Rich Hill

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada reaches 43 stolen bases; Kevin McAvoy wins his 5th straight for Salem

Ken Laird
August 28, 2015 - 5:30 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (53-80): W, 1-0, at Buffalo (Blue Jays) -- LHP Rich Hill pitched six shutout innings to pick up the victory in his third quality start with Pawtucket since being signed out of the independent Atlantic League. The 35-year-old's€™ final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO (93 pitches, 62 strikes). Hill (2-1, 0.93 ERA) walked the leadoff batter in both the first and third innings, erasing the former of those runners on a pickoff move and watching the later get eliminated as catcher Sandy Leon executed a snap throw to first after a strikeout. Hill also stranded two runners in the second with an inning ending strikeout, and after perfect fourth and fifth innings induced an inning-ending double play on his final pitch in the sixth. The 6-foot-5 Hill was released by the Nationals on June 24 after making 25 appearances in Triple-A out of the bullpen, where he had a 2.91 ERA over 21 2/3 innings, with 32 strikeouts and 21 walks. These last three starts with Pawtucket are Hill'€™s first game-openers in affiliated ball since 2012. In all, Hill has 10 seasons of MLB experience, including three seasons with Boston from 2010 through 2012, with a career big league record of 24-22 with a 4.72 ERA and 451 strikeouts in 197 games (70 starts). -- Relievers Jonathan Aro and Ryan Cook combined with Hill on the complete-game shutout, with Aro pitching two scoreless innings and allowing just one single, while Cook earned his first PawSox save as he stranded two runners (one reaching via error) in the ninth on a game-ending double play. Aro, 24, just completed his third stint with Boston and is now 3-3 with a 2.97 ERA for Pawtucket over 32 appearances, with 70 strikeouts and 18 walks. A 6-foot righty, Aro has held opponents to just a .210 batting average against in 2015. Cook, 28, has not allowed a run in six appearances with the PawSox and has allowed only two total hits while striking out 10 and walking two over 8 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-2 righty had one stint with Boston this year, allowing nine runs and 10 hits in two innings of work after being acquired this year from Oakland for a player to be named later or cash. -- Second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) drove in the only run of the game, a two-out single in the fourth that brought home DH Allen Craig. The 22-year-old Hernandez, a lefty stick, reached out and pulled and outside breaking ball to right on the RBI single and finished 1-for-4 to put his Triple-A slash line at .226/.246/.358 through 35 games. At the time of his promotion on July 16 Hernandez was leading the Double-A Eastern League with a .326 average. -- Craig, 31, had doubled off the wall in right earlier in the fourth inning to set up the game'€™s lone run. Craig finished 2-for-4 and has reached safely in eight straight, with a 13-game surge of .327 (18-for-55) including five walks, five doubles, nine RBIs and four runs scored. On the season, since being optioned to Triple-A on May 10, Craig is slashing .275/.370/.353 with four home runs and 30 RBIs over 90 games. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (48-83): L, 6-2, at New Britain (Rockies) -- Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) walked to lead off the game, and then had a leadoff single in the seventh inning for Portland'€™s first hit of the game as in-between New Britain starter Hunter Musgrave pitched six hitless innings. Margot, 20, would add a double in the ninth pulled down the line in left field to finish 2-for-3 at the plate; however, Margot was erased on the basepaths for the second time in the game as he was picked off at first base in the first inning and thrown out in the ninth by New Britain'€™s center fielder while trying to advance to third base on a fly out, down by four runs. Signed by Boston during the 2011 international signing period out of the Dominican Republic for an $800,000 bonus, Margot has hit safely in nine of his last 12 games as he'€™s hit .291 (14-for-48) over that span with four doubles and seven runs scored. Through 54 games in Double-A Margot is slashing .249/.309/.373 with one home run, three triples, 18 doubles, 21 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. -- Portland'€™s only two runs of the game came in the seventh inning, with Margot scoring on third baseman Oscar Tejeda'€™s bases-loaded double play ball and shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin scoring on an RBI single from second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com). First baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) walked in the inning and now has reached base safely in 17 straight games. -- RHP Mike McCarthy took the loss with a final line of: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO (85 pitches, 55 strikes). The 27-year-old McCarthy (6-8, 4.54 ERA) has allowed six, nine, and five earned runs, respectively, in his last three starts; in 16 starts this year with Portland McCarthy has just two quality outings. -- LHP Williams Jerez (Boston'€™s No. 26 prospect at MLB.com) pitched a perfect ninth inning in relief, with two strikeouts, for his third straight scoreless outing. Converted to a pitcher after spending three years as an outfielder in the Boston organization, the 23-year-old Jerez has made 19 relief appearances in Portland, going 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 14 walks over 32 innings. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (59-70): W, 5-2, vs. Potomac (Nationals) -- RHP Kevin McAvoy won his fifth straight as he allowed just one run over seven innings, compiling a final line of: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO. All but one of McAvoy'€™s outs were recorded via a strikeout or infield putout, as the sinkerballer induced 10 total ground outs. The 6-foot-4 McAvoy (10-9, 3.93 ERA) allowed his only run in the seventh inning on a walk, stolen base and RBI single to center field that tied the game at 1. