|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Mickey Pena returns, Chris Carpenter dominates, Daniel Bard posts another zero||08.07.12 at 10:51 am ET|
A quick look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday, highlighted by a pair of left-handers taken in last year’s draft who made their returns to the mound . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-1 WIN VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
– Jose Iglesias had his best game in more than two months, going 3-for-5 with a double. It was his first game of three or more hits since he had a four-hit contest on May 18. It also marked the second consecutive game in which the shortstop has collected an extra-base hit. He’s reached base in seven straight games during which he’s hitting .300 (9-for-30) with a .344 OBP and .367 slugging mark.
– Chris Carpenter continued what has been a dominant stretch in Triple-A, firing a shutout inning and striking out two batters. In 10 appearances of one inning each in Triple-A, he’s permitted just one run (0.90 ERA) while striking out 11, allowing six hits (.182 opponents batting average) and walking five.
– In his 21 pitches, Daniel Bard elicited just one swing and miss, but he continued to demonstrate the ability to get bad contact on a consistent basis. He tossed a scoreless inning, working around a walk by getting three groundball outs. In his last six outings, opponents are 2-for-20 against him. In 24 minor league games, he is getting twice as many groundouts as flyball outs, and so while he has posted solid if unspectacular strikeout totals (26 in 25 2/3 innings), he’s held opponents to a .223 average. He’s held opponents scoreless in seven of his last eight appearances, and in the one exception, he fired a shutout inning before giving up a pair of runs when taking the mound for a second inning, the first time since June that he’d made a multi-inning appearance.
– Zach Stewart continued his run of effective starts since the Red Sox acquired him from Chicago in the Kevin Youkilis trade. He tossed five shutout innings while allowing three hits (two singles and a double) on Monday, working to a 3.32 ERA. While he wasn’t getting swings and misses at the outset of his Pawtucket tenure, in his last five starts, he has 26 strikeouts in 25 innings. His stuff, health, performance and roster status (he’s on the 40-man roster) suggest that, if the Red Sox needed to turn to Triple-A for a starting depth option, Stewart would stand an excellent chance of being the move.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: OFF
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: OFF
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 3-0 WIN VS. HICKORY (RANGERS)
– Mickey Pena made a spectacular return to the Greenville rotation exactly one month after landing on the disabled list with a tweaked hamstring. The left-hander tossed five shutout innings in which he gave up two hits, walked none and struck out six. On the year, the 21-year-old is 6-5 with a 2.43 ERA, 8.6 strikeouts and 1.6 walks per nine innings.
– Outfielder Keury De La Cruz continued his steady productivity, going 2-for-3 with a double. He’s hit in eight of his last nine games, hitting .371/.436/.743 in that span.
– Right-hander Mike McCarthy, who moved back to the bullpen after a stretch in the rotation while Pena was on the DL, tossed a shutout inning of relief. He now has 22 straight scoreless innings, tied with Daniel Bard (2008) for the second longest streak in Greenville history, behind only the run of 26 2/3 scoreless innings by right-hander Matt Barnes earlier this season.
– Left-hander Henry Owens will be skipped for extra rest.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-1 WIN AT STATEN ISLAND (YANKEES)
– Sixth-rounder Justin Haley continued his dominant pro debut, tossing three more shutout innings while permitting two hits, walking none and striking out two. He recorded six of his nine outs via groundball. He’s allowed two runs in 20 1/3 innings, a 0.89 ERA, while punching out 19 and walking nine. Part of the reason for his low ERA? While his .134 batting average against is impressive enough, opponents are hitting just .040 against him with runners on base.
– Though first-rounder Deven Marrero went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, he walked and stole two more bases. He now has 16 steals this year, tied for second most in the New York-Penn League.
ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (11 INNINGS) VS. GCL ORIOLES
– Left-hander Cody Kukuk — a tall, physical, athletic left-hander whom the Sox took in the seventh round of the 2011 draft and signed to an $800,000 bonus — made his pro debut on Monday, working a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one. He did not allow a hit.
– Third baseman Nick Moore blasted a walkoff homer in the 11th to cap a 2-for-5 day in which he also drew a walk. The 19-year-old is hitting .258 with a .386 OBP, .342 slugging mark and .728 OPS. Moore is tied for sixth in the GCL in OBP and is tied for the league lead in walks (24 in 35 games).
– Right-hander Carlos Pinales tossed three perfect innings in which he struck out four. In 32 1/3 innings this year, the 20-year-old has an incredible 25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.08 ERA.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 2-0 WIN AT DSL RANGERS
– Right-hander Keivin Heras tossed six shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out three and walking three. The 17-year-old has gotten a boatload of bad contact this year. He has just 26 strikeouts in 54 innings, but he has a 6-1 record and 1.33 ERA. Heras ranks seventh in the DSL in ERA and opponents batting average (.172).
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