557/.912. He ranks among South Atlantic League leaders in homers (10, tied-third), RBI (39, 7th), slugging (.557, 7th) and extra-base hits (24, 5th). The two-homer game was De La Cruz’s first of his professional career as he continued what has been, to date, one of the most significant breakout performances in the Red Sox system this year.

Blake Swihart went 1-for-5 with an RBI, and he’s now gotten a hit in his last six games and 12 of his last 13. Over that stretch, he is hitting .340/.389/.460/.849 with three doubles and a homer.

Read More: alex hassan, blake swihart, bryce brentz, jackie bradley jr.
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