|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Brandon Jacobs and Keury De La Cruz remain red hot; Clay Buchholz, Jose Vinicio return to field||07.09.12 at 11:16 am ET|
A couple of Red Sox prospects enjoyed a day in the national — and, indeed, international — spotlight on Sunday, as Salem Red Sox teammates Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes were at the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City. Bogaerts said that, in one respect, he looks to Derek Jeter for inspiration, while Barnes discussed the recent struggles that represent a dramatic contrast to what he’s done during the rest of this season.
Here’s a look at Sunday’s action with the Red Sox’ minor league affiliates:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-1 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)
– Clay Buchholz, pitching for the first time since June 19, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed three of the first four batters he faced to reach (walk, single, walk to load the bases) before retiring the next six batters. He allowed the one single and two walks while striking out three. Of the 43 pitches he threw, 20 were strikes. Buchholz will pitch on Saturday, in the second game after the All-Star break.
– Daniel Bard, one outing removed from a dreadful appearance in which he put all four batters he faced on base, had a promising outing in which he struck out two in a perfect inning while touching 95 mph on the McCoy Stadium radar gun. He threw nine of 12 pitches for strikes.
Bard suggested to the Providence Journal that one possible reason for his previous poor outing was that he was caught off guard by being asked to enter the game in the fifth inning and that he hadn’t gone through his complete mental routine before entering into the game.
“I was physically ready to go, but I mentally hadn’t gone through the routine I like to go through. I didn’t work through it like I’d like. The two before that, I felt so good, and I wanted to carry that same mentality. I’m going to look at that is just a blip on the radar,” Bard told the Journal. “I really feel like I’m getting back to the routine I used for almost three years in Boston and what’s worked for me. It’s funny the little things you forget because I didn’t do it for half a season. I’m just getting back into all of those little things that get me locked in.”
– In his second game in Triple-A, Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4. He’s 1-for-8 (.125) in Pawtucket, and 5-for-27 (.185 with a .290 OBP, .370 slugging and .561 OPS) in eight rehab games. He’s expected to meet up with the Red Sox in Tampa Bay following the All-Star break.
– Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, who has served as DH with Ellsbury playing, went 2-for-3 with a double and triple. He has a six-game hitting streak during which he’s 10-for-23 (.435) with four extra-base hits and two walks. Overall, he’s hitting .263/.333/.368/.702 in 15 games since his promotion from Portland.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-2 WIN AT TRENTON (YANKEES)
– Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk to snap his eight-game hitting streak.
– Chris Balcom-Miller, pressed into relief early by a first-inning injury to newly signed starter Mike MacDonald (the first Maine native ever to play for the Sea Dogs), tossed five shutout innings of relief. He allowed two hits (both singles), walked three and struck out two.
– Right-hander Aaron Kurcz matched a season-high by punching out five in 2 1/3 shutout innings. Kurcz has struck out five batters in a game four times this year, all against Trenton.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 8-5 LOSS VS. FREDERICK (ORIOLES)
– Brandon Jacobs had his third straight multi-hit game and his sixth in his last eight contests, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Over the course of his eight-game hot streak, he’s improved his line to .291/.348/.444/.792 for the year. As mentioned here, his line to a comparable point in his season with High-A is very similar to that posted by Will Middlebrooks when he, like Jacobs, was 21 years old in High-A in 2010.
– Yeiper Castillo, 23, had a strong debut for High-A Salem, allowing one run in six innings. He allowed four hits (two singles, a double and a triple) while walking four and striking out four.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 12-3 WIN VS. ROME (BRAVES)
– Keury De La Cruz continued a recent power surge, hitting his second homer in as many games and his third in six contests as part of a day in which he went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. He has hits in 12 straight games and in 26 of his last 27 contests. His two walks matched a season high, achieved three times this year. As a 20-year-old, De La Cruz is sixth in the Sally League with a .330 average, third with a .572 slugging mark, fourth with a .952 OPS and tied for fifth with 14 homers.
– Garin Cecchini went 3-for-4 with a walk. In 16 second-half games, he’s hitting .400/.493/.567/1.060.
– Rehabbing right-hander Chris Carpenter, pitching outside of Fort Myers for the first time this year, tossed a scoreless inning in which he punched out two and walked one.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 4-2 LOSS AT BATAVIA (CARDINALS)
– Jose Vinicio, playing for the first time since June 21 after landing on the DL due to a left shoulder contusion, went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in the start of his rehab assignment from Single-A Greenville.
– Deven Marrero went 3-for-3 with a walk and a steal for his third three-hit game of the season. The 2012 first-rounder is now 6-for-12 in his last three games.
– Greg Larson tossed a pair of shutout innings in which he struck out four. In three appearances, the right-hander out of the University of Florida has given up two runs (one earned) while striking out nine, walking three and allowing four hits.
– The loss to the Muckdogs was the 10th straight defeat suffered by the Spinners. Lowell’s 5-16 record is tied for the worst in the New York-Penn League.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: OFF
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: OFF
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