Dayan Diaz

Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: Carlos Asuaje has 8-game hit streak in Double-A; Kevin McAvoy wins 4th straight in High-A Salem

Ken Laird
August 23, 2015 - 4:24 am

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (49-79): L, 2-0, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies) -- LHP Rich Hill, in his second start since being signed out of the independent Atlantic League, pitched seven strong innings but took the tough-luck loss with a final line of: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (81 pitches, 59 strikes). Hill (3-3. 2.31 ERA) retired the first eight batters of the game, allowing just a single in the third and fourth innings before again finishing the side in order in the fifth and sixth. Finally, in the seventh, Lehigh Valley broke through with three straight hits, plating a run on a double play to make it 2-0. Hill, a 6-foot-5, 35-year-old lefty, was released by the Nationals this year 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. In 2014, Hill made 16 major league relief appearances split between the Angels and the Yankees. -- RHP Dayan Diaz and RHP Ryan Cook each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, with Diaz striking out two around a double and Cook allowing a walk while whiffing one. Diaz, 26, is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA over 25 outings with the PawSox, with 12 earned runs allowed in 54 innings of work. The 5-foot-10 Diaz, a native of Colombia, has struck out 48 while walking 27, and opposing batters are connecting at just a .218 clip against him. Originally signed by Houston during the 2005 international signing period, Diaz spent six years in the Astros system and one with the Chicago Cubs organization before Boston signed him to a minor league contract in December of 2013. -- The Pawtucket offense had just six hits on the night, with perhaps the best chance to score coming in the fifth inning. After leadoff singles by first baseman Allen Craig and DH Humberto Quintero, left fielder Garin Cecchini drove one to the wall in right-center field only to be robbed of extra bases by Lehigh Valley'€™s Tyler Henson, who made a running over-the-shoulder catch for the out. The PawSox also had two hits in the sixth, with shortstop Marco Hernandez (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at hitting a one-out double and catcher Sandy Leon following with a single. However, third baseman Carlos Rivero and Craig flied out to end the inning. Leon finished 2-for-4 to put his slash line at .310/.388/.394 through 19 games in Triple-A, with a homer, three doubles and 12 RBIs. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (46-80): L, 12-1, at Harrisburg (Nationals) -- Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at extended his hitting streak to eight games, going 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning single. The 23-year-old Asuaje is hitting .438 (14-for-32) over the streak with three homers, a triple, a double and eight RBIs. An Eastern League All-Star this year, Asuaje leads the league with seven triples and he has reached base safely in 95 of his 117 starts this year. Selected by Boston in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Nova Southeastern University, the 5-foot-9 Asuaje is slashing .263/.349/.392 with seven homers, 54 RBIs and 57 runs scored, the later total good for 10th highest in the league. -- Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 3 prospect at went 1-for-3 with a walk and his 16th stolen base at the Double-A level, and he now has hits in five of his last seven games. Margot, 20, is slashing .249/.305/.371 with a homer, three triples and 15 doubles over 49 games with Portland, with hits in 35 those contests. Over the first 46 games of the year with High-A Salem, Margot slashed .282/.321/.420 with three homers, five triples and six doubles. -- RHP Mike McCarthy faced 10 batters in the first inning and recorded just one out, as rehabbing major leaguers Denard Span and Dan Uggla helped Harrisburg pound out seven hits and rack up nine runs in the bottom of the first inning, with Uggla'€™s three-run homer getting Harrisburg off to a 2-0 lead after Span drew a leadoff walk. McCarthy, 27, was pulled for RHP Kyle Kaminska, who allowed two more singles as 14 men came to the plate in the inning. Kaminska recovered to pitch 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his second appearance this year in Double-A, with Span connecting on a solo homer in the third frame. Kaminska struck out three and walked one, with four hits allowed. In 32 2/3 innings with Salem this year before his promotion, in mostly a long-relief role, Kaminska was 1-2 with a 3.03 ERA, with 23 strikeouts to three walks over 11 games. -- Before the game, David Chester was activated from the disabled list and outfielder Henry Ramos (Boston'€™s No. 27 prospect at was placed on the DL. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (56-68): W, 4-3, at Wilmington (Royals) -- RHP Kevin McAvoy had a quality start and picked up the win with a final line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO (86 pitches, 55 strikes). The 22-year-old McAvoy (9-9, 4.08 ERA) has won each of his last four starts, with just seven earned runs allowed over his last 30 innings (2.10 ERA). On Saturday, McAvoy retired the first six batters he faced before Wilmington scored three runs in the third inning on four straight hits. McAvoy recovered to end the inning, and allowed baserunners in each of the next three frames but avoided any further damage. In typical fashion, the sinker-baller McAvoy produced a dose of ground balls with seven ground outs to just two fly outs. -- Right fielder Kevin Heller had a first-inning RBI double and first baseman Jordan Betts and DH Cole Sturgeon followed with RBI doubles in the second inning as Salem jumped out to a 4-0 lead and hung on for the victory, snapping the team'€™s seven-game losing streak. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 21 prospect at also knocked in a run with a single, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to raise his slash line to .245/.316/.277 over 49 games with Salem. In August, Dubon is at .290/.364/.304 as he has hits in six of his last eight contests. Dubon also was charged with an error, his sixth, on a throw in the fifth inning but recovered to help turn an inning-ending double play to keep the potential tying run from scoring. -- RHP Chandler Shepherd pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save, allowing a one-out single before striking out the final two batters of the game. Shepherd, 22, now has four straight scoreless appearances and over 45 1/3 innings has allowed 19 ER (3.77 ERA) with 39 strikeouts and just six walks. Selected by Boston in the 13th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Kentucky, the 6-foot-3 Shepherd has pitched in 23 games this year with Salem after the first seven to start the year with Greenville. