Steven Wright

Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada a dozen games hot; Ty Buttrey bounces back

Ken Laird
July 08, 2015 - 4:59 am

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-49): L, 9-6, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies) -- Lehigh Valley jumped on PawSox knuckleballer Steven Wright for five runs on five hits and a walk in a 34-pitch top of the first in which nine batters came to the plate. Three of the five hits were doubles, two that found the left-field line, along with two bloop singles. The inning ended with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. throwing out a runner at the plate. Wright stayed in to finish six innings of work, retiring 11 in a row after the first before giving up an unearned marker in the fifth on back-to-back singles and a throwing error by shortstop Jemile Weeks. Wright'€™s final line read: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO (117 pitches, 73 strikes). With the loss, Wright'€™s record dropped to 2-4 with a 3.60 ERA in seven Pawtucket starts. The 30-year-old Wright, who was optioned back to Pawtucket from the majors on Tuesday, has had four stints in Boston this season where he'€™s had 11 appearances and four starts and compiled a 3-2 record with a 4.15 ERA (20 ER/43 1/3 IP). -- RHP Pat Light (Boston'€™s No. 25 prospect at entered in the eighth inning with Pawtucket trailing 6-5 for his first appearance since walking three straight batters and being pulled on July 4. Light ran into more problems in a 24-pitch inning, giving up a leadoff home run on a 97 mph fastball, and then two more runs after a walk, a pair of singles and a double over the head of right fielder Quintin Berry. Light did touch 100 mph on the Lehigh Valley stadium radar gun. The 24-year-old Light, a first-round draft pick by Boston in 2012 (a compensation pick for losing Jonathan Papelbon in free agency), surged in Double-A Portland this year after being converted from a starter to a reliever before the season. So far with the PawSox, in 10 appearances, he'€™s allowed nine earned runs in 10 innings of work (8.10 ERA), striking out nine and walking eight. -- Despite losing for the 10th straight game, Pawtucket did see its offense did break out for six runs on 13 hits. Left fielder Garin Cecchini (Boston'€™s No. 7 prospect at went 4-for-5 with an RBI single in the second and a stolen base; Bradley Jr. drilled a solo home run on a 3-2 pitch to lead off the ninth, finishing 2-for-5 and raising his average to .321; Right fielder Quintin Berry went 2-for-5 from the leadoff spot and stole a base, his 27th of the season in 32 attempts; DH Carlos Peguero reached base four times with a double, single and two walks; first baseman Allen Craig doubled and walked, scoring two runs. -- Infielder Reed Gragnani was promoted to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland with 1B/3B Travis Shaw getting the call-up to Boston and Sean Coyle (Boston'€™s No. 12 prospect at being placed on the seven-day disabled list with a lower back strain. The 24-year-old Gragnani played third base on Tuesday and went 0-for-4 in his Triple-A debut. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (31-54): L, 8-6, at Reading (Phillies) -- Shortstop Marco Hernandez pulled into a second-place tie in the Eastern League batting race, going 3-for-5 with a leadoff home run in the first to bring his average up to .318. It was the fifth homer on the year for the 22-year-old Hernandez, who also singled home a run in the fifth. Acquired as the player to be named later in last year'€™s trade of Felix Doubront to the Cubs, Hernandez is hitting .371 (13-for-35) in July after hitting .319 in June, .302 in May, and .296 in April. Hernandez has an eight-game hit streak, with 10 multi-hit games in his last 17 contests. -- Several other Portland hitting streaks continued on Tuesday: First baseman Sam Travis (Boston'€™s No. 13 prospect at went 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, an RBI and two runs scored to extend his streak to seven games; center fielder Manual Margot (Boston'€™s No. 5 prospect at singled and walked to extend his hitting streak to six; and third baseman Jantzen Witte doubled to keep his streak going at six straight. -- Portland got catcher Tim Roberson and DH/1B David Chester back in the lineup after absences. The 25-year-old Roberson missed six weeks with a fractured finger; he went 1-for-3 with a run scored on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Chester had gone on the DL on July 25 after hitting safely in seven of 10 games, a span during which he hit four homers; Chester went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly Tuesday in his return. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (43-39): W, 7-2, vs. Carolina (Braves) -- RHP Ty Buttrey (Boston'€™s No. 26 prospect at had a nice bounce-back start after allowing seven runs (five earned) on July 1, as Buttrey earned the win Tuesday with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Buttrey (7-2, 3.12 ERA) gave up one run in the second after a leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly, and one more in the sixth with two singles sandwiched around a stolen base. