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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Daisuke dismayed; Bailey’s next step; new knuckleballer unveiled; Bogaerts locked in

08.06.12 at 11:05 am ET
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A snapshot of the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday, when a pair of big league pitchers made rehab appearances in the upper levels, a new knuckleballer was unveiled, Salem shortstop Xander Bogaerts continued an amazing stretch and outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker continued his terrific performance of the past two and a half months . . .

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (10 INNINGS) VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)

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Daisuke Matsuzaka worked three innings while allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) while striking out three and walking one. He also hit a batter. Matsuzaka threw 49 of 75 pitches (65 percent) for strikes.

The frustrated pitcher declined direct comment, instead relying on translator Jeff Cutler to pass along his analysis of the outing.

‘€œThe result tells it all,’€ Matsuzaka told reporters, in a comment issued through Cutler. ‘€œI’€™m hopeful that I can pitch more and go deeper in the game next time.’€

That said, in a three-run second inning, the rally started on a groundball past third (where Mauro Gomez, still trying to re-learn the position, was playing) and into left field and an error on a potential force out by Jose Iglesias.

Jose Iglesias went 1-for-5 with a double for his first extra-base hit in 19 games, dating to July 14. He is hitting .247/.294/.280/.574 for the year (as compared to his 2011 line of .235/.285/.269/.554).

Juan Carlos Linares went 2-for-5 with a homer, his fifth in 37 games in Triple-A. It was his first homer in 14 games, as the outfielder had been in a slump since late last month, hitting .161/.156/.226 over his previous nine games.

Josh Fields worked around a pair of hits, striking out a pair of batters in a scoreless 10th inning to earn the victory in his first appearance with Pawtucket, following a promotion on Friday.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 11-2 WIN VS. ERIE (TIGERS)

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— Rehabbing reliever Andrew Bailey gave up three hits (all singles) and a run while striking out two batters on Sunday. He came in for the seventh inning, the first time in his rehab assignment that he has come into a game out of the bullpen.

— Knuckleballer Steven Wright made his Red Sox debut, tossing six innings and allowing just one run on five hits while striking out two and walking two. It was his first appearance in Portland following the trade just prior to the deadline that sent Lars Anderson to the Indians. Wright committed full-time to the knuckleball last year, after working with former Indians pitcher Tom Candiotti. He has been embraced by the knuckleball community, having talked to such practitioners as Tim Wakefield (a conversation that occurred by phone just days before the Sox traded for him), R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough and former Sea Dogs pitcher Charlie Haeger.

Wright took part in this podcast to discuss his path to becoming a knuckleballer, as well as the oddity that is being a 27-year-old knuckleballing prospect.

Bryce Brentz went 3-for-5 with a homer, double and five runs batted in. He is amidst an impressive hot streak in which he is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with three homers, three doubles, eight RBI and two walks in his last seven games.

Brentz struggled in July, hitting .200/.250/326/.576 in the month, though his approach was better than those numbers might suggest. He struck out in 22 of 104 plate appearances in the month, with his 21 percent strikeout rate being his lowest of any month this year. Now, in the early days of August, he may be experiencing something of a reversal on his batting average on balls in play.

Jeremy Hazelbaker continued to collect hits in volume, going 3-for-3 and getting hit by a pitch in four plate appearances. In his last eight games, he’s hitting .438, though given his considerable power (he has 17 homers this year), the streak is somewhat surprising for the absence of extra-base hits (he has one homer and one double) and walks (he has none in the 8 games). Still, Hazelbaker continues to elevate his numbers to solid across-the-board levels after a slow start. He was hitting .208/.288/.274/.562 entering play on May 18. Since then, he’s hitting .286/.357/.541/.898 with 16 homers, 47 RBI and 22 steals in 68 games. He is second in the Eastern League in homers and first in steals during that stretch.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 5-4 LOSS VS. WILMINGTON (ROYALS)

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Xander Bogaerts had his fifth straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a walk. His average over those five games actually dropped with the 2-for-4 effort, as he went from .637 to .619.

Brandon Jacobs continued his recent skid, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts (and a walk) to drop to 2-for-34 (.059) with three walks and 13 strikeouts over his last eight games.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 7-4 LOSS VS. HICKORY (RANGERS)

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Keury De La Cruz went 2-for-5 with a double and triple. He is second in the Sally League this year with 52 extra-base hits: 16 homers, seven triples, 29 doubles.

Henry Ramos snapped an 0-for-12 stretch by blasting his eighth homer of the year, part of a 1-for-3 day that included a walk and an outfield assist.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 10-3 WIN VS. STATEN ISLAND (YANKEES)

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— Supplemental first rounder Pat Light worked a season-high three innings, allowing a run on two hits while also uncorking a wild pitch. He neither struck out nor walked a batter. In his last four outings, he has allowed just one run on four hits in nine innings.

— Second baseman Mookie Betts went 0-for-2 but drew three of the 10 Spinners walks. In his first pro season, Betts has 15 walks (against 19 strikeouts) in 176 plate appearances. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .314 with a .415 OBP.

ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: OFF

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: OFF

Read More: Andrew Bailey, bryce brentz, Daisuke Matsuzaka, jeremy hazelbaker
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