Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Progress for Anthony Ranaudo, Sean Coyle bouncing back, adversity for Matt Barnes

June 29, 2012 - 8:33 am
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A look at the action throughout the Red Sox' farm system on Thursday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 1-0 LOSS (11 INNINGS) VS. CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX) (BOX) -- Junichi Tazawa had a dominant six-up, six-down appearance in which he struck out four. He snapped a streak of seven straight games in which he walked at least one batter, and 11 straight in which he'd permitted at least one baserunner. Tazawa now has 45 punchouts in 36 innings (11.3 per nine) this year. -- Brandon Duckworth tossed seven shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out five. On the season, the 36-year-old is 7-1 with a 3.39 ERA. In his last five starts, he has a 1.52 ERA, 28 strikeouts and nine walks in 29 2/3 innings. -- The Red Sox signed Andy LaRoche, who requested and was granted his release by the Indians last week. He played 46 games for Triple-A Columbus, hitting .234 with a .331 OBP, .372 slugging mark and .704 OPS, playing 30 games at third base and 10 more at shortstop. In 403 career big league games (most recently, two score with Oakland last year), he's a career .226/.305/.337/.642 hitter. LaRoche already owns a place in Red Sox history, having been part of the three-team deal with the Pirates and Dodgers that resulted in the departure of Manny Ramirez at the 2008 trade deadline and the arrival of Jason Bay in Boston, a deal that Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington suggested this winter still costs him sleep. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-3 WIN VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS) (BOX) -- Anthony Ranaudo allowed just two runs in five innings, though he had three walks (his fourth straight start with at least three free passes) while striking out three. In eight starts, he now has a 6.23 ERA along with 27 strikeouts and 26 walks. Still, while the end result of Thursday's start was not dominance, it did contain a dominating stretch, as Ranaudo delivered four scoreless innings out of the gate before permitting both of his runs in the fifth on a pair of walks and a pair of hits. "This is something that I needed, something positive," Ranaudo told the Portland Press-Herald. "I was pretty much able to command the zone and be aggressive the whole game. ... This is definitely something to build off." -- Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. It was his fifth multi-hit game in eight Double-A contests, giving him a .382/.447/.559/1.006 line. -- Outfielder Bryce Brentz, starter Chris Hernandez and first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez were named Eastern League All-Stars. Brentz, a 2010 sandwich-round pick, is hitting .294/.361/.487/.848 with 10 homers. Rodriguez, a 26-year-old who was plucked from independent league baseball in 2010, is hitting .252/.333/.496/.829 with 12 homers, tied for sixth in the Eastern League. The left-handed Hernandez, a 2010 seventh-round pick, is 4-6 with a 2.87 ERA. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 16-14 WIN VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS) (BOX) -- Brandon Jacobs had his fifth three-hit game of the year but his first since May 17, going 3-for-6 with a homer and double, his second game of the year in which he had multiple extra-base hits. He has three homers in his last nine games, matching his total from his first 50 contests this year. -- Sean Coyle had a career-high four hits, going 4-for-5 with a double and scoring a pair of runs. He's now up to .407 in seven games since the All-Star break, a span during which the 20-year-old has boosted his average by 19 points (from .211 to .230) and his OPS by 37 points (from .628 to .665). -- Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-5 with his 12th homer of the year. He is now tied with Travis Shaw for the team lead in homers, with both placing fourth in the Carolina League. -- For his first time as a pro, Matt Barnes is facing some adversity. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in a 34-pitch first inning that represented the entirety of his day, with the Sox electing to remove him after the taxing frame. There was some bad luck in play on Thursday, as two of the hits were of the infield variety and another was a groundball for a hit-and-run single. Still, in his last two starts, he's now given up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings while walking three and striking out three. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-2 LOSS AT ROME (BRAVES) (BOX) -- Keury De La Cruz went 1-for-4, and he's now reached base in each of his last 18 games, with hits in 17 of those contests. -- Garin Cecchini went 1-for-3 with a walk and a steal, giving him 27 steals for the year and six stolen bases in seven contests since the All-Star break. SHORT-SEASON SINGLE A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-5 WIN AT VERMONT (ATHLETICS) (BOX) -- First-round pick Deven Marrero went 3-for-5 with his first professional stolen base. He's now hitting .429 (9-for-21) in five games. -- Right-fielder Kendrick Perkins went 1-for-3 with his third homer of the season before leaving the game in the sixth inning. He's now hitting .270/.372/.514/.886 in 43 plate appearances. -- Seth Schwindenhammer, in his third year in Lowell, set a franchise record for strikeouts. With two punchouts on Thursday, he now has 160 in his career, having struck out in roughly half of his 329 career at-bats. -- Mike Augliera, a 2012 fifth-rounder, allowed three runs on seven hits before getting knocked out after two innings. However, four of those hits were of the groundball variety and he also induced a double play groundout while striking out three. He has five strikeouts and no walks in his first two outings. -- Pat Light, the Red Sox' supplemental first-round draft pick in 2012, has been trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow New Jersey native Anthony Ranaudo for several years, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal details. ROOKIE LEVEL GCL RED SOX: 7-2 LOSS AT GCL ORIOLES (BOX) -- Carl Crawford went 1-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout and a caught stealing. He also saw a reasonable amount of action in left field, including the first test of his recuperating throwing arm, with a throw to the plate. "We have the cutoff man set up for him, where he can throw it short. He didn'€™t want to throw it short," manager Bobby Valentine told reporters in Seattle. "He wanted to throw it long just to see how it felt. He said it felt fine.'€ -- Flame-throwing right-hander Frank Montas tossed three shutout innings that featured four strikeouts and four groundball outs. He allowed three hits, all singles. In two games, the 19-year-old has thrown six shutout innings and struck out five. DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 4-3 LOSS AT DSL MARLINS (BOX) -- Shortstop Raymel Flores went 2-for-5 while tripling for the third straight game. The switch-hitter has eight triples in 23 games, seven of them against right-handed pitching. -- Right-hander Edwar Garcia tossed six innings in which he allowed one unearned run, struck out four and walked none. Opponents are hitting .194 against the 18-year-old.