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (63-62): L, 5-4, at Delmarva (Orioles) -- LHP Jalen Beeks was activated off the DL after missing one start, and took the loss with a final line of: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO (64 pitches, 43 strikes). Beeks (9-5, 4.04 ERA) has allowed a home run in three straight starts as he gave up a three-run shot in the bottom of the first to give Delmarva a 3-2 lead. The 5-foot-11 Beeks battled through each of his first four innings, as he balked and threw a wild pitch in the second, gave up two runs in the third after a leadoff single and double, and gave up a leadoff single in the fourth before rebounding to strike out the side. The 22-year-old then finished his night with a perfect fifth, retiring the last six batters he faced in all. Selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beeks has made 23 starts this year with Greenville, with 133 2/3 innings pitched to go with 92 strikeouts and just 26 walks. Opposing batters are hitting .263 against him, with lefties connecting at just a .229 clip. Beeks has allowed 15 home runs, including eight in his last 10 starts. -- RHP Mario Alcantara pitched three scoreless innings of relief to keep Greenville close, allowing just two singles and a walk over his three frames. The 22-year-old Alcantara is 4-2 this year with a 3.82 ERA over 32 relief appearances, pitching 66 innings with 62 strikeouts and 34 walks. In his last four outings, the 6-foot-2 Dominican has not allowed a run in 10 total innings of work, with 12 strikeouts to just three free passes. -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at, again batting in the cleanup spot, had a hit for his fourth straight game as he went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The 21-year-old Benintendi had a single in the first to bring home third baseman Michael Chavis (Boston'€™s No. 11 prospect at for Greenville'€™s first run, and then came around to score on an RBI-double by first baseman Nick Longhi (Boston'€™s No. 20 prospect at Benintendi, selected by Boston in the first round (seventh overall) of this year'€™s draft out of the University of Arkansas, is now hitting .368 (7-for-19) with the Drive in five games since his promotion from Lowell on August 17. Longhi went 2-for-3 with a walk to put his season-long slash line at .278/.339/.393 over 103 games with Greenville, with six home runs, three triples and 22 doubles. Selected by Boston in the 30th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Florida, the 20-year-old Longhi has 55 RBIs and 46 runs scored on the year. -- Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at did not play for the second straight game. Left fielder Danny Mars took over the leadoff spot of the batting order in Moncada'€™s absence, and he had mutli-hit games in both as he went 2-for-4 Saturday with a walk and an RBI to raise his slash line to .300/.359/.358 over 29 games with Greenville. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (30-30): L, 3-2, and L, 3-2 in 10 innings vs. Staten Island (Yankees) -- In Game 1 of a doubleheader, a makeup of Friday'€™s postponement, LHP Michael Gunn made his first appearance with Lowell since his demotion from Greenville and allowed two runs in the top of the ninth on two hits and two walks, taking the loss as Lowell fell 3-2 in two extra innings past the scheduled seven-inning doubleheader standard. The Lowell offense got one run back in the bottom of the ninth, with an RBI double from DH Mitchell Gunsolus scoring left fielder Kyri Washington, but Gunsolus was stranded at third as pinch-hitter Aneudis Peralta grounded out to end the game. Washington finished 2-for-4 on just a six-hit night for the Lowell offense. -- Starting RHP Dioscar Romero pitched six strong inning in a no-decision start, with a final line of: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (87 pitches, 51 strikes). Romero retired 10 of his final 11 batters, with the only baserunner reaching on a fielding error by shortstop Jeremy Rivera that Romero erased on a double play. The 20-year-old Romero, signed by Boston for $600,000 during the 2011 international signing period out of the Dominican Republic, is 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA this year over 11 starts, with 27 strikeouts and 23 walks over 43 innings pitched. -- In Game 2 of the doubleheader, Lowell dropped another 3-2 decision, this one in 10 innings, as Brooklyn scored a run in the top of the 10th against RHP Enfember Martinez on a solo home run. LHP Logan Boyd made his first professional start and it was a quality, no-decision outing with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO (80 pitches, 53 strikes). Boyd, 21, allowed a run on two hits in the second and gave up a solo home run in the fourth before retiring the final seven batters he faced. Selected by Boston in the 19th round of this year'€™s draft out of Sam Houston State University, Boyd is 3-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 10 appearances this year, with 29 strikeouts to 11 walks over 30 2/3 innings. -- Right fielder Luis Alexander Basabe (Boston'€™s No. 30 prospect at went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two stolen bases, giving him 15 in the later category, as he raised his slash line to .243/.340/.407 through 54 games. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (38-16): W, 8-3, at GCL Twins -- The GCL Red Sox offense banged out 13 hits, with multi-hit games from first baseman Jerry Downs (2-for-4, two runs, RBI), third baseman Roldani Baldwin (2-for-5, two runs, double, RBI), DH Andy Perez (2-for-2, run, two RBIs, three walks) and right fielder Tyler Hill (3-for-5, RBI). Downs, a 21-year-old lefty stick, has nine hits in his last four games and is slashing .300/.424/.417 over 38 games since being selected in the 15th round of this year'€™s draft out of St. Thomas University. Baldwin, 19, saw his 14-game hit streak end on Friday but is slashing .289/.361/.408 over 44 games this season with 25 RBIs and 18 runs scored. Perez, 22, is slashing .354/.427/.415 over 23 games as a professional since signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent out of Duke University. Hill, 19, has seven hits in his last three games and is slashing .277/.377/.311 over 36 games with 11 stolen bases. -- RHP Gerson Bautista started and pitched four scoreless innings, with one his and three walks to go with four strikeouts. In 11 starts this year the 6-foot-2 Bautista has gone 2-3 with a 3.06 ERA, with 38 strikeouts and 24 walks in 47 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .207 against Bautista.