Garin Cecchini

Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Tzu-Wei Lin wins it for Portland; Anderson Espinoza, Yoan Aybar rising in Gulf Coast League

Ken Laird
July 22, 2015 - 5:24 am
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-56): L, 12-2, at Norfolk (Orioles) -- Garin Cecchini (Boston'€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-3 with a walk as the DH to lead the way on an unimpressive night for the Pawtucket offense, as the PawSox managed just five total hits. Cecchini doubled in the second, singled in the seventh and walked to start the ninth before running home on catcher Humberto Quintero'€™s fifth home run of the season. The 24-year-old Cecchini has hit .307 in July (16-for-52), albeit with only two extra-base hits, after his season-long average bottomed out at .186 on July 5. Over the past 10 games Gecchini is hitting .394 (15-for-38). -- Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was 1-for-4 from the second spot in the batting order, putting his average at an International League fourth-best mark of .314. Bradley is hitting .291 in July over 13 games with five homers. First baseman Travis Shaw and right fielder Allen Craig hit behind Bradley, going a collective 0-for-6 with a walk each. -- RHP Jonathan Aro (Boston'€™s No. 30 prospect at MLB.com) pitched a scoreless seventh, allowing a double but suffering no damage. Aro has struck out 37 batters while walking just six in 29 2/3 innings in Triple-A this year. The 24-year-old made his major league debut in late June, allowing runs in all three of his big league appearances for Boston. -- Prior to the game Pawtucket promoted LHP Robby Scott from Portland. Scott was an Eastern League All-Star for the Sea Dogs, carrying a 2.06 ERA (43 23 IP, 10 ER) with 41 strikeouts to 13 walks. Left-handed batters hit just .111 off him. Scott has had two prior, brief Triple-A stints this year in April and May, allowing three earned runs while striking out 10 over 10 innings of work. Pawtucket also placed outfielder Carlos Peguero on the disabled list (wrist sprain) and added infielder Jeff Bianchi from temporary inactive. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (35-62): W, 3-2 in 10 innings, vs. Trenton (Yankees) -- Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin tripled to lead off the bottom of the 10th and scored on a wild pitch to earn Portland its second walkoff victory in as many nights over Trenton at Hadlock Field. Lin, 21, pulled the first pitch he saw in his extra-inning at-bat into the gap in right-center field, two-hopping the wall as Lin reached third without a throw. Later, with cleanup hitter Sam Travis at the plate, Trenton pitcher Mark Montgomery overthrew an 0-2 pitch into the dirt, landing a few feet in front of the plate and bouncing to the backstop as Lin scored easily. Lin, signed out of Taiwan for a $2 million bonus in the 2011 international signing period, finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the second to go with his late-game action. Lin has played in five games for Portland since his recent promotion, with Tuesday providing both his first RBI and first multi-hit game in Double-A. -- Second baseman Carlos Asuaje (Boston'€™s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) was 2-for-4 to go with a walk, raising his July totals to .307 (23-for-75) with a .358 on-base percentage. For the season Asuaje is hitting .255 with a .352 on-base mark. Selected by Boston in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of Nova Southeastern University, Asuaje had a chance to bring Lin home from third base in extras but grounded out with one out in the inning. -- Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston'€™s No. 4 prospect at MLB.com) also failed to bring Lin home in the 10th as Margot grounded out weakly to the pitcher with no outs in the inning. Margot took a rare 0-for-5 on the night and dropped his Double-A average to .264 through 25 games since his promotion. -- RHP Justin Haley started and gave up two earned runs in five innings, with a no-decision final line of: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO (97 pitches, 60 strikes). Haley had faced just one above the minimum through five before allowing batters to reach in the sixth on a third-strike wild pitch and a single. RHP Kyle Martin then entered as a reliever and allowed an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, with both runs charged to Haley. RHP Madison Younginer pitched three perfect innings to earn the win (4-4, 3.02 ERA), making amends for his extra-inning loss in his last outing on July 18. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (49-47): L, 12-0, at Myrtle Beach (Cubs) -- Shortstop Mauricio Dubon (Boston'€™s No. 27 prospect at MLB.com) reached base twice, with a walk and a single, to follow up a productive Monday when Dubon hit his first Carolina League home run. Dubon, 21, has reached base safely in six of his last seven games after getting off to a slow start at the plate in Salem following his June 26th promotion. Selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in California, Dubon hit .301 over 58 games this year in Greenville. In 23 games so far with Salem, Dubon is hitting just .207, but up from .182 last week. -- RHP Kevin McAvoy was battered for eight earned runs over 3 2/3 innings, taking the loss and dropping to 5-8 on the season while watching his ERA rise from 4.11 to 4.70. Ten batters came to the plate in the first inning against McAvoy on six singles and a walk before McAvoy'€™s league-leading 20th double play earned him a brief escape. Things got worse in the fourth, however, as Myrtle Beach plate four more on a grand slam that followed a double and two walks. The 22-year-old McAvoy, selected by Boston in last year'€™s fourth round out of Bryant University, was coming off consecutive quality starts. It has been an up-and-down year so far for McAvoy, as seven of his 18 starts have been quality outings, with five starts allowing four earned runs or more. -- First baseman Mario Martinez was 2-for-4, a day after his 14-game hit streak came to an end. Martinez, however, still is on an 18-game streak of reaching base safely, and his July slash line is an impressive .429/.475/.518 in 16 games with 11 RBIs and nine runs scored. A 25-year-old Venezuelan, Martinez was signed by Boston in 2013 as a minor league free agent after being released by Detroit. