|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Bard pounds the strike zone, Brentz pounds homers, Pimentel picks back up||06.18.12 at 11:07 am ET|
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-1 WIN AT BUFFALO (METS)
– Daniel Bard had his second straight strong outing, firing a pair of shutout innings in which he gave up two singles, walked none and struck out two. He threw 20 of 29 pitches for strikes. In his last two outings, Bard has tossed four shutout innings while allowing just two hits, walking one and striking out six. PawSox play-by-play man Aaron Goldsmith reported (via twitter) that Bard registered as high as 96 mph on the stadium gun in Buffalo, but noted that he missed the strike zone on two pitches that registered at 95 and 96 mph while throwing strikes when working closer to 93 mph.
– Cody Ross, in the second game of his rehab assignment while making his way back from a broken bone in his foot, went 0-for-4 (three flyouts and a groundout) and was hit by a pitch. He also played all nine innings in the outfield for the first time, making an error in right field on a sinking line drive.
“It felt great,” Ross told the Providence Journal of his foot. “The foot feels outstanding. The timing actually feels pretty good. I’m ready to go.”
– Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a steal. In 36 Triple-A games since April 28, he’s hitting .303 with a .399 OBP, .410 slugging mark and .808 OPS.
– Brandon Duckworth struck out nine while allowing just one unearned run on three hits over six innings. It was his most strikeouts in a game since he punched out 11 for Lehigh Valley on July 22, 2010.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 5-4 LOSS (10 INNINGS) AT RICHMOND (GIANTS)
– Right-hander Stolmy Pimentel had his best outing in four weeks, turning in seven innings (his most ever in Double-A, while matching a professional high) while allowing two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out three. While Pimentel’s relatively (and, given his mid-90s velocity, surprisingly) low strikeout rates (6.2 per nine innings) have lent themselves to a fairly high .289 batting average against. However, it is worth noting that he hasn’t allowed a homer this season.
He is, however, demonstrating sizable splits. Lefties are hitting .412/.481/.544/1.025 against him with nine extra-base hits in 79 plate appearances. Right-handers have marks of .214/.273/.259/.532 with four extra-base hits in 124 plate appearances.
– Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 2-for-4 while launching his ninth homer of the season. Eight of those homers have come since May 7, a span during which Brentz has a .579 slugging percentage, third-best in the Eastern League.
– Juan Carlos Linares went 3-for-4 with his eighth homer of the year, and he’s now hitting .383/.420/.532/.952 in June. The hot stretch has him leading the Eastern League in average (.343) and OPS (.962).
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 14-8 LOSS AT CAROLINA (INDIANS)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. snapped his five-game hitless streak by going 2-for-3 with a walk and a sac fly while getting hit by a pitch. The sac fly has been a frequent part of Bradley’s arsenal this year, underscoring what Red Sox officials describe as an excellent situational hitting approach. His eight sac flies are most in the Carolina League and indeed most in the Red Sox system.
– Michael Almanzar closed out his first half by going 3-for-4 with a walk, improving his line to .303 with a .343 OBP, .430 slugging mark and .773 OPS. While the big third baseman hit just three homers, his 19 doubles were tied for fifth most in the Carolina League. Given that he hit .182/.223/.245/.469 in a half-season in Salem last year, his performance to date this year while returning to that level (after a second-half demotion to Greenville last year) represents a huge step forward.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-3 WIN AT AUGUSTA (GIANTS)
– Jason Repko went 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk. After three rehab games in Greenville in which he went 3-for-11, Repko is slated to head to High-A Salem.
–Henry Ramos also went 2-for-4 with a homer, his fourth of the year. After hitting two homers in his first 53 games, he finished the first half with two more in his last seven contests.
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