Red Sox minor league roundup: Jackie Bradley Jr. shows some power, Webster stays consistent, David Ross sees game action, Carlos Garcia, Luis Diaz shine

August 11, 2013 - 8:32 am
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Here's a quick look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Saturday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 3-1 WIN AT SYRACUSE (NATIONALS) (BOX) - Allen Webster seems to be getting back on track, stringing together four solid starts since his 1 1/3 inning performance on July 21. Webster allowed only one run on five hits while walking two and striking out six in 5 1/3 innings on Saturday, earning his sixth victory with the PawSox, his first Triple-A win since June 1. The right-hander threw 95 pitches, and ran into trouble in the sixth inning, allowing his first extra-base hit of the game and leaving with a runner on second and a run in. Webster has been very consistent in his last four starts, and though he hasn't gone all that deep into games, he's limited damage and shown improved control. In 23 1/3 innings, Webster has posted a 2.70 ERA, allowing seven earned runs (not more than three in any start) and issued seven walks and struck out 26. Opposing batters are hitting .202/.272/.286 against him in that stretch. In his previous eight minor league starts prior to this four game stretch, Webster was averaging over five walks per nine innings. In last four outings, however, he's cut than average down to 2.7 per nine. - In just his second day back from a DL stint, Jackie Bradley Jr. showed that he's back in the swing of things. The outfielder had two hits on the day, with both going for extra bases, while also drawing a walk. Bradley put up a six-pitch at-bat to kick off the game before sending the sixth pitch over the wall in left for his ninth home run of the season. He would later double to left, his 21st in 60 games with the PawSox. The home run was Bradley's first in 12 games, and the double was his third since July 4. In just 60 games (one less than his total in Portland last season), Bradley has far exceeded his power numbers from last season, with 21 doubles in 2013 compared to 16 in Double-A, as well as nine home runs compared to six with the Sea Dogs. He's managed to match his home run total from all of 2012 already, in 68 less games. Bradley is hitting .278/.379/.498 in 60 minor league games this season. - Alex Hassan reached base three times with two singles and a walk on the day. Hassan has reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 games, and is second among active members of the PawSox with a .417 OBP. The outfielder is batting .310/.417/.460 with four home runs and 14 doubles in 50 games this season. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 9-6 LOSS VS. BOWIE (ORIOLES) (BOX) - David Ross, playing in his first game since June 14 and cleared to resume game action after suffering his second concussion of the season, went 0-for-2 with a RBI groundout in two at-bats as the DH for Salem on Saturday. Ross had no symptoms to speak of after the game. "Fine. No problems at all," Ross told Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press-Herald. "It was nice to be back out there with a good crowd tonight. It's fun to play baseball. It stinks sitting at home on the couch." Ross is scheduled to catch three or four innings on Sunday, and following an off-day on Monday, he will join the PawSox in Pawtucket on Tuesday and could be set to join the Red Sox in about a week. He is eligible to come off the disabled list on August 17. - Right fielder Matty Johnson had a huge day for Portland, recording his first four-hit games in Double-A and his first since 2011 with Lowell.  Johnson hit his first triple of the year in a 4-for-5 showing, scoring twice on the evening and stealing a base, his seventh of the year with Portland (he's been caught seven times). He also impressed in the field, making a leaping catch at the wall. Johnson had been slumping as of late, going 3-for-23 in his last six games, but has enjoyed a solid year for Portland, batting .273/.347/.318 in 100 games for the Sea Dogs. - Christian Vazquez is as hot as can be at the plate right now. He's hit safely in nine straight with a 2-for-5 night on Saturday, knocking in two runs. Over the life of that streak, the catcher is batting .444/.475/.500 with six runs driven in and two doubles. The great stretch has boosted Vazquez's line from .257/.352/.376 to .281/.367/.391 in 80 games. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 3-2 LOSS VS. WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX) (BOX) - Starter Mickey Pena was solid through six innings, giving up only one run on six hits and two walks while striking out five, but received too little run support too late, and was tagged with the loss. Pena has now logged six straight quality starts. In that stretch of quality outings, the lefty has posted a 2.08 ERA, allowing nine earned runs in 39 innings, striking out 23 and walking 16. A series of rough starts in the earlier part of the season leaves Pena with a 4.26 ERA and 5-7 record, though his string of quality starts has shaved his ERA down from a season-high 6.69 back on July 6. - Mookie Betts was the only member of the Salem club to reach base twice, going 2-for-4 while knocking in Salem's only two runs in the ninth inning with a bases-loaded single. The second baseman has now hit safely in eight straight games, batting .370/.485/.519 with a double, a home run and seven runs driven in over the life of the streak. Betts has been productive with runners on base in High-A this season, especially when there are two outs. Betts is batting .333/.370/.500 with runners in scoring position in 24 at-bats, while hitting .385/.385/.692 in that same situation but with two outs. -  Keury De La Cruz has been mired in an ugly slump, but managed to hit his -- double of the season with a 1-for-4 showing on Saturday. De La Cruz has hit only .139 with a .200 OBP over his last nine contests, with only one multi-hit game in that span. The outfielder, who has cooled down considerably after an impressive month of June, has been streaky all season, but is still hitting a respectable .272/.313/.413 with 32 doubles, five triples and seven home runs. