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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Alex Wilson, Carl Crawford both getting closer

07.13.12 at 1:00 pm ET
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A quick look at the action in the Red Sox‘ farm system on Thursday…

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-5 LOSS VS. BUFFALO (METS)

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Carl Crawford, in his first game in Triple-A since commencing his rehab assignment, went 2-for-3 with a line drive single to center as well as a pop-up that dropped for a hit (and on which he wasn’t running at full speed, thus earning the boos of the McCoy Stadium crowd). He’s targeting two more games on Friday and Saturday, after which he could be ready for a return to the big leagues on Monday.

Alex Wilson continued his most impressive stretch since moving from the rotation to the bullpen, tossing a pair of shutout innings in which he allowed one walk and one hit while striking out three. In his last four appearances, he’s thrown nine shutout innings, permitting just three hits (no more than one in any outing), walking five and striking out 12.

— The fact that Scott Podsednik was optioned to Triple-A when he was healthy represented something of a surprise. Though by default he would have had the right to refuse an option and elect free agency as a player with eight years of service time, the Providence Journal reported that Podsednik’s contract gave the Sox the right to option him within 45 days of the purchase of his contract. He was optioned after spending 44 days with the Red Sox (including a stint on the 15-day DL) in the big leagues.

‘€œI didn’€™t want that to hamper their decision on bringing me up,’€ Podsednik told the Journal. ‘€œOnce I go up, my focus is to play well enough to not make that an issue ‘€” but, in this case, with all the guys coming off (the disabled list), it worked to their advantage.’€

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-2 WIN VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)

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Jeremy Hazelbaker, after a June tear that included five homers, went deep for the first time in July, going 1-for-4 with his 10th homer of the year.

Will Latimer, 26 and now in his sixth season in the Red Sox system, made his first career start, allowing a run on just one hit (a double) while walking two and striking out five. In his last 11 games spanning 26 2/3 innings, Latimer has a 1.35 ERA with 20 strikeouts and seven walks.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is now hitless in his last three games, going 0-for-9 in that span, but he has reached base in four of 13 plate appearances, having drawn three walks (including two on Thursday) and getting hit by a pitch.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 9-2 LOSS VS. LYNCHBURG (BRAVES)

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— First baseman Travis Shaw went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts, continuing a recent stretch in which he’s endured a spike in his strikeout rates. In 10 games this month, he has just three walks compared to 13 strikeouts; in June, he had as many walks (20) as strikeouts.

— By contrast, second baseman Sean Coyle — whose strikeout rates represented something of a concern over the first half — has now whiffed just twice in nine games in July. That said, he also has yet to walk this month. He went 1-for-4 with a double on Thursday.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: RAINED OUT

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 10-1 WIN VS. MAHONING VALLEY (INDIANS)

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— First baseman David Chester continued to show considerable power, going 2-for-5 with his fourth homer (in 20 games) this year. Of his 20 hits this year, nine have been for extra bases, as the 23-year-old (drafted out of Pitt after his senior year of college in 2011) is hitting .256/.333/.474/.808.

— Outfielder Williams Jerez, a second-round pick in 2011, went 1-for-2 with a double, walk and steal. He now has a five-game hitting streak, and after not drawing any walks in his first 12 games this year, he has three in his last 10.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: RAINED OUT

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS VS. DSL RANGERS

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— Second baseman Junior Estrella, a 19-year-old second baseman, went 1-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks. In three DSL  games, he’s 3-for-9 with two doubles and four walks.

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