Matt Barnes

Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Manuel Margot has 3 hits to lead Portland; Rafael Devers cracks grand slam in Greenville breakout

Ken Laird
July 27, 2015 - 4:43 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-61): L, 11-10, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays) -- Pawtucket lost its eighth straight game, this time blowing a six-run lead, as Buffalo scored three in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth to complete the sweep. The PawSox have a 3-19 record in July. RHP Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless sixth in relief, but he walked the first two batters of the seventh inning before allowing a three-run home run that brought Buffalo within 10-7. That snapped a string of seven straight scoreless innings for Barnes, Boston'€™s 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft. In the eighth, LHP Edwin Escobar (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com) retired two batters but left two aboard as he gave way for RHP Ronald Belisario. After a single and an error by shortstop Marco Hernandez plated two Buffalo runs, Belisario allowed a game-tying RBI double and then walked in what proved to be the winning run. -- The defensive miscue marred what was a nice offensive night for Hernandez, as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. His double in the second inning scored Jonathan Roof, and a third-inning double scored Travis Shaw and Garin Cecchini (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com). The error was the first charged to Hernandez since he joined Pawtucket, coming on a backhand in the hole that he initially gloved and then bobbled. In 10 games with the PawSox the 22-year-old Hernandez is hitting .306 with a homer and three doubles, eight runs and six RBIs. -- Second baseman Jeff Bianchi went 4-for-6 with two doubles for Pawtucket, driving in three runs. Shaw finished 2-for-4 with a walk. First baseman Allen Craig and right fielder Rusney Castillo each reached base twice, as did Cecchini who had a single, a double and two RBIs. -- Infielder Jemile Weeks, the brother of major leaguer Rickie Weeks, was called up to Boston and added to the 40-man roster as second baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list. Weeks has played 28 games at second base and 16 at shortstop this year with Pawtucket; at the plate he'€™s hit just .207 in 51 games. A first-round draft pick of the A'€™s in 2008, Weeks was acquired by Boston in 2014 from Baltimore with Ivan DeJesus Jr. in exchange for Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar. In a corresponding roster move, RHP Noe Ramirez was optioned back to Pawtucket. Ramirez made three appearances with Boston, allowing three earned runs, including two homers, in five innings of work. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (39-63): W, 7-2, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays) -- Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 4 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for 5 with a triple and two runs scored to lead a 14-hit Portland attack as the Sea Dogs swept a four-game series with New Hampshire. Every starter in the Portland lineup had at least one hit in Sunday'€™s win. Margot, 20, singled and stole his ninth base in the third inning, coming home to score on Sam Travis'€™ RBI single to give Portland a 2-0 lead. Then in the sixth, Margot sent a 1-2 pitch into the opposite-field gap in right-center to drive in a run as Margot reached third without a throw, increasing Portland'€™s lead to 6-2. Margot has eight triples on the season combined between Portland and High-A Salem, three of those coming with the Sea Dogs. Signed for an $800,000 bonus out of the Dominican Republic during the 2011 international signing period, Margot has hits in five straight and has raised his slash line to .276/.326/.407 in the 30 games since his promotion on June 22. -- Left fielder Aneury Tavarez hit a solo home run, his fifth on the season, to give Portland a 3-2 lead in the fifth. The 23-year-old Tavarez pulled his long ball over the right-center wall to keep a modest four-game hit streak going since his return from the temporary inactive list (July 8-21). Tavarez led High-A Salem last year with 11 homers. -- RHP Justin Haley picked up the win with a final line of: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. After three scoreless innings of work, Haley (4-11, 5.38 ERA) allowed a solo home run in the fourth and a run in the fifth on two singles sandwiched around a passed ball. "Finally," Haley remarked to the Portland Press Herald after the game. "Everything was feeling good today. I felt like I had a good fastball, a good changeup, and threw some good breaking pitches. Sometimes you have to have a building year. This year I have had some struggles -- I wouldn't call them setbacks -- and I'€™m trying to learn from them." The 24-year-old Haley, a 6-foot-5 righty selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State, last year went 10-6 with a 2.35 ERA combined over 19 appearances combined between Portland and High-A Salem. -- RHP Heri Quevedo retired six of the seven batters he faced, striking out four, including the side in the seventh inning. Since moving to the bullpen on July 9, the 25-year-old Quevedo has given up just one earned run in nine innings with 12 strikeouts. In five starts for Portland, Quevedo was 0-5 with an 8.86 ERA. Quevedo was signed by Boston for a $150,000 bonus in the 2011 international signing period. -- RHP Jorge Marban closed out the game with two scoreless innings, giving the 26-year-old a span of 12 straight scoreless outings. Marban has allowed just one earned run in 28 2/3 innings of work with Portland since his promotion on May 20. Originally signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent, Marban was signed by Boston in November out of Perth of the Australian League after parts of three years spent in the independent Frontier League. -- Catcher Jordan Weems was called up from Salem, with catcher Alixon Suarez being sent to Lowell. A third-round selection by Boston in the 2011 draft out of high school in Georgia, Weems has hit .257/.333/.343 over 31 games this year with Salem. