Pat Light

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Andrew Benintendi hits 2 homers for Greenville; Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers combine for 5 hits

Ken Laird
August 20, 2015 - 4:42 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (48-78): L, 2-1 in 13 innings, vs. Syracuse (Nationals) -- RHP Pat Light (Boston'€™s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) allowed the game-deciding run in the top of the 13th inning with two outs as Syracuse'€™s Matt den Dekker turned on a high fastball, clocked at 96 mph, and crushed it over the right field wall for a home run to give Syracuse a 2-1 lead. The 24-year-old Light, who had pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings on Monday, was coming off a stretch of allowing just one earned run over his last six appearances (12 1/3 innings) before the blast. Selected by Boston in the first-round of the 2012 draft (37th overall) out of Monmouth University, Light had allowed just four home runs all season in 41 relief appearances split between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket and just one in his last 37 outings. In 28 2/3 innings with Triple-A, Light has allowed 15 earned runs (4.71 ERA) with 32 strikeouts and 23 walks. -- Three other Pawtucket relievers, LHP Robby Scott, RHP Ryan Cook, and RHP Jonathan Aro had combined for eight innings of scoreless, two-hit relief from the fifth inning through the 12th following starter Zeke Spruill (who threw 90 pitches through four innings). Scott, 25, allowed a single in the fifth and a double in the seventh, but stranded both runners. Cook allowed just one walk over two otherwise perfect innings and Aro entered in the 10th and threw three nearly perfect frames, hitting one batter in the 12th for his lone base runner allowed. Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles disputed the hit-by-pitch call from the home plate umpire charged to Aro in the 12th and was ejected after an argument. In the 13th, position player Mike Miller was seen warming up in the Pawtucket bullpen, as Light may have been the last pitcher available for the PawSox to use on the night. -- The Pawtucket offense had nine hits over the 13 innings, all singles, managing just one run in the eighth on an RBI single from first baseman Allen Craig that scored shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston'€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com). The 24-year-old Marrero finished 3-for-5 on the night, putting his slash line at .246/.306/.335 for the season in Triple-A over 87 games. Marrero also had a three-hit game on August 14. Craig, 31, finished just 1-for-6 but now has an RBI in five of his last six games, giving him 26 on the season over 83 games played. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (46-77): W, 9-8, at Altoona (Pirates) -- Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) broke a 6-6 tie in the top of the ninth inning with an opposite field two-run homer, coming on a 1-2 pitch, the seventh homer of the season and his third over his last five games. The long ball capped a 4-for-5, three-run, two-RBI night for Asuaje, and the 23-year-old now has a five-game hitting streak, as he'€™s gone 11-for-20 over that span with six RBIs and five runs scored. Left fielder Keury De La Cruz joined Asuaje with both a four-hit night and with a homer in the ninth, as two batters after Asuaje'€™s blast De La Cruz turned on a 1-1 pitch and put it over the right field wall for the eventual game-deciding run, giving Portland a 9-6 lead. It was the seventh homer of the year for De La Cruz, who has now hit safely in 13 of his last 17 games. In August, De La Cruz is slashing .349/.364/.605 in 13 games with two homers, a triple, and three doubles. Both Asuaje and De La Cruz finished a triple shy of a cycle, with Asuaje hitting his 22nd double in the second inning and De La Cruz hitting a bases-loaded ground-rule double in the fifth, his 20th double on the year, to score two runs. -- The Portland offense banged out 15 hits on the night and drew six walks with DH Tim Roberson also having a multi-hit game going 3-for-4 with a free pass and three runs scored. Roberson, 26, homered on Tuesday and is 4-for-8 so far on the road trip to bring his slash line to .327/.358/.467 on the season over 43 games played. Right fielder Henry Ramos (Boston'€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) also delivered with a three-run, bases clearing double in the third to give Portland a 4-1 lead before Ramos left the game with an apparent leg injury. Over his last 13 games, the 23-year-old Ramos is hitting .285 (12-for-42) with six doubles and five walks. -- RHP Simon Mercedes pitched a scoreless eighth and started the ninth with a three-run lead, but allowed a two-run single after a leadoff hit and back-to-back four pitch walks, all with nobody out, as the Portland lead shrunk to 9-8. RHP Kyle Martin then entered and after a wild pitch (hitting the backstop without a bounce) put both runners in scoring position, Martin ended the game on a ground out and two strikeouts to pick up his fourth save. The 6-foot-7 Martin, selected by Boston in the ninth round of the 2013 draft out of Texas A&M, has now struck out 37 over 33 innings this year with Portland over 21 relief appearances. