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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: JC Linares rolling; Stolmy Pimentel dealing; huge days for Blake Swihart, Brandon Jacobs

07.20.12 at 1:44 pm ET
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A very, very brief look at Thursday’s action in the Red Sox farm system…

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS)

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– Part of the reason why the Red Sox are in position to deal from their outfield depth on the 40-man roster is that Juan Carlos Linares looks like he’s close to ready to contributing at the major league level. The 27-year-old went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and now has gone deep four times in six games. He’s hitting .322/.368/.529/.897 in 23 Triple-A games.

Daniel Bard picked up a win in relief, tossing a scoreless inning in which he allowed a hit and a walk while punching out a pair of hitters. He threw 13 of 20 pitches for strikes.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-2 WIN AT NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)

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– A case can be made that Stolmy Pimentel‘s last two outings have been the most impressive back-to-back performances of his professional career. The right-hander allowed one run on six hits (five singles and a double) in seven innings, punching out seven and walking none. In his last two starts, he has thrown 14 innings while allowing two runs (1.29 ERA), striking out 13, walking one and permitting just eight hits. The right-hander has now shown the ability not just to dominate but to sustain dominance across outings in Double-A, something that is in drastic contrast to his struggles at the level a year ago. On the year, his 3-4 record and 5.00 ERA aren’t eye-popping, but Sox officials insist that the right-hander is throwing very well, and that he has rekindled his prospect status with what he’s shown this year in Portland.

Jeremy Hazelbaker went 1-for-4 with a homer, his third homer in two games and his fifth in eight contests. His OPS has gone up every month, from .611 in April to .703 in May to .899 in June and now .970 in July.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 11-1 WIN AT FREDERICK (ORIOLES)

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Brandon Jacobs had a huge day, going 4-for-5 (a season-high for hits) with his eighth homer of the year while driving in four. In 14 games this month, he’s hitting .333/.397/.491/.888 with two homers and 14 RBI.

– For the third straight game, Sean Coyle reached base at least three times, and for the second straight, he launched a homer. He went 3-for-5 with a homer, double and three RBI. In his last three games, he’s 8-for-13 with three doubles, two homers and two walks.

Matt Barnes hit his pitch count early, requiring 73 pitches to make it through three innings, though he did strike out five while allowing just two hits (both singles) and walking a batter. An outfield misplay contributed to his high pitch count, and though his fastball velocity was good (and resulted in swings and misses on that pitch), he likely became too fastball-dependent, with the underutilization of his secondary offerings contributing to the ability of the left-handed lineup to drive up his pitch count. The five strikeouts were Barnes’ most in a game since June 14.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 11-10 WIN (15 INNINGS) VS. LEXINGTON (ASTROS)

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Blake Swihart went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer (his fifth) and two walks. In 12 games in July, the 2011 first-round pick is hitting .304/.373/.522/.894.

Noe Ramirez tossed six innings for the third straight time, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out four and walking none. He has punched out 31 and walked just nine in 40 innings this year.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-1 LOSS VS. CONNECTICUT (TIGERS)

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– Sandwich-round pick Pat Light had his best pro outing to date, tossing two innings without allowing a hit or run. He struck out three and walked two.

– Rehabbing third baseman Kolbrin Vitek went 1-for-4 with a double while driving in the only run for Lowell. In five rehab games since returning from his intercostal strain, he’s 4-for-15 with two doubles.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 11-3 WIN VS. GCL ORIOLES

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– Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon went 2-for-5 with a triple, his fourth of the year. He now has a six-game hitting streak. The multi-hit performance was his first in nine games.

– Third baseman Nick Moore went 3-for-4 with a walk, matching a season-high in hits.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 8-7 LOSS AT DSL YANKEES

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– Catcher Alixon Suarez continued his excellent season, going 2-for-4 with a homer to improve his season line to .290/.416/.450/.867.

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