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (50-45): Scheduled off day. Next action Wednesday at Augusta (Giants) SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (17-14): W, 2-1, vs. Tri-City (Astros) -- The Spinners made five hits count, plating runs in the first and the second innings after leadoff doubles in each frame by center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe and second baseman Chad De La Guerra, respectively. Tate Matheny'€™s sacrifice fly brought home Basabe after a Jeremy Rivera sacrifice bunt, and Josh Ockimey'€™s RBI single plated De La Guerra to give Lowell a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish. De La Guerra, 22, has had a solid 20-game start to his professional career after being selected by Boston in the 17th round of this year'€™s draft out of Grand Canyon University in Arizona. A 5-foot-11 lefty bat, De La Guerra'€™s slash line is .293/.353/.467 with two homers and seven doubles. His .467 slugging percentage is eighth best in the New York-Penn League. Basabe, 18, has had a unique year as a leadoff batter, cracking six homers to go with two triples and two doubles, and yet batting just .246 with a .317 on-base percentage through 28 games. Basabe'€™s .456 slugging percentage is 11th best in the New York-Penn League, and his home run total is tied for the league lead. -- LHP Logan Boyd earned his first professional win, pitching two scoreless innings in relief of starter Dioscar Romero (4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO). Boyd (1-0, 5.40 ERA) stranded two runners to escape the sixth before being removed after a leadoff walk in the seventh. RHP Taylor Nunez pitched 1 2/3 scoreless and LHP Bobby Poyner closed it out for his fourth save. Boyd and Poyner both were selected by Boston in this year'€™s draft: Boyd a 21-year-old drafted in the 19th round out of Sam Houston State University, and Poyner a 22-year-old drafted in the 14th round of of the University of Florida. ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (17-7): W, 13-3, and W, 9-1, at GCL Rays -- RHP Anderson Espinoza (Boston'€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) started Game 2 of a doubleheader and pitched four innings, earning a final line of: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. Espinoza, 17, retired the first eight batters he faced before his own throwing error allowed a runner to reach. After back-to-back infield singles and another error, this one by third baseman Roldani Baldwin, a run would score. Espinoza stranded two and then finished with a scoreless fourth. Espinoza was signed for $1.8 million out of Venezuela last summer, and was one of the highest ranked prospects in that 2014 international signing period. Combined this year between the Dominican Summer League and the Gulf Coast League (now with 5 starts in the GCL), Espinoza has allowed just four earned runs over 35 innings (a 1.03 ERA), striking out 35 to go with nine walks. -- Center fielder Yoan Aybar (Boston'€™s No. 29 prospect at MLB.com) played both games of the doubleheader and went a collective 5-for-7 with four runs scored and two RBIs. The 18-year-old Dominican, a 6-foot-2 lefty bat, has multi-hit games in seven of his last 11 and is slashing at .351/.370/.432 over 20 games in the Gulf Coast League. The .351 average is good for seventh best in the GCL. Aybar was signed for a $450,000 bonus in the 2013 international signing period. -- First baseman Jerry Downs doubled in his first two at-bats in Game 2, with his second double driving in two during a five-run inning. Downs finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and the two RBIs, raising his average to .333 and extending a hitting streak to five games. The 21-year-old Downs, a 6-foot-2 lefty bat selected by Boston in the 15th round of this year'€™s draft out of NAIA St. Thomas University, is streaking at 10-for-20 (.500) over his last five contests with nine RBIs and seven runs scored. -- In Game 1 of the doubleheader (the makeup of Monday'€™s rainout) undrafted free agent infielder Andy Perez made his professional debut as the DH in the leadoff spot of the batting order and had hits in each of his first three at-bats, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Perez, 22, singled in the first and later was picked off. His single in the second scored Jagger Rusconi, and Perez would later score after stealing second base. Then, in the third, Perez doubled to left to plate two runners before scoring again. Perez stole 35 bases as a senior for Duke University this past season, batting .290 with three homers and 14 doubles in his fourth college season. -- Third baseman Roldani Baldwin also had a big Game 1 at the plate, with two-RBI singles in the second and third innings to go with a first-inning walk. Baldwin, 19, finished 2-for-4 to put his 20-game slash line at .270/.342/.349, with a Gulf Coast League fifth-best 15 RBIs. Baldwin, however, had another defensive miscue at third in Game 1 which charged two unearned runs to LHP Carlos Garcia (1-0, 0.61 ERA in seven appearances). A 5-foot-11 righty bat from the Dominican Republic, Baldwin had good on-base percentage and RBI totals last year as well as he reached at a .357 clip in 65 Dominican Summer League games in 2014 to go with 42 RBIs. -- RHP Josh Pennington got the Game 1 start and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three while allowing a single and a walk. Selected by Boston in the 29th round of the 2014 draft out of high school in New Jersey, Pennington has struck out 16 while allowing just one earned run in 13 innings pitched this season. It is the 20-year-old Pennington'€™s first year pitching as a professional. For more, check out the weekly WEEI.com Red Sox Farm Report Podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.

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