SoxProspects News

April 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Owens dominates in Salem


4/24 Cup of Coffee: Rubby De La Rosa was able to get back on track in Pawtucket, Xander Bogaerts has been unstoppable after his early-season struggles, and Henry Owens (pictured) turned in his most dominant start of the year.

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Pawtucket was unable to hold onto its early lead, as the Buffalo Bisons (TOR) came back to win, 5-3. Rubby De La Rosa had his best start of the season, throwing three shutout innings and allowing only one hit, while walking two and striking out one. His 56 pitches were the most he has thrown in a game this season, but only 29 of them were for strikes. 

De La Rosa was staked to an early lead after Jackie Bradley Jr. singled and scored on a ground out to lead off the game. Bryce Brentz then connected for his second home run of the season to give the PawSox a 3-0 lead. Pawtucket was unable to get back into a rhythm on offense, as the PawSox failed to score after the first inning. Some people were concerned that Bradley's struggles at the major-league level would linger at Pawtucket, but that does not seem to be the case, as the center fielder is now 6 for 15 with four walks in his first four games with the PawSox. 

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Heiker Meneses scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th to give the Sea Dogs a 9-8 victory over the Binghamton Mets (NYM). Craig Breslow started for the Sea Dogs in his first rehab appearance, and the rust was palpable. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out. He was pulled after 23 pitches and replaced by Brandon Workman. Workman fared much better, allowing two earned runs in five innings, while walking three and striking out three. He was able to keep the Sea Dogs in the game, as they chipped away at the Binghamton lead. 

RBI singles from J.C. Linares, Michael Almanzar, and Christian Vazquez in the third brought the Sea Dogs closer, and they tied it up in the fifth on a Meneses triple. Meneses tripled again in the seventh to put the Sea Dogs up by two, but a Kolbrin Vitek throwing error in the eighth allowed two runs to score, and the game went into extras. In the bottom of the tenth, Meneses doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a wild pitch to end the game. Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 5 with a triple and a walk, Meneses went 3 for 5 with two triples and a double, and Vazquez went 2 for 4 with a walk to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Bogaerts is now 15 for his last 33 with four extra-base hits.

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It was a team victory in Salem, as every player contributed to an 8-1 rout of the Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC). Henry Owens was outstanding, tossing six shutout innings and allowing three hits and one walk, while striking out six. His numbers this season are extremely promising, as he has now thrown 21 innings with a 1.71 ERA, to go along with six walks and 22 strikeouts. 

The Salem hitters were able to provide Owens with plenty of run support, as they scored eight times in the first two innings. Garin Cecchini launched a two-run homer in the first, and then Keury De La Cruz broke the game open with a grand slam in the second. Cecchini went 2 for 4 with a walk to raise his average to .328, and the home run was his second of the season. Brandon Jacobs was the only Salem player without a hit, but he did draw three walks and score a run. 

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The Drive were shut out for the sixth time this season, falling to the Lakewood BlueClaws (PHI), 4-0. After cruising through the first two innings, Pat Light ran into trouble in the third when he allowed a walk and three singles to put the Drive down by three. Those were the only baserunners he allowed in five innings, while also adding four strikeouts. He has a 4.91 ERA in 14 2/3 innings this season, but his peripheral stats look stronger, as he has struck out 16 and walked five. 

The Drive were being no-hit until Aneury Tavarez singled with one out in the seventh. He was subsequently thrown out trying to steal second. The Drive only managed two hits on the day and struck out 12 times. 

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Player of the Day: With his six shutout innings on Tuesday, Henry Owens continues to push himself towards the top tier of Red Sox pitching prospects. There was a gap coming into the season between Owens and top pitchers Matt Barnes and Allen Webster, but Owens is closing that gap with every appearance. After generating a lot of buzz in spring training, Owens has been able carry that momentum from spring over to the regular season.

Photo Credit: Henry Owens by William Parmeter

Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com.

 
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