Jorge Marban

Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: Andrew Benintendi cracks 10th homer in 45th pro game; Yoan Moncada gaps 2-run triple as Greenville fights for playoffs

Ken Laird
August 30, 2015 - 4:25 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (54-81): L, 5-1, at Rochester (Twins) -- LHP Edwin Escobar (Boston'€™s No. 26 prospect at MLB.com) lasted just four innings, allowing solo home runs to lead off the first and third frames and surrendering three more runs in the fourth for a final line of: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO (83 pitches, 44 strikes). With the loss, Escobar fell to 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in his new role as a starter over five August outings since transitioning from the bullpen. The 23-year-old had allowed just two earned runs over his last three starts, a total of 17 innings, before Saturday'€™s setback. On the season, which for Escobar began in June after starting the year on the DL with shoulder inflammation, the southpaw has thrown 44 2/3 innings over 19 games with 22 strikeouts and 21 walks. -- RHP Jorge Marban pitched three perfect innings in relief of Escobar, retiring all nine batters he faced on 31 pitches, 22 of which were strikes. Marban, 26, struck out one and lowered his ERA to 0.79 (11 1/3 IP, 1 ER) in his fifth Triple-A appearance since being promoted from Double-A Portland, now totaling 11 strikeouts and four walks with the PawSox over that span. Signed by Boston out of the Australian Baseball League in November of 2014, the 6-foot-1 Marban has held opposing batters to a collective .201 average this year over 60 1/3 innings combined between High-A Salem, Double-A Portland and now Triple-A Pawtucket. -- RHP Pat Light (Boston'€™s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one batter on a split-finger fastball and finishing with 10 pitches, nine for strikes. Light, 24, now has back-to-back scoreless outings after walking three batters and allowing two runs in an inning on Aug. 23. Selected by Boston in the first round (37th overall) of the 2012 draft out of Monmouth University, the 6-foot-5 Light has made 24 appearances with the PawSox, compiling a 4.88 ERA over 31 1/3 innings with 35 strikeouts and 26 walks while holding batters to a .233 average. -- The Pawtucket offense managed just one run on the night, a sixth-inning marker on an RBI double from third baseman Carlos Rivero that scored shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston'€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com). Rivero, 27, finished 2-for-4 to bring his slash line to .256/.299/.329 over 19 games since being acquired by Boston from Seattle for cash considerations on Aug. 9. -- Second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) also went 2-for-4 to give himself five hits over his last three games. Catcher Sandy Leon went 1-for-4 with a double. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (49-84): L, 2-1, at New Britain (Rockies) -- RHP Justin Haley pitched well enough to earn his seventh quality start of the season, but without enough run support suffered the tough-luck loss with a final line of 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (87 pitches, 64 strikes). Haley (5-15, 5.23 ERA) allowed a run in the second on a safety-squeeze bunt, after a runner had singled and reached third on a throwing error from catcher Luis Martinez. Then, in the fourth, rehabbing major leaguer Justin Morneau drilled the first offering from Haley, a breaking ball, over the right-center wall for a home run to give New Britain a 2-0 lead. The 24-year-old Haley would recover to retire the final nine batters he faced. Selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State University, the 6-foot-5 Haley has made 26 starts for Portland this year for a total of 118 2/3 innings pitched, striking out 93 and walking 47. Last season Haley combined to go 10-6 with a 2.35 ERA over 25 outings split between High-A Salem and Portland. -- The Portland offense managed just two hits for the game, scoring its lone run in the fourth as center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) singled, was sacrificed to second by right fielder Cole Sturgeon, moved to third on a ground out from first baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com), and scored on a missed-catch error by the New Britain first baseman after a hot shot to the right side of the infield by second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com). -- Travis had the only other hit for Portland, going 1-for-4 to reach base safely now in 55 of his 59 starts in Double-A. Travis, 22, continues to lead all Red Sox minor leaguers in with a .303 average and 71 RBIs through 125 games combined between High-A Salem and Portland. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University, Travis has hit a collective eight home runs, six triples, and 29 doubles, and has a .373 on-base percentage this season. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (60-71): L, 5-1, vs. Potomac (Nationals) -- RHP Ty Buttrey had his fourth quality start this month, but for the third time in those four starts took the tough-luck loss with Saturday'€™s final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO. The seven innings pitched ties a career high for Buttrey (8-9, 3.98 ERA), and the 22-year-old has gone seven frames in three of his last six appearances. Potomac jumped on Buttrey for two runs in the first inning on a two-out, two-run single after he allowed a triple and a walk. The 6-foot-6 Buttrey then put up zeroes in innings two through six, allowing one more run in the seventh after two hits sandwiched around a walk. