Red Sox minor league roundup: Mookie Betts even surprising himself; Garin Cecchini makes mark; Deven Marrero taking off; Mario Alcantara dominates

June 25, 2013 - 8:05 am
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Feats of Mookie: Back. Mookie Betts went 1-for-2 with a double, RBI, three walks and his 15th steal in 16 attempts this year for Single-A Greenville. In his last four games, the second baseman is 7-for-12 with a double, six walks and just two strikeouts, good for a line of .583/.722/.667. Since May 7, the 20-year-old is hitting .375/.475/.625. He's outperformed Single-A for seven weeks, and with this latest push, he's pounding on the door to make his case for Salem. Betts had nine extra-base hits in 71 games last year with Short-Season Single-A Lowell. He now has 30 extra-base hits in 64 games this year -- more than three times as many extra-base knocks in fewer games. Is Betts surprised by the power numbers he's posted? "Yes, definitely. I wasn't expecting any of what I've been doing, but I'm happy with it. I won't complain," Betts said on Down on the Farm. "I only hit 10 home runs my whole high school career. I just hit line drives, tried to get on base and steal bags. I would say that's my game. ... Working in the offseason, trying to groove my swing, working hard, I guess it just paid off [with more power]." TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-4 WIN AT TOLEDO (TIGERS) (BOX) -- Catcher Dan Butler continued his best stretch of the year, going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks while driving in three. In his last eight games (all but one of which have come in a regular role following Ryan Lavarnway's promotion to the big leagues with David Ross landing on the DL for his concussion), Butler is hitting .379/.441/.759 with three homers and two doubles while driving in 10. -- Corner outfielder Alex Hassan went 2-for-5 with a double, and he's now reached base in all eight games since joining Pawtucket. The 25-year-old is hitting .370/.452/.704 in Triple-A. -- Right-hander Clayton Mortensen, in his second rehab appearance, tossed a scoreless inning while giving up a hit and striking out a batter. With left-hander Franklin Morales slated for a stint on the DL, the Sox could consider recalling Mortensen, though he's ineligible for a return from the DL after rehabbing what the team described as a groin injury until Wednesday. -- Right-hander Brock Huntzinger delivered his fourth straight scoreless relief appearance since a promotion to Pawtucket, logging 1 1/3 shutout innings. He gave up his first walk while recording his sixth strikeout in 6 1/3 innings in Triple-A. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 3-0 LOSS AT BINGHAMTON (METS) (BOX) -- Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo suffered his first loss since May 7 on Monday night, but he didn'€™t pitch poorly by any means. The starter gave up two runs (one earned) on only three hits through six innings, but received no run support from the Sea Dogs offense. Ranaudo didn'€™t have his best stuff, though, walking four in the outing and striking out four, tied for his lowest punchout total of any start this year. The righty has walked 12 batters in his last four starts, but has allowed only four earned runs in his last 19 2/2 innings. Ranaudo got just five swinging strikes on the night, with four of those coming in a 1-2-3 first inning. He walked the first batter of the second inning, but induced a double play to erase the runner. He got into trouble with two outs, allowing a double, a walk, and a single to bring around a run. He walked the first batter of the third inning as well, and would pay for ite. A throwing error by Ranaudo on a pickoff attempt allowed the runner to advance, and a single allowed him to score. After the third, Ranaudo settled down and retired nine of the next 10 batters, with one scout on hand suggesting that he showed a plus fastball with flashes of a good curveball, and that he was impressive when working down in the strike zone. -- Garin Cecchini was the only Portland hitter with more than one hit on the day, going 2-for-4 with two singles. The third baseman has been showing that he can hold his own in a more advanced league, hitting .313 through four games in Double-A with a double, three walks and four strikeouts. Cecchini has driven in two runs and has scored twice. Three of his hits have come in only four at-bats against left-handers, while he'€™s only 2-for-12 against righties. -- The Portland offense couldn'€™t do much against Binghamton pitching, but Pete Hissey went 1-for-3 with a walk and his 11th double of the year and second in as many games. The outfielder has been remarkably consistent this year for Portland, playing 13 games in every month and hitting between .280 and .286 in each month. He'€™s struggled on the road, however, hitting .246/.329/.319 away from Hadlock Field as opposed to .316/.373/.487 at home. He'€™s batting .283 with 14 extra-base hits and 22 RBI through 39 games this season. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 8-2 LOSS AT WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX) (BOX) -- Outfielder Keury De La Cruz went 0-for-3 (with a walk!), as his 19-game hitting streak came to an end. During the run, the 21-year-old hit .425/.434/.589. The walk was just his second in 37 games. -- Shortstop Deven Marrero had his fourth straight multi-hit game to open the second half, going 2-for-4. After finishing the first half with a .242/.317/.327 line, Marrero has elevated that line to .269/.338/.352 with his burst out of the gates since the All-Star break. -- Sinkerballer Mike Augliera continued to prove surprisingly vulnerable to home runs. In his first seven starts, he didn't give up a single homer while going 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA. With two homers allowed on Monday (among the three hits he gave up in five innings, part of a three-run yield), Augliera has now been taken deep in six of his last seven starts, permitting nine longballs in 35 2/3 innings in that span and going 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA. He did punch out five, his most strikeouts since May 9. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 7-6 WIN VS. CHARLESTON (YANKEES) (BOX) -- Right-hander Justin Haley had some control struggles, walking four batters in five innings and throwing just 47 of 98 pitches for strikes, but the 22-year-old (a 2012 sixth-rounder) still allowed just one run on two hits. In his last five starts, he has a 2.83 ERA with 28 punchouts and 13 walks in 28 2/3 innings. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 1-0 WIN (6 INNINGS) AT VERMONT (ATHLETICS) (BOX) -- Right-hander Mario Alcantara had a second straight outstanding outing, logging five shutout innings while allowing two hits, punching out five and walking two. The 20-year-old's fastball registered at 93-94 mph on the stadium gun in Vermont for most of the night. He has yet to give up a run in 10 innings (two starts) for Lowell, with 10 punchouts and two walks. Opposing hitters are 4-for-32 (.125) with two doubles and no homers against him so far. -- Tzu-Wei Lin drove in the only run with an infield single, part of a 1-for-3 day in which the shortstop also stole his second base (in three attempts) this year. That the 19-year-old's legs proved a difference-maker comes as little surprise. The 5-foot-9 Lin is one of the fastest players in the Sox system. He's hitting .211 with a .333 OBP in six games so far. ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 9-4 LOSS AT GCL ORIOLES (BOX) -- Catcher Alixon Suarez went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and he's now 3-for-7 (.429) in the young GCL season. Suarez, 18, was one of the top performers for the DSL Sox last summer. Though he caught 38 percent of potential base stealers in two DSL seasons, Suarez is 0-for-6 on stolen base attempts to this point in the GCL. -- Shaq Thompson, a football star at the University of Washington who pursued pro baseball with the Sox last summer, has opted to stop playing baseball and focus his attentions on school and a potential NFL career. More on him here. DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-2 WIN VS. DSL ATHLETICS (BOX) -- Left-hander Luis Ramos, an 18-year-old, tossed a season-high six shutout innings, striking out five and walking one while permitting three hits. In four starts, he has a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks. -- Second baseman Luis Alejandro Basabe, 16, went 2-for-3, his first multi-hit game of the year.