Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (10-8): L, 5-3, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— Second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 13 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 with a game-tying RBI double, extending his modest hitting-streak to five games and reaching safely for the 10th time in 10 games played. In the seventh inning on Sunday, the 23-year-old Hernandez turned on a 2-2 pitch against a lefty reliever and sent it into the right-field corner to plate third baseman Mike Miller, knotting the game at 3-3.
Acquired by Boston from Chicago in the Felix Doubront trade, the 6-foot Hernandez is slashing .324/.375/.459 to start to the season with a triple and three doubles; he also made his major-league debut on April 17, going 1-for-2 with a walk, a run, and a stolen base. In 2015, split between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket, Hernandez slashed .305/.330/.454 over 114 games with nine homers, six triples, and 30 doubles; he was a mid-season Eastern League All-Star.
— With the PawSox trailing 3-0 entering the seventh, center fielder Rusney Castillo singled and would later score on an RBI double from catcher Sandy Leon. Shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’s No. 9 prospect at MLB.com) singled to cut the deficit to 3-2, setting up the Hernandez double to tie the contest 3-3. After a walk to DH Blake Swihart to load the bases, first baseman Sam Travis