Garin Cecchini launched his first big league homer on Wednesday. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Why you should have cared about Wednesday's Red Sox game: A lot of prospect firsts

September 24, 2014 - 6:52 pm
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Pawtucket still looks better than Durham. That characterization -- noting that the Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate beat Tampa Bay's Triple-A roster in the Governor's Cup finals -- only slightly misrepresents what occurred at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. But it was the case that a prospect-laden group of Red Sox players, only one of whom (21-year-old Xander Bogaerts) has spent all year on the major league roster, blew out the Rays, 11-3. The contributions from the young or inexperienced players, many of which marked career milestones, were numerous: -- Garin Cecchini launched his first big league homer, reached base three times (once on a walk, once by getting hit by a pitch) and made three plays that showed range to his left at third base. -- Anthony Ranaudo logged a career-high seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two. For the first time in his seven big league starts, he did not allow a homer. The win improved him to 4-3 in the big leagues and 18-7 on the year. -- Rusney Castillo negotiated his first two career walks while also offering a glimpse of his extra gear on the bases when he scored from second on a passed ball. Granted, the bases were loaded and he was running on a 3-2 count with two outs, but his ability to read the play and then accelerate around third gave some insight into the athleticism that drew the Sox to him. His walk came with the bases loaded, resulting in his first career RBI. -- Bryce Brentz went 2-for-5 and slammed a double highoff the Green Monster in left-center, his first career hits in Fenway Park. -- Xander Bogaerts, back in the lineup after missing most of the last two games with a stiff neck, went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly, driving in three runs -- his second highest total of the season. In short, it was a game that served as something of a showcase of potential for the Red Sox. OTHER REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT WEDNESDAY'S GAME -- The Red Sox missed an opportunity to pull up even with the Twins in the chase for the No. 5 overall draft pick. Though Minnesota won, the Twins remained one game "ahead" of the Sox for the No. 5 pick thanks to Boston's victory. Meanwhile, the Astros pulled into a tie with the Sox for the No. 6 pick, although they then won Wednesday night. The Cubs, who entered the day 1 1/2 games behind the Sox in the wild card standings, beat the Cardinals.

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