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out of Bryant University, McAvoy has had a strong six-start stretch dating to July 26 as he'€™s allowed just eight earned runs over 37 innings (1.94 ERA), with 23 strikeouts, 17 walks and no home runs allowed. Over that span the 22-year-old has lowered his season ERA from 4.70 to 3.93. "It's a long season, and whether you start good or bad in the beginning, you can learn a lot throughout the year and continuously work and improve," McAvoy told the Roanoke Times. "I think it does mean a lot to end the year strong, because that'€™s what you'€™re building on the rest of the offseason. That's the last thought in your mind." -- Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) gave Salem a 3-1 lead (and sent McAvoy to the win) with a bases-loaded two-RBI single to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rijo, 19, finished 2-for-4 to put his slash line at .251/.311/.357 through 99 games this year. In August, Rijo has slashed .284/.359/.333 with 10 RBIs and six runs scored over 21 games in the month. -- Right fielder Franklin Guzman went 3-for-4 with a home run, a solo shot in the eighth that increased Salem'€™s lead to 5-1, giving the 23-year-old Guzman his fifth homer in 40 games this season. Guzman, who snapped a personal 0-for-15 skid, also just missed a homer in the seventh as he hit one off the top of the wall in left field; Guzman pulled into third with what appeared to be a triple, but Potomac appealed and threw to second base and it was ruled that Guzman missed the bag and was called out. -- RHP Kyle Kaminska, just sent back from Double-A Portland, allowed a run over two innings to pick up his third Salem save of the year, and fifth save overall. The 26-year-old Kaminska allowed a double in the eighth and a triple in the ninth, with the later runner scoring on a sacrifice fly. Originally a 25th-round draft pick of the Marlins, Kaminska spent part of 2013 with Salem before announcing his retirement, then coming out of inactivity this summer and being re-assigned to Salem on June 19. All told in 16 appearances, Kaminska is 1-2 with a 2.58 ERA, with 34 strikeouts and just five walks over 45 1/3 innings. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (66-63): W, 10-2, vs. Greensboro (Marlins) -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-5 with three runs and two stolen bases, giving him 43 swipes on the season, including a double steal executed in the third inning as left fielder Bryan Hudson stole home on the throw to second base to give Greenville a 1-0 lead. Moncada would come home to score himself later in the inning on an RBI triple by third baseman Michael Chavis (Boston'€™s No. 11 prospect at MLB.com). Then, in the fifth, Moncada singled, stole second base and scored on an RBI single from center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com). Finally, in the seventh inning, Moncada would score on a two-run home run from right fielder Nick Longhi (Boston'€™s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) as Greenville increased its lead to 7-2. The 20-year-old Moncada has a six-game hitting streak and is slashing .295/.389/.466 over 71 games this season with eight homers, two triples, 18 doubles, 34 RBIs and 58 runs scored in his first year stateside. In the month of August, Moncada is at .375/.467/.625 with three homers, seven doubles, 10 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 16 games played. -- Every member of the Greenville lineup had at least a hit, including Longhi and first baseman J.T. Watkins who both sent seventh-inning home runs over the Fluor Field Green Monster in left. Longhi'€™s blast was his seventh of the season and third this month, while Watkins connected for a three-run shot, his first of the year over 28 games played. Longhi finished 2-for-4, while catcher David Spolika also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a triple. The third-inning triple by Chavis was his first of the season, driven to the left-center field gap and caroming off the wall. In 20 games this month, Chavis is slugging .530 with five homers and six doubles. -- LHP Dedgar Jimenez gave up just one earned run over six innings to earn the win with a final line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (77 pitches, 56 strikes). It was the second consecutive quality start for Jimenez (3-9, 4.41 ERA) and his eighth quality start of the year in 21 outings. Jimenez, 19, retired the first six batters of the game and then used double-play balls to erase runners in the third, fifth and sixth innings. The lone run against Jimenez came in the sixth after a walk and consecutive singles. All told over 114 1/3 innings this year, Jimenez has struck out 63 and walked 19. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (33-32): L, 3-2 in 12 innings, at Connecticut (Tigers) -- Catcher Austin Rei (Boston'€™s No. 18 prospect at MLB.com) gave Lowell a 2-1 lead in the top of the 12th inning with an RBI single to drive in center fielder Tate Matheny, but Connecticut scored two in the bottom of the 10th off of RHP Taylor Nunez to earn the 3-2 walk-off victory. After entering in the 10th inning and stranding two runners in each of the 10th and 11th innings, the 23-year-old Nunez allowed three straight hits in the 12th after one out was recorded, with two singles and a game-winning two-run double deciding things. Selected by Boston in the 27th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi, the 6-foot-4 Nunez is 2-3 with a 2.52 ERA over 14 appearances with the Spinners. Rei, 21, finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Selected in the third round of this year'€™s draft out of the University of Washington, Rei has struggled at the plate with a .186/.286/.320 slash line through 29 games. -- The Lowell offense had just six hits in the game, with second baseman Chad De La Guerra driving in a run on a single to right in the third inning to give the Spinners a 1-0 lead. De La Guerra, 22, is slashing .358/.306/.376 over 48 games this season, with two homers, two triples and 12 doubles. -- RHP Dioscar Romero allowed just one earned run over five innings, walking four and striking out one in a no-decision outing. Romero, 20, has allowed just the one run and three total hits over his last two starts, a total of 11 innings pitched. Through 12 starts, Romero is 2-3 with a 3.94 ERA. -- LHP Logan Boyd pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, with a bases-loaded strikeout in the ninth inning to preserve a 1-1 tie and send the game to extra innings. Selected by Boston in the 19th round of this year'€™s draft out of Sam Houston State University, Boyd is 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA over 11 outings, with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks in 35 1/3 innings pitched. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (40-17): Cancelled due to rain at GCL Orioles. Next action Friday at GCL Twins.