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of high school in North Carolina, Buttrey now has thrown 132 2/3 innings this season with an opposing batting average of .255 to go with 101 strikeouts and 46 walks. Despite the four quality starts in August, Buttrey is just 1-5 with a 5.20 ERA over six outings this month, with a nine-earned-run start on Aug. 19 adversely affecting Buttrey'€™s statistics. -- The Salem offense managed just six hits in the game, scoring its lone run in the fourth inning after a walk to right fielder Kevin Heller and an RBI double from DH Zach Kapstein. Salem batters drew six walks, but the team finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and nine left on base. Kapstein, 23, is slashing .268/.329/.352 over 22 games with Salem after coming off the disabled list in June. -- Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Over that span Dubon is hitting .411 (14-for-34) with six walks, two doubles and four multi-hit games to raise his Salem average from .241 to .264. Starting the year in Single-A Greenville, Dubon slashed .301/.354/.428 over his first 58 games before being promoted to High-A. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (68-63): W, 10-4, at Rome (Braves) -- DH Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) cracked a three-run home run in the top of the first inning, bringing home right fielder Danny Mars and third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston'€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) to give Greenville a lead it would not relinquish. Turning on a fastball and pulling it over the right-center wall, Benintendi picked up his third home run with Greenville and 10th homer as a professional in 45 games since being selected by Boston with the seventh pick in this year'€™s draft out of the University of Arkansas. Benintendi, 21, finished 2-for-6 with two runs scored and now has a four-game hitting streak with six hits over that span. The 5-foot-10 Benintendi is slashing .333/.426/.564 over 10 games with the Drive since his promotion from Short-Season Lowell with 11 RBIs, 10 runs scored and seven walks over those 10 contests. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) tripled home two runs in the third inning to give Greenville a 7-2 lead, pulling a ball into the right-center field gap and sliding into third base ahead of the relay throw. It was the third triple of the year for Moncada, who has reached base safely in eight straight games to raise his slash line to .291/.391/.465 through 73 games played. Moncada, 20, hit a few other balls hard but finished 1-for-6 with two strikeouts on the night. -- Shortstop Javier Guerra (Boston'€™s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) tripled home a run in the sixth and reached base three times, finishing 1-for-4 with two walks and two runs. Guerra, 19, has a four-game hitting streak and has hit safely in eight of nine to put his slash line at .280/.330/.460 with 15 homers and 63 RBIs over 107 games played. -- LHP Luis Ramos, 20, gave up three runs over five innings and picked up the win (3-3, 6.07 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (64 pitches, 43 strikes). Ramos pitched six scoreless innings in his last start on Aug. 23 and has bounced back with two solid outings after giving up seven and five earned runs in his two previous starts. -- RHP Carlos Pinales pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Ramos, giving up two doubles but stranding both runners for his fourth straight scoreless appearance. Pinales, 23, is 5-4 with a 4.20 ERA for Greenville with 29 relief outings totaling 70 2/3 innings, with 46 strikeouts and 10 walks. -- Entering Sunday's action, Greenville holds a half-game lead over the Asheville Tourists for a wild card berth in the South Atlantic League playoffs out of the Southern Division. Greenville'€™s overall record is 68-63, with Asheville at 67-63. Greenville has nine games remaining in the regular season. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (34-33): W, 4-3 in 10 innings, at Connecticut (Tigers) -- Lowell scored three runs in the top of the 10th, breaking a 1-1- tie, and held on for the win as Tate Matheny and Mitchell Gunsolus produced two-out RBI singles in the decisive frame. Matheny, 21, finished 1-for-4 with a walk but had a clutch RBI for the second time this week, as his bases-loaded single in the sixth inning on Wednesday broke a 3-3 tie and sent Lowell to the victory. The son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, Tate was selected by Boston in the fourth round of this year'€™s draft out of Missouri State University. -- LHP Bobby Poyner picked up his ninth save, but it was a drama-filled bottom of the 10th as Connecticut plated two runs on two doubles sandwiched around a walk before Poyner ended the game on a 6-4-3 double play. Selected by Boston in the 22nd round of this year'€™s draft out of the University of Florida, the 22-year-old Poyner is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA over 15 outings as a professional, with 21 strikeouts and just two walks over 21 1/3 innings. -- RHP Jose Almonte started and pitched six shutout innings, with a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (84 pitches, 56 strikes). The 19-year-old Almonte retired nine straight at one point until a single in the sixth, before finishing out for a total of six ground outs and five fly outs to go with the four whiffs. Signed by Boston during the 2012 international signing period for a $610,000 bonus, the 6-foot-2 Almonte is 3-3 with a 3.66 ERA over 13 starts with Lowell, with 55 strikeouts and 37 walks in 59 innings. -- Lowell has nine games remaining on the season and trails division leader Tri-City by 2 1/2 games. The Spinners also are in contention for the New York-Penn League'€™s lone wild card berth, as they are two games back of West Virginia in a tight pack of teams in contention. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (41-17): Cancelled due to rain vs. GCL Twins. Next action Sunday vs. GCL Cardinals in one-game Gulf Coast Semifinal.