Henry Owens

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Henry Owens, Anderson Espinoza suffer losses

Ken Laird
April 14, 2016 - 3:54 am

Here's a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday. TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (2-5): L, 1-0, vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) -- LHP Henry Owens allowed only one run and two hits, but it was enough to tag him with a loss on a day when he labored with his control. The final line for Owens (1-1, 0.75 ERA) read: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO (99 pitches, 59 strikes). Owens did not allow his first hit until the fifth inning, but in addition to walking four he also hit two batters. The lone run allowed by the 23-year-old southpaw on the day came during a 27-pitch second inning after three consecutive walks and an ensuing RBI ground out. "He lost his command for a moment but he was able to limit the damage," Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told the Pawtucket Times. "A year or two ago, things might have snowballed on him. Now he's showing that he can get back on track and piece something together. We're looking for that consistency because that's what plays up at the major league level." Boles continued: "He was frustrated and disappointed, but he was able to keep a level head and move forward. If you dwell on that second inning, things can move pretty quickly. He didn't do that. He simmered down on the bench and it was an example where emotion is harnessed." Selected by Boston in the first round (36th overall) of the 2011 draft out of high school in California, Owens last year went 3-8 with a 3.16 ERA over 21 Triple-A starts. Lack of control was a particular issue for Owens in the first half of 2015 as he walked 35 batters over his first 54 1/3 innings pitched through May. -- Relievers Jorge Marban and Heath Hembree combined for three scoreless innings of relief, and Hembree was particularly impressive as he recorded five of his six outs via strikeout. The 27-year-old righty reached 96 mph on the McCoy Stadium radar gun as he fanned the first five batters he faced in the eighth and ninth, two of them looking. The 6-foot-4 Hembree has seen major league action each of the past two seasons, appearing in 22 games for Boston in 2015. Last year in the big leagues Hambree gave up 10 runs over 25 innings of work with 16 strikeouts, nine walks and five home runs. -- The PawSox offense managed just four hits on the day, with leadoff hitter and third baseman Deven Marrero (Boston's No. 9 prospect at MLB.com) producing the lone extra-base hit for the team, a double in the third inning. Shortstop Marco Hernandez (Boston's No. 13 prospect at MLB.com) followed with an infield single, but first baseman Sam Travis (Boston's No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) grounded out sharply to third to end the threat. Marrero, 25, has hit just 2-for-23 (.087) over his first six games. Hernandez, 23, is 6-for-21 (.286) with a double and a triple. Travis, 22, is 6-for-25 (.240) with one homer. -- Catcher Christian Vazquez took a planned day off from his rehab, and is expected back in the lineup on Thursday. -- Right fielder Allen Craig left the game in the fourth with tightness in his left side. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (3-4): L, 1-0, at Trenton (Yankees) -- Starter Justin Haley and reliever Williams Jerez (Boston's No. 20 prospect at MLB.com) combined for seven shutout innings, but Portland managed just six hits and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and the Sea Dogs lost it on a solo home run off reliever Rob Wort in the eighth. Haley, a 24-year-old righty, finished with a no-decision final line of: 4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO (83 pitches, 54 strikes). He was removed with two men on base in the fifth. Selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State University, the 6-foot-5 Haley went 5-16 with a 5.15 ERA over 27 starts last season with Portland. The 23-year-old lefty Jerez entered for Haley in the fifth and escaped the jam by inducing a foul out and a ground out, then followed a scoreless sixth and seventh while allowing a walk and a double. Jerez has now made three appearances on the season, all of the multi-inning variety of out the bullpen. In six innings he has allowed five hits and two runs while striking out two and walking one. -- Center fielder Henry Ramos (Boston's No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) and second baseman Jose Vinicio had multi-hit games for Portland, with Ramos finishing 2-for-4 and Vinicio 2-for-2 with a walk. Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin doubled for the squad's lone extra-base hit. Ramos, 23, has hits in each of his last four games and is now 6-for-25 (.240) with a homer, triple, and double after an 0-for-8 start to the year. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, the switch-hitting native of Puerto Rico has battled leg injuries each of the last two seasons that have limited him to 96 games of action since a 12-homer campaign with High-A Salem in 2013. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (3-4): L, 5-3, vs. Frederick (Orioles) -- Center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston's No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) tripled for the fourth time in seven games this season, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. On the year the 21-year-old Benintendi is now 10-for-27 (.370) with six extra-base hits, six RBIs, five runs scored, and just one strikeout. Selected by Boston with the seventh overall pick of the 2015 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Benintendi made his debut with High-A Salem this year after slashing .313/.416/.556 last season split between Short-Season Lowell and Single-A Greenville. -- The Salem offense — without Yoan Moncada (Boston's No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) in the lineup — managed just seven hits on the afternoon. The RBI earners on the day were: first baseman Nick Longhi with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to score Benintendi, shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston's No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) with a single in the fifth to score second baseman Deiner Lopez, and catcher David Sopilka with a single in the seventh to score right fielder Franklin Guzman. - Starting LHP Daniel McGrath was removed from the game in the second inning after a collision at home plate with a runner scoring via a wild pitch. McGrath was saddled with the loss (1-1) after a final line of: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO (35 pitches, 19 strikes). McGrath, a 6-foot-3 Australian, won his season debut on April 7 with a quality start of six innings and three earned runs allowed. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (4-3): L, 4-2, vs. West Virginia (Pirates) -- RHP Anderson Espinoza (Boston's No. 4 prospect at MLB.com) allowed four runs — the most of his young professional career — taking the loss (0-1, 2.70 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (70 pitches, 42 strikes). Espinoza allowed a double to left on the game's first pitch, and the runner would come around to score after tagging on a fly out followed by a ground out to short. Two more runs would cross in the third after three singles, with one runner breaking from third on catcher Roldani Baldwin's throw to second base. Finally, in the fifth, another leadoff double would lead to a run after a throwing error from Espinoza; a sacrifice bunt fielded by Espinoza near the the third-base line was thrown high over the first baseman and into foul territory. Signed by Boston during the 2014-15 international signing period for a $1.8 million bonus out of Venezuela, the 18-year-old Espinoza has gone five innings in each of his first two starts this season after being limited to four innings in his debut 2015 campaign. In 15 regular season starts last year combined between the Dominican Summer League, rookie Gulf Coast League and Single-A Greenville (one start), Espinoza compiled a 1.23 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings. -- Shortstop Luis Alejandro Basabe was the lone multi-hit man for Greenville as he went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot. He was also charged with a throwing error in the field and caught stealing Wednesday after a leadoff single in the third. On the season, "Aj" Basabe now is 6-for-15 (.400) with a homer, three walks and two stolen bases. -- The Greenville lineup managed just eight hits — all singles — on the day. Greenville's two runs came in the second inning: Baldwin's single scored first baseman Josh Ockimey, who had walked, and left fielder Kyri Washington's single to center plated DH Mitchell Gunsolus who had also singled earlier in the frame. Washington, 21, also stole his second base of the year and has hit safely in five of six games so far, going 7-for-22 (.318) with a homer and two triples. Gunsolus, 23, has hits in five straight games and is off to a 6-for-19 (.316) start to the season.