7/24 Cup of Coffee: Salem took home a big victory thanks to an impressive team performance. Portland lost in a tight game, and the PawSox will have to wait to finish their contest today because of rain. The Drive and the DSL Red Sox also took home big wins. The GCL Red Sox lost both halves of a doubleheader.
The Pawtucket Red Sox's contest against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) was shortened by rain with the PawSox leading 3-2. All five runs were scored in the fourth inning. The PawSox scoring began with a leadoff home run by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (Pictured). Two singles and a walk then loaded the bases with no outs for shortstop Deven Marrero, who grounded into a double play but drove in one run. A Matt Spring double drove in the final run of the inning for the PawSox.
PawSox starter Steven Wright gave up only two hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out one batter. The game will be continued July 24.
7/23 Cup of Coffee: It was a rather victorious day on the farm as every team except Lowell found the winner's column. Pawtucket continued its post all-star break hot streak, Portland walked off with a victory at Hadlock Field and Salem's domination of Lynchburg was keyed by a great start on the mound
Pawtucket completed a quick two game sweep of the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 9-3. Mookie Betts was 2 for 5 with a triple and three RBI from atop the order. Jonathan Herrera also added two hits, notching two RBI as he continued to swing a hot bat since joining the PawSox. Will Middlebrooks was 2 for 5, serving as the designated hitter.
Matt Barnes improved to 5-7, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks, striking out a pair in 6 1/3 innings of work. Chris Hernandez notched his first career save as he tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The PawSox have now won seven straight and retain a half game lead over Rochester in the wild card standings. The victory moves Pawtucket just 3.5 games behind Syracuse for first place in the International League's North Division.
After struggling against New Hampshire (TOR) in three straight games to close out the previous period, Almanzar began to cash in on the familiarity, closing out the home series going 3 for 4 with a double and taking the show on the road and going 4 for 10 with a double and a home run over next three games in Manchester. Since returning to the Red Sox organization and Portland the man affectionately referred to by some as Tiger Death House is batting .296/.397/.463 (16 for 54) with two home runs and three doubles in 17 games.
Season Line: 26 G, .244/.337/.419 (21 for 86), 3 HR, 6 2B, 12 R, 11 RBI, 7 BB/22 K
7/22 Cup of Coffee: It was a busy day down on the farm, with eight games on the docket. The GCL Red Sox swept a doubleheader to highlight the day. Lowell notched double-digit runs in its win, and the DSL Red Sox opened up their second-half schedule with a victory. Pawtucket and Portland had 12 hits apiece in their victories. Greenville fell following a long rain delay, and Salem dropped its contest.
Pawtucket knocked off the Syracuse Chiefs (WAS) 4-3 when Corey Brown launched a ninth-inning home run. Brown's 14th homer of the season broke the three run tie and send the PawSox to their sixth straight victory. Mookie Betts was 2 for 5 with a double in his second game since rejoining Pawtucket. Jonathan Herrera was also 2 for 5, and has hit saftely in all nine games since he was optioned from the major league club. Carlos Rivero joined Brown going deep with a solo shot in the fifth inning.
Allen Webster retired 10 consecutive batters following a first-inning single, but ran into trouble allowing three runs in the fifth. Overall, Webster allowed the three runs on six hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking a batter. Alex Wilson fired two scoreless innings of relief., getting credit for the win.
There was a flurry of transactions last week, with the more notable ones being covered in this article. A complete list can always be found on our Transactions page.
With Shane Victorino returning to right field, Mookie Betts was optioned to Pawtucket on Saturday. Betts hit .235 in 34 at-bats in Boston, and he will continue to play center field and right field in addition to second base for the PawSox.
Carlos Asuaje (pictured) was finally promoted from Greenville to Salem, finishing with a .305/.391/.542 line in 90 games with the Drive. Asuaje, an 11th-round pick in the 2013 draft, has been a jack-of-all-trades this year, playing third base, shortstop, second base, and left field. For more background on Asuaje, check out this article his agent Joshua Kusnick wrote for Baseball Prospectus. It sheds some light on why Asuaje fell to the 11th round.
The signing deadline for the 2014 draft has come and gone, and Boston's class has been finalized. In all, the Red Sox signed 31 of their 41 draft picks, including all of the top 21, and many experts have stated that the Red Sox got great value. Based on available bonuses, the Red Sox spent $6,504,300 on the 2014 draft, which is $131,000 over their $6,373,300 bonus pool. Because they went two percent over their pool, they will need to pay tax on the $131,000, but will not lose any future draft picks. Below is a breakdown of the draft, with some background on the bigger names that Boston signed.
Be sure to check out our Draft History page for a list of everyone drafted by the Red Sox.
Josh Ockimey - $450,000 ($167,200 over slot). The Red Sox took Ockimey in the fifth round, gambling on the first baseman's offensive potential which includes solid bat speed and plus power potential. The 18-year-old from Philadelphia impressed the Red Sox in his pre-draft workout, where he hit several home runs to right field, including one that went 420-feet.
7/21 Cup of Coffee: The story of the day was pitching, with Anthony Ranaudo, Brian Johnson, Cody Kukuk, and Teddy Stankiewicz(pictured) all notching strong starts. Mookie Betts returned to the PawSox lineup, but it was Travis Shaw who did the most damage. In the lower levels, Wendell Rijo hit two home runs, and a couple prospects appeared in the Dominican Summer League All-Star game.
----- Anthony Ranaudo kept on rolling, as the PawSox beat the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 3-2. Ranaudo improved to 11-4 by allowing one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out four. Ranaudo has allowed only 10 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings, while going 6-0 in that span. Drake Britton and Tommy Layne pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, with Britton surrendering only an unearned run.
Chris got Matt and Ian on the horn to talk about the recent big dates on the player acquisition calendar: the July 2 opening of the international signing period, and the July 18 draft signing deadline. Did the Red Sox screw up by going over their international pool allotment to sign one extra pitcher? Did anything interesting happen among the draftees? Listen and find out!
7/20 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket won a close one while Portland blew away their opposition. Salem lost big, and Greenville followed suit. Lowell lost a heartbreaker and the GCL club exploded for 10 runs.
Pawtucket downed the Buffalo Bisons (TOR), 3-1. Brandon Workman pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit baseball, walking two and striking out six. Ryan Verdugo made his PawSox debut with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work and Miguel Celestino closed out the game with a perfect ninth. The rehabbing Will Middlebrooks went 2 for 4 with a solo shot in the fifth. Carlos Rivero drove the offense, also going 2 for 4 with a home run, two runs scored and two walks. Both Andres Torres and Garin Cecchini went 1 for 4 with a double.
7/19 Cup of Coffee: The affiliates split things on the farm with Pawtucket, Lowell and the DSL Red Sox all coming away with victories. Pawtucket was saved by the long ball while the bats exploded in Lowell to help lead the Spinners. Portland pitching got knocked around while the Salem offense couldn't get going. -----
Pawtucket hung on to defeat the Buffalo Bisons, 4-3. Steven Wright went eight innings giving up three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Most of the damage against Wright was done in the first inning when he gave up a single and an RBI double to start the game but was able to settle down after that. Tommy Layne came on in the ninth to earn his ninth save on the season.
The Pawtucket offense scattered their four runs across four innings. Will Middlebrooks hit a sacrifice fly in the first to cut the Buffalo lead to, 2-1. JonathanHerrera tied things up in the fifth with an RBI single to left field scoring Corey Brown. Alex Hassan hit a solo shot in the sixth and Dan Butler hit a solo shot of his own in the seventh to give Pawtucket the lead. Deven Marrero also chipped in with two singles to go 2 for 4 on the night.