June 5, 2013 at 8:30 AM
6/5 Cup of Coffee: Will Middlebrooks made his first rehab appearance, Xander Bogaerts continued his blistering pace, and Blake Swihart is positioning himself for a move up the prospect rankings.
The PawSox offense was stagnant, as they fell to the Charlotte Knights (CWS), 5-1. In his first rehab appearance, Will Middlebrooks went 1 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout as the team's third baseman. Jeremy Hazlebaker reached base four times with two hits and two walks, and Jonathan Diaz went 2 for 4 with a double.
Steven Wright was cruising through the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth when he allowed a two-out single followed by a two-run home run. In the sixth inning, he allowed the first four men to reach base and ultimately surrendered three more runs in the frame. Jose De La Torre and Oscar Villarreal combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief, but the PawSox were unable to come back.
Anthony Ranaudo had his first poor start of the season, as the Sea Dogs fell to the Erie SeaWolves (DET), 8-7 in 12 innings. As good as Ranuado has been this season, he was also getting a little lucky, as his .219 batting average on balls in play going into last night was bound to regress. That happened on Tuesday, with the right-hander allowing seven runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He also walked four and struck out five. His ERA now sits at 2.43 after 60 2/3 innings.
The Sea Dogs were led on offense by Shannon Wilkerson (pictured) and Xander Bogaerts. Wilkerson went 4 for 5 with a triple and a walk, while Bogaerts went 2 for 4 with a double and two walks. Bogaerts has been putting up video game numbers for awhile now, but his .542/.636/1.083 triple slash in his last seven games is just humorous. On the flip-side, Christian Vazquez went 0 for 6, and he has only one hit in his last 29 at-bats.
The Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) pummeled Salem, scoring eight runs in the first en route to a 12-5 victory. Mike Augliera had a start to forget, giving up eight runs while recording only one out. His short outing put a huge burden on the Salem bullpen, who were so depleted by the end of the game that infielder Nick Natoli pitched the ninth.
Blake Swihart's strong season continued, as he went 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and a walk. After struggling initially this season, Swihart is now batting .308/.400/.486 over his last 32 games. SoxProspects.com's Director of Scouting Chris Mellen was in attendance, and he had positive things to say about Swihart. Follow Chris on Twitter for more observations from his scouting trip.
In addition to Swihart, Keury De La Cruz, Brandon Jacobs and Feliz Sanchez all had two hits for Salem. While Jacobs has put up disappointing numbers this season, he has shown some signs of life lately, batting .367 in his last eight games.
Greenville used good pitching and timely hitting to beat the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY), 6-2. Greenville jumped out to a four-run lead in the first and never looked back. David Chester's two-run double was the key hit in the inning. Starter Jacob Dahlstrand made the four runs hold up, as he tossed six innings of one-run ball. Cody Kukuk came on in relief and struck out eight in his three innings of work. He allowed only one hit, but he also walked three and gave up a run.
Several members of the Greenville lineup had solid nights at the plate. Mookie Betts went 2 for 5 with a double, Cody Koback went 3 for 4 with two doubles, Chester went 2 for 4 with two doubles and Aneury Tavarez went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The DSL Red Sox suffered their first loss of the season, falling to the DSL Astros (HOU), 2-0. Carlos Garcia was the tough-luck loser, allowing one unearned run and one hit in 4 1/3 innings. Only three Red Sox batters reached base, with Luis Alexander Basabe going 1 for 3 with a walk, while Victor Acosta went 2 for 4 with a double and Franklin Guzman went 1 for 4.
Player of the Day: Shannon Wilkerson reached base five times in the Sea Dogs' loss to Erie. Wilkerson, an eighth-round pick in the 2009 draft, is performing well in his first full season of Double-A. His .277/.345/.398 line is not eye-opening, but it is a vast improvement over his performance last season in Salem.
Photo Credit: Shannon Wilkerson by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com