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, the 6-foot-6 Buttrey has allowed three earned runs or less in 13 of his 15 starts this season between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem. "I don't think it was really a reality check; I think it was just baseball," Buttrey told the Roanoke Times when asked about his hiccup start last week. "There's going to be times like that. Obviously no pitcher wants to give seven runs with five earned runs. But at the same time, it's hard to go a whole year -- a hundred-something innings -- and not have games like that. If I can try to limit those types of games, I think I'll give myself a good chance this year." Buttrey, 22, said he has also been working on a new curveball grip. "It's inconsistent, but when it's on, it's really good," Buttrey said. "It's a lot better than my old one. It's just a matter of trying to get that spin right. I think definitely in a month, it's going to be a really good pitch." -- Center fielder Forrestt Allday paced a 13-hit Salem attack with a 3-for-5 night at the top of the order, adding insurance runs in the eighth with a two-RBI single. The 24-year-old Allday, Boston'€™s eighth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Central Arkansas, has a five game hitting streak and has raised his average 31 points in that span to .275. Missing almost a month this year on the disabled list, Allday has compiled an excellent on-base percentage for the third year in a row in the Boston system, with this year'€™s OBP at .441 through 37 games played. -- Four other Salem batters had two-hit nights: shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston'€™s No. 15 prospect at, catcher Jordan Procyshen and third baseman Jose Vinicio. Lin has six multi-hit games in his last nine contests. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (45-38): W, 7-5, vs. Savannah (Mets) -- Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston'€™s No. 1 prospect at continued his hot play, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, two runs, two stolen bases and another excellent defensive play in the field. Moncada, 20, has taken off over his last 12 games, hitting .378 (17-for-45) with six multi-hit games in that stretch and 12 runs scored, raising his average from .200 to .259. Moncada also is 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts over that span. And for the second straight night, Moncada started a double play with a stab in the hole to his left, followed by a lightning-quick turn and accurate throw to second base. Moncada was signed out of Cuba to a minor league contract on March 12 for a $31.5 million bonus. -- Center fielder Joseph Monge has turned it on in July. With a two-run homer on Tuesday to get Greenville out to a 2-0 lead, Monge now is 9-for-21 (.429) in six games this month, with three doubles and six RBIs to go with the long ball. The 20-year-old Monge was a Round 17 draft choice of Boston in 2013 out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. -- RHP Michael Kopech (Boston'€™s No. 11 prospect at pitched four scoreless innings before allowing back-to-back walks to start the fifth and being removed from the game after 80 pitches. Kopech, 19, also hit two batters and walked five in all, but also struck out four, including whiffing three straight hitters to get out of a jam in the second inning. It was a no-decision for Kopech, who is 3-5 with a 2.85 ERA in 15 starts for Greenville this year. A 2014 first-round draft choice, Kopech has allowed just 11 earned runs combined in his last 10 starts. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (12-6): Scheduled off day. Next action Wednesday vs. West Virginia (Pirates) ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (12-2): W, 11-1, at GCL Rays -- RHP Anderson Espinoza (Boston'€™s No. 24 prospect at started and pitched four more scoreless innings, bringing his Gulf Coast League total innings pitched without allowing a run to 12. Espinoza, 17, struck out four with no walks and one hit batsman. In seven combined starts this year between the Dominican Summer League and the GCL, Espinoza'€™s combined line is: 27 IP, 21 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 31 SO. 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. -- Shortstop Luis Alejandro Basabe went 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot in the order, with a double, walk, and two runs scored. Basabe, the 18-year-old twin brother of Lowell'€™s Luis Alexander Basabe, has drawn 11 walks and scored 12 runs in 13 games played in 2015, with an on-base percentage of .375. He also has stolen four bases in five attempts. -- Boston'€™s 2014 sixth-round draft pick Danny Mars played in his third game of the season, again as the DH, and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double, a sacrifice fly, a walk and a run scored. The 21-year-old Mars played 44 games in 2014 with short-season Single-A Lowell before getting promoted to Single-A Greenville for 10 contests last August. He signed for $215,000 last year out of Chipola College in Florida. -- RHP Kyle Martin began his rehab assignment, pitching a scoreless fifth inning while allowing a single and striking out a batter. The 24-year-old Martin, Boston'€™s 2013 ninth-round draft choice out of Texas A&M, was placed on the DL on May 21 after appearing in 11 games with Double-A Portland. Martin was 2-for-2 in save opportunities, striking out 24 in 19 2/3 innings while walking just six. Check out the weekly Farm Report podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.