Trey Ball

Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly impresses; Andrew Benintendi struggles in Portland debut

May 17, 2016 - 8:12 am
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Here's a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Monday. TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (18-20): L, 3-1, vs. Norfolk (Orioles) -- In the third start of his rehabilitation assignment with Pawtucket, pitcher Joe Kelly threw an efficient 6 1/3 innings against Norfolk. The right-hander held the Tides to no runs and only five hits on 92 pitches. Kelly also recorded 10 strikeouts in the start. Monday night's game was the third double-digit strikeout game of his career. "He had command of the zone and was explosive tonight," manager Kevin Boles said after the game. "He attacked the hitters and it was a good step forward." Kelly, 27, now is 1-0 with Pawtucket with a 1.26 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP through 14 1/3 innings pitched. He has 16 strikeouts with the team and has allowed only three walks. Boston recently sent Kelly down to Pawtucket after he injured his throwing shoulder on April 20. -- The Red Sox were able to take an early 1-0 lead and hold it for most of the game. Blake Swihart walked to start the second inning, then would eventually cross home plate on a Deven Marrero ground ball. However, Norfolk woke up offensively in the top of the eighth inning, plating three runs off Pawtucket reliever Anthony Varvaro. The right-hander gave up an infield single, a triple and a home run to allow the Tides to score the go-ahead run. Drafted in 2005 by the Mariners, Varvaro, 31, has a 1-1 record with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 10 games. He is also 0-for-2 in save opportunities. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (14-25):W, 2-0, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays) -- Pitcher Aaron Wilkerson increased his scoreless inning streak to 19 1/3 after earning the win against the Fisher Cats. Wilkerson surrendered only two hits and struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings Monday night. He also allowed only one extra-base hit, a double in the second inning. "The changeup was working phenomenally tonight," Wilkerson said following his start. "It had a lot more movement and action on it today." In seven starts with the Sea Dogs, Wilkerson, 26, is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. His ERA is second best among Portland starters and his 46 strikeouts lead the team. -- It was a forgettable Double-A debut for Andrew Benintendi, who was called up to Portland from High-A Salem. Boston's No. 3 prospect at MLB.com, the 21-year-old center fielder went 0-for-4 with a strikeout vs. New Hampshire. Benintendi was promoted to the Sea Dogs after batting .341 AVG/.413 OBP/.563 SLG in 34 games with Salem. He also tallied seven triples, 32 RBIs and 30 runs with the team. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (27-10): W, 4-0, vs. Wilmington (Royals) -- Pitcher Trey Ball, Boston's No. 19 prospect at MLB.com, took the mound for Salem and had one of his best games to date. The southpaw tossed seven scoreless innings, allowed only five hits and struck out six. The seven innings pitched is a new career long for Ball. The 2013 first-round pick is now 2-0 on the season with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. In his four season starts, he's allowed only 15 hits and nine earned runs in 23 innings pitched. -- Right-handed pitcher Ben Taylor was brought on to relieve Ball in the eighth inning. Taylor would allow only a double in his two innings pitched, otherwise shutting down the Wilmington offense. He tallied two strikeouts in the performance. With eight games on the year, Taylor, 23, sits at 0-1 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He's recorded 22 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings so far and has yet to allow a home run. -- On offense, Bryan Hudson performed well for Salem. The 21-year-old left fielder went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a walk. His singles in the second and fifth inning each brought in a run. Hudson, a 2013 draft pick, is currently batting .333/.425/.381 through 21 games with Salem. He only has one fielding error on the season and has stolen seven bases. SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (18-18): L, 3-1, vs. Charleston (Yankees) -- In his Greenville debut, pitcher Jose Almonte performed well, despite being handed the loss. The 20-year-old right-hander gave up only two earned runs and five hits in five innings, striking out four in the process. He did, however, let up a two-run home run over the Green Monster in the second inning, which would prove to be the go-ahead run. Almonte took the mound Monday night after being assigned to the Drive from the Lowell Spinners. Last year with the Spinners, the native of the Dominican Republic went 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 14 starts. -- The Drive finally scored in the ninth inning when Josh Ockimey drew a walk and was then brought home after two RiverDog errors. Right fielder Joseph Monge, designated hitter Luis Alejandro Basabe, and catcher Austin Rei were the only Greenville batters to record a hit in the game.