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 7-3 WIN AT ASHEVILLE (ROCKIES) (BOX) - Luis Diaz was dominant through seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while fanning seven. Diaz has ben impressive all season long for Greenville, with a 7-4 record and 2.22 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance. The righty has compiled a 4.53 strikeout to walk ratio, fanning an average of 8 1/2 batters per nine innings, while issuing just under two walks per nine. Diaz has allowed only one earned run over his last 17 innings (he did allow five unearned runs in his last start, however) and has allowed 15 hits and only two walks over that stretch. In fact, he hasn't issued multiple free passes in an outing since June 25. The 21-year-old has had remarkable success since the team's All-Star break, going 6-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 10 second-half starts. Since June 25, Diaz actually owns the lowest ERA (1.00) and the second lowest WHIP (0.81) in the South Atlantic League. - Reed Gragnani extended his hit streak to five games with a 1-for-2 day on Saturday, driving in three runs for the third time with Greenville and drawing a walk, his 10th of the season since being promoted to the Drive (as compared to only nine walks). Gragnani has been on fire at the plate lately, batting a league-best .433 since July 30, driving in seven runs and drawing five walks while fanning only twice in 30 at-bats. The second baseman, who earned the promotion to Greenville after batting .333/.411/.417 in 14 games with Lowell, has put up a .282/.372/.333 line in 21 games since moving up a level. Among those with more than 50 at-bats with the Drive, Gragnani is second to only Mookie Betts with a .372 OBP. - Since joining the Red Sox organization, Mario Martinez has done nothing but hit. The first baseman is hitting .310/.352/.465 in 54 games with Greenville, and has driven in 45 runs in 54 games. Martinez went 2-for-5 with his eighth home run of the season, driving in two runs. The 23-year-old has 17 extra-base hits in 213 at-bats, but has also struck out at almost 25 percent of his at-bats. SHORT SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 1-0 LOSS AT STATEN ISLAND (YANKEES) (BOX) - Starter Ty Buttrey set a new career-high with five strikeouts and was solid in his four innings of work but received the loss, allowing a run on three hits and two walks. Buttrey dropped to 3-3 on the season, despite giving up one run or less in five of his last six outings. In 41 1/3 innings (nine starts) this season, the right-hander has allowed 12 runs (a 2.61 ERA) with 22 strikeouts and 15 walks, while opposing batters are hitting .235 against him. Buttrey has shut down right-handed hitters, posting a 0.95 ERA in 63 at-bats against righties compared to a 4.03 ERA in 86 at-bats against lefties. Righties are hitting an anemic .175/.209/.206 against the 20-year-old, while lefties have hit .279/.376/.326 against him. - It was a rough day for the Lowell offense. Third baseman Carlos Asuaje had one of the two hits on the day for the Spinners, smacking his fifth double of the season. Asuaje hasn't displayed much power for Lowell, with only seven extra-base hit in 90 at-bats (a .344 slugging percentage), but has gotten on base at a .360 clip, drawing two more walks (18) than strikeouts (16). Asuaje, 21, is batting .233/.360/.344 in 31 games with Lowell this season. - Right-hander Simon Mercedes was brilliant in relief for the Spinners, allowing just one hit and one walk in the final four innings of the game, striking out seven. He actually fanned seven in his last outing as well, a 5 2/3 inning relief appearance. Mercedes has made three starts for Lowell this season but has pitched primarily in long relief, posting a 2.72 ERA in 46 1/3 innings. ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-2 WIN VS. GCL TWINS (BOX) - Jake Drehoff was impressive in the third start of his pro career, tossing two shutout innings without allowing a baserunner. He also notched a strikeout, getting the leadoff man in the second inning swinging. Drehoff, a 21-year-old lefty taken in the 12th round of the amateur draft this year, has allowed a total of two runs and six hits in his five pro innings, and, impressively, has not allowed a walk yet. - Jake Davies provided the majority of the offense for the GCL Sox, knocking in two runs with a bases-loaded ground rule double. It was only Davies' third extra-base hit of the season in 26 games. The first baseman has really struggled to produce in the GCL this year, batting only .188/.219/.232. DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 7-1 WIN AT DSL ASTROS (BOX) - Starter Carlos Garcia turned in a dazzling performance, throwing six perfect innings without allowing a hit or a walk. He also recorded six strikeouts, his highest total since fanning eight in his fourth start of the season. Garcia has given up only two hits in his last 11 innings, and has now gone two straight starts without allowing a run. But unlike his last performance, Garcia's command was on point on Saturday. In his previous outing, he'd allowed four walks, tying a season-high. But the 18-year-old lefty has issued zero free passes in two of his last three starts. - Serving as the designated hitter, Victor Acosta clubbed his 10th double of the season, going 2-for-5 with two RBI. Acosta has driven in 30 runs in his 52 games, batting .250/.324/.393 with 19 walks and 19 strikeouts. - Third baseman Ricardo Andujar set a new career-high for RBI in a game, knocking in four with a 2-for-4 game, belting two doubles on the day.  

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