May 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Graham Godfrey recovered from a rough first inning to go a solid five, paving the way for an 8-2 Pawtucket Red Sox win over the Indianapolis Indians (PIT). The righty scattered six hits and two walks, yielding only those two first-inning runs and fanning two in his longest outing in three weeks.
Offensively, the PawSox used a four-run third inning to grab a lead they never gave up. Right fielder Bryce Brentz had the big blow: a two-out, three-run home run to make it 4-0.
Brentz (2 for 4, walk) was one of five Pawtucket batters to record multiple hits on the day. Third baseman Jonathan Diaz led the way with his 3-for-5, three-RBI effort, while Brandon Snyder, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Brock Holt chipped in a pair of base knocks apiece.
In Portland, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and starting right-hander Anthony Ranaudo competed to steal the show in the Sea Dogs’ seemingly easy 9-1 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR).
Bogaerts (3 for 4, double) had two homers and five RBI through the first two innings off of Toronto’s 2012 first-round draft pick, Marcus Stroman, to give the Sea Dogs an early 8-0 lead.
Ranaudo, meanwhile, struck out eight in seven near-perfect innings. He gave up a single hit, while throwing 53 of his 78 pitches for strikes before giving way to right-hander Chris Balcom-Miller, who allowed one run in two innings in his first Double-A appearance of the year.
Right fielder J.C. Linares also had an impressive day at the plate. He went 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBI to edge third baseman Michael Almanzar (3 for 4, RBI) in the production department.
The Salem Red Sox blew a fifth-inning 7-0 lead to fall, 9-8, to the Potomoc Nationals (WAS), despite big days from a number of hitters.
Salem initially broke through in the fourth by touching up the Nats for a trio of runs, the last two of which came courtesy of a home run from first baseman David Renfroe.
The next inning produced more of the same for the visitors when Keury De La Cruz, Brandon Jacobs, Blake Swihart and Henry Ramos all drove in single runs in the rally.
Then right-handed starter Michael McCarthy imploded. He gave up six runs — only two of which were earned — and couldn’t escape the fifth before lefty Robby Scott stopped the bleeding. Scott ended up absorbing the loss, however, when he gave up three more runs, and the lead, in the sixth.
Swihart led the offensive barrage that ultimately fell short with three hits, including a double and a walk, to go with his two RBI, while Jacobs (3 for 5, RBI) also had a good day. Shortstop Deven Marrero and designated hitter Garin Cecchini also reached base multiple times.
The Greenville Drive had the least productive night at the dish, winning by a 5-1 margin over the Savannah Sand Giants (NYM), but it was plenty of run support for Justin Haley, who nabbed his second win of the year.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound right-hander threw an efficient six innings, needing only 78 pitches to strike out three and allow one run. He scattered five hits and three walks, while benefitting from four double plays from the Drive defense.
Catcher Jordan Weems got the scoring started with an RBI single in the second inning, and designated hitter David Chester tripled the lead with a two-run homer in the third.
When Savannah did score its only run, Greenville got it right back when first baseman Boss Moanaroa doubled home right fielder Aneury Tavarez (reached on fielder’s choice) and scored one batter later on Weems’ single to left.
Left fielder Drew Turocy went 2 for 4 with two doubles but didn’t factor into the scoring. Right-hander Jeffrey Wendelken recorded his third save of the year by shutting down the Sand Giants, fanning three in three hitless innings.
Player of the Night: Anthony Ranaudo, who struck out eight and gave up only one hit in seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.48. All that, and he didn’t even have his best stuff, according to SoxProspects.com scout Ian Cundall. This was Ranaudo’s best start in at least a month, if not all season, and is certainly an improvement over his last two, neither of which saw him finish the fifth. The 6-foot-7, 231-pound right-hander is limiting opponents to a .165 average while striking out more than a batter per inning.
Photo Credit: Anthony Ranaudo by Kelly O'Connor.
Tim Healey is a staff writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.