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (51-50): L, 3-0, vs. Potomac (Nationals) -- Salem'€™s offense was held to just three hits, none of them leaving the infield, as the team stranded six in scoring position in the shutout loss. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon had two hits to go with a walk, and center fielder Cole Sturgeon had the other infield single. Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) has a six-game hitting streak and has raised his average 27 points over that span. The 21-year-old hit .301 over 58 games this year with Single-A Greenville before being promoted on June 26. -- RHP Kevin McAvoy (5-9, 4.40 ERA) took the loss despite a quality start and McAvoy'€™s second-longest outing of the year: 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO. It was McAvoy'€™s first start since allowing eight earned runs over 3 2/3 on July 16. On Sunday, McAvoy'€™s own fielding error lead to the three unearned runs crossing the plate in the second inning. The sinkerballer induced a grounder after three singles to open the frame and got one runner forced out at home. Then, on a potential double-play grounder to first, McAvoy dropped the throw from second while covering the first-base bag. Another single later in the inning brought home two. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out of Bryant University, McAvoy has thrown quality starts in four of his last six outings. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (51-49): W, 10-2, at Charleston (Yankees) -- The Greenville offense broke out for 16 hits and the Drive ended a seven-game losing streak, erasing an early 2-0 deficit with runs in six innings. A home run by first baseman Nick Longhi (Boston'€™s No. 20 prospect at MLB.com), his fourth on the season, tied the game at 2 in the fourth, and a grand slam by third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com), his 10th blast of the year, broke open a 9-2 lead in the eighth. It was the third career grand slam for Devers, pulled by the lefty well over the right-field fence on the first pitch he saw in the eighth. Devers, 18, has eight extra-base hits this month with 16 RBIs, giving him a South Atlantic League-ranked seventh-most 52 RBIs on the season. Devers'€™ season-long slash line is .296/.324/.457. Longhi finished the day 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI single to snap an 0-for-17 skid. The 19-year-old Longhi is slashing .282/.344/.395 this year over 82 games with Greenville, now with 43 RBIs, after hitting .330 for Lowell last year in 30 games. Selected by the Red Sox out of high school in Florida in the 30th round of the 2013 draft, Longhi was born in Springfield but moved to Florida as an infant. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) was 1-for-2 with a walk, two sacrifice flies and his 20th stolen base. Moncada left the game in the eighth after reaching on an error as he was pinch-run for, reportedly rubbing the back of his upper left leg as he walked off under his own power. The 20-year-old Moncada is hitting .329 in July with four homers, a triple and five doubles. -- Several other Drive batters had big offensive days, including center fielder Danny Mars and shortstop Deiner Lopez, who went 3-for-5, and right fielder Joseph Monge, who reached base three times. Mars, 21, tripled for the first time this year and has six hits in his last three games to raise his average to .313 since being called up from the Gulf Coast League on July 16. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (18-18): W, 6-5, vs. Auburn (Nationals) -- Right fielder Luis Alexander Basabe hit a two-out double in the eighth and came home to score after a fielding error on Andrew Benintendi'€™s ground ball to second base, giving Lowell a 6-5 lead it would not relinquish. Basabe, 18, also stole two bases and finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored while extending his hitting streak to seven games. The switch-hitter is batting .345 (10-for-29) over those seven games with a homer, four doubles and six runs scored. Signed with his twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe for a $450,000 bonus out of Venezuela during the 2012 international signing period, Basabe has a slash line through 32 games with Lowell of .262/.333/.469 with six homers, 20 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. Basabe ranks first in home runs, 10th in runs scored, fifth in steals and fourth in slugging percentage among New York-Penn League leaders. -- Catcher Austin Rei hit his first professional home run and also doubled to tie the game in the sixth inning, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Rei'€™s homer was a solo blast to lead off the fifth inning, giving Lowell its first run toward a comeback as it trailed 4-0. A 21-year-old righty bat from the University of Washington, Rei was selected by Boston with the 81st overall pick of this year'€™s draft. After an 0-for-18 slump, Rei now has five hits in his last three games with three runs scored. -- RHP Trevor Kelly picked up his first major league victory as he struck out four of the six batters he faced and stranded three runners to preserve the victory in the eighth and ninth innings. Entering with runners on second and third eighth, Kelly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) struck out two to keep the game deadlocked at 5, enabling Basabe'€™s winning run in the bottom of the inning. Selected in the 36th round of this year'€™s draft out of the University of North Carolina, the 6-foot-2 Kelly made six appearances in the Gulf Coast League before his promotion to Lowell on July 18. So far in nine combined outings as a professional, all out of the bullpen, Kelly has allowed just one earned run over 11 innings with 15 strikeouts to three walks. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (19-8): Scheduled off day. Next action Monday, doubleheader vs. GCL Orioles For more, check out the WEEI.com Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.

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