Blake Swihart

Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada has 8-game hit streak, 10 steals in 10 games

Ken Laird
April 17, 2016 - 7:16 pm
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Here's a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday. TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (6-5): W, 7-4, at Buffalo (Blue Jays) -- Catcher Blake Swihart, making his first start with Pawtucket since his demotion from Boston, led off the ninth inning with an opposite-field double down the left-field line to start a four-run, comeback rally. Swihart later scored on outfielder Justin Maxwell's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4, and a two-out single from infielder Sean Coyle put the PawSox on top 6-4. Swihart, 24, finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts (both looking) as he spent the whole game behind the plate and hit third in the batting order. Last season in 20 games with Pawtucket, Swihart hit .311 (23-for-74) with three doubles and 11 RBIs. Swihart played 84 games in the majors last season and went 5-for-18 (.278) without an extra-base hit in six big-league games this year. -- Shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston's No. 9 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with a double, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored. The 25-year-old Marrero singled and scored in the first, doubled in a run in the second and added an insurance run in the ninth with a single to right. Marrero has three multi-hit games in his last four played, bringing his average up to 9-for-42 (.214) after a 1-for-19 start to the season. -- Right fielder Rusney Castillo and DH Sam Travis (Boston's No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) had multi-hit games, each going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Castillo also reached a third time via walk and stole his second base. Castillo is 4-for-13 with a double in his first three games since his demotion from Boston, while Travis is 11-for-43 (.256) with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored in 11 games on the season. -- LHP Roenis Elias made his second start of the year, with a no-decision final line of: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO (96 pitches, 58 strikes). The 27-year-old Elias allowed single runs in the first and third innings as leadoff walks in both frames came around to score. After allowing a two-out single and a walk in the sixth, Elias was pulled for reliever Jorge Marban. Acquired by Boston in the offseason trade of Wade Miley to Seattle, the 6-foot-1 Elias has allowed four earned runs this year over 9 1/3 innings (3.86 ERA) with nine strikeouts and seven walks. Last season with the Seattle organization Elias made 12 starts in Triple-A, allowing four earned runs or more in nine of of the 12; in the majors, however, Elias had 11 quality starts out of 20 and gave up three earned runs or fewer in 15 of the 20. -- LHP Wesley Wright closed the game out with a perfect bottom of the ninth for his first save of the year. The 31-year-old, released by Arizona after spring training, was signed to a minor league contract by Boston earlier in the week. Wright has spent parts of eight seasons in the majors in his career, with 372 games pitched and a 4.16 ERA over 307 innings of work; he has held big-league, left-handed hitters to a .237 batting average since his debut with Houston in 2008. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (4-7): L, 8-1, vs. Hartford (Rockies) -- RHP Aaron Wilkerson pitched six shutout innings, with a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO (87 pitches, 60 strikes). Both hits allowed by Wilkerson were singles, and he stranded two other runners that reached via error. "He puts it right where he wants it," catcher Jake Romanski told the Portland Press Herald. "If you have a well-located pitch, it's hard to hit. I put my glove down and I'm not moving it. He is super fun to catch. He can throw anything in any count." The 26-year-old Wilkerson is 1-0 on the season through three starts with an ERA of just 0.54, as he's allowed one earned run in 16 2/3 innings of work with 22 strikeouts and only three walks. Acquired by Boston in August of 2014 out of the independent American Association, Wilkerson impressed in 2015 by going 11-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 29 appearances split between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. -- Portland's offense could find little offensive support for Wilkerson's fine start, finishing with just six singles and one run scored in the third as shortstop Jose Vinicio reached on an error, advanced on a single from second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston's No. 18 prospect at MLB.com), and scored on a sacrifice fly from right fielder Rainel Rosario. -- Portland's defense was also lacking, with two errors charged to Vinicio on throws, one to Witte on a throw, one to shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin on a throw, and another to left fielder Aneury Tavarez in the field. -- RHP Simon Mercedes suffered the loss (0-2, 12.27 ERA) as he allowed three earned runs on five hits in two innings of relief. The 6-foot-4 Mercedes gave up a two-run homer in the seventh that gave Hartford a 2-1 lead, with Lin's error and three straight hits leading to three more runs crossing in the eighth. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (7-4): W, 3-1, at Winston-Salem (White Sox) -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston's No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) hit a ninth-inning double to drive in shortstop Deiner Lopez and break a 1-1 tie, with Moncada coming around to score on center fielder Danny Mars' ensuing double for an insurance run. Moncada finished the day 2-for-4 with the double, a walk, an RBI and run scored to go with three stolen bases. On the season Moncada has 10 steals, tied for the most in the Carolina League. Signed by Boston for a record $31.5 million bonus out of Cuba last year, Moncada now has an eight-game hitting streak and is slashing .333/.444/.528 over his first 10 games this season with two triples, three doubles, eight walks, five RBIs and eight runs scored. -- Mars, 22, now has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .351 (13-for-37) on the season with a triple, double, five RBIs, six runs scored and five stolen bases. Selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Chipola College, Mars last season slashed .283/.335/.331 over 41 games with Greenville with seven extra-base hits, 16 RBIs, 23 runs and 15 steals. -- DH Andrew Benintendi (Boston's No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-5 with a triple — his fifth three-bagger of the season — to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Benintendi is slashing .326/.396/.651 over his first 11 games with nine extra-base hits, although he has yet to hit a home run on the year. -- Third baseman Jordan Betts led Greenville with three hits, going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Selected by Boston in the 18th round of the 2014 out of Duke University, Betts is 7-for-19 (.368) with a homer and three doubles in five games played this year. Betts slashed .269/.333/.479 last year in 64 games with Short-Season Lowell, cracking 10 homers to go with 40 RBIs. -- LHP Dedgar Jimenez had an excellent start with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO (75 pitches, 47 strikes). The 20-year-old native of Venezuela induced 10 ground outs to just three fly outs, including two that went for double-play balls behind him. Despite not receiving the run support in his first two starts to earn victories, Jimenez has allowed just three earned runs in 10 innings (2.70 ERA) so far this year. -- Relievers Mario Alcantara and Jake Drehoff combined to pitch three scoreless innings behind Jimenez, with Alcantara earning the win (2-0, 1.17 ERA) and Drehoff his second save. The 23-year-old Alcantara has allowed just one earned run over 7 2/3 innings to start the year, while Drehoff has picked up two saves in his last two outings with 2 1/3 scoreless innings to go with four strikeouts. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (7-4): W, 11-5, at Columbia (Mets) -- The two through four hitters in Greenville's order combined to go 9-for-15 with four homers, two doubles, seven RBIs and seven runs scored on Sunday as DH Mitchell Gunsolus, third baseman Michael Chavis (Boston's No. 10 prospect at MLB.com), and first baseman Josh Ockimey (Boston's No. 16 prospect at MLB.com) led an 18-hit attack by the Drive. Gunsolus, 23, pulled solo home runs to right in the first and third innings and drove in another run in the fourth on a ground out. Selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2015 draft out of Gonzaga University, Gunsolus is off to a 10-for-33 (.303) start to 2016 with Sunday's homers marking his first two of the year. In 2015 with Short-Season Lowell Gunsolus slashed just .225/.319/.281 with one homer and six doubles in his first 49 games as a professional. Chavis, 20, doubled and scored in the first, singled and scored in the third, and hit a two-run homer — his first of the season — in the ninth to finish the day 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. A first-round pick of Boston's in 2014, Chavis is now hitting 14-for-40 (.350) on the season and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. Ockimey, 20, went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored as his third dinger of the season capped Greenville's scoring in the ninth. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of high school in Pennsylvania, Ockimey is off to an 11-for-34 (.324) start with six extra-base hits in nine games played. -- Every memeber of the Greenville batting order had at least one hit, with other multi-hit games from second baseman Chad De La Guerra (2-for-5), catcher Austin Rei (2-for-5), and left fielder Kyri Washington (2-for-4). -- RHP Marc Brakeman (Boston's No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) made his 2016 debut, starting the game and pitching four innings with two earned runs allowed on seven hits and no walks. The 21-year-old Brakeman struck out four and threw 80 pitches, with 49 for strikes. Selected by Boston in the 16th round of the 2015 draft out of Stanford University, Brakeman pitched just one inning with the Boston organization last year after battling shoulder soreness in his final year in college.