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (55-66): L, 13-6, at Carolina (Braves) -- Right fielder Cole Sturgeon hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning and added a bases clearing, three RBI single in the sixth for a career-best five RBI game, but it was not enough as the Salem offense stranded 11 runners and finished just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position on a 12-hit night for the team. It was the third homer of the year for the 23-year-old Sturgeon and his first since July 24, bringing his slash line to .258/.301/.348 over 70 games this year with Salem. Selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Louisville, Sturgeon spent 30 games with Double-A Portland from June 6 through July 20, but was demoted after slashing just .213/.235/.298. -- Five other Salem batters had multi-hit games, with second baseman Yolian Cerse, shortstop Wendell Rijo (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com), DH Zach Kapstein, first baseman Jordan Betts, and third baseman Deiner Lopez all producing two hits, with Betts also walking twice and Rijo walking once. Rijo'€™s double in the third was his 25th two-bagger of the year. -- RHP Ty Buttrey took the loss (7-8, 4.05 ERA) and lasted just three-plus innings, getting tagged for nine hits and nine earned runs, walking five and striking out four. Buttrey, 22, allowed two runs in the first on two hits, two walks, and a wild pitch. Then, in the second inning, Carolina scored five more runs as the first four batters hit singles and then Buttrey allowed a grand slam, which gave Carolina a 7-1 lead. After walking the first two batters of the fourth, Buttrey was removed for reliever Brandon Show, and both inherited runners would score later in the frame. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, the 6-foot-6 Buttrey had allowed just one earned run in each of his previous two starts, but had also allowed five earned runs in three of his last eight outings. Over 18 appearances with Salem, Buttrey has struck out 68 and walked 37 in 97 2/3 innings. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (62-60): W, 7-5 in 10 innings, at Greensboro (Marlins) -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) hit two homers in just his second game as a member of the Drive, connecting on a two-run shot in the first inning to give Greenville a 3-0 lead and homering again in the 10th inning to give the Drive an insurance run and a 7-5 lead. Benintendi, 21, went 0-for-4 with two walks in his Greenville debut on Monday after slashing .290/.408/.540 over 35 games with short-season Lowell where he hit seven home runs, four triples, and two doubles. Selected by Boston in the first round of this year'€™s draft (seventh overall) out of the University of Arkansas, Benintendi won the Golden Spikes award this season after hitting .376 with 20 homers in college. -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) led off the top of the 10th inning with a double, his 18th of the year, and would score the eventual game-deciding run on Rafael Devers'€™ (Boston'€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) RBI-single. Moncada, 20, finished 2-for-4 with two runs, a walk, and two more stolen bases to raise his season total to 39 as he swiped both second and third base in the eighth inning, coming in to score on a Devers'€™ fielders choice groundout. It was the sixth multi-hit game for Moncada in his last 12, as he is slashing .388/.464/.653 in a dozen August contests with two homers, seven doubles, 10 runs scored and nine RBIs. On the year, Moncada is now slashing .292/.383/.462 with seven homers, 51 runs, and 33 RBIs in 67 games. -- Devers finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs, and a run scored to bring his slash line to .276/.317/.433 over 99 games, with 11 homers and 29 doubles on the season. The 18-year-old Devers has 61 RBIs and 59 runs scored to lead the team in both categories. -- DH Michael Chavis (Boston'€™s No. 11 prospect at MLB.com) cracked his 15th home run of the season, getting Greenville out to a 1-0 lead in the first. It was the fifth homer in Chavis'€™ last 10 games, as the 20-year-old is slashing .227/.280/.404 over 95 games this season with 53 RBIs and 45 runs scored. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (30-27): L, 3-1, at Brooklyn (Mets) -- The Lowell offense managed just two hits, plating a single run in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by first baseman Josh Ockimey and right fielder Tate Matheny. It was just the sixth hit this month for the 21-year-old Matheny, selected by Boston in the fourth round of this year'€™s draft out of Missouri State University, with Matheny now slashing .183/.245/.230 through 34 games as a professional. -- Neither team had a hit after the fourth inning, as Lowell RHP Daniel Zandona pitched four scoreless relief innings with six strikeouts and one walk. The 22-year-old Zandona, selected by Boston in the 21st round of this year'€™s draft out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, stranded his lone runner at second base in the eighth inning after a wild pitch, getting a strikeout to end his final frame. The 6-foot-1 Zandona has now made 12 appearances, striking out 18 over 21 innings with five walks and three homers allowed. -- RHP Kevin Steen took the loss (3-2, 2.23 ERA), as he allowed three runs in the first inning on a single, hit-batsman, triple, wild pitch, and two walks. Matheny made a diving attempt at the triple, a flare to right, but could not come up with it and two runs scored. Steen recovered to pitch three scoreless innings the rest of the way, allowing three more baserunners on two singles and hit-batsman, with seven strikeouts. The 19-year-old Steen, selected by Boston in the ninth round of the 2014 draft, has now made four starts with Lowell this year, going 0-1 with a 2.75 ERA, striking out 16 in 19 2/3 innings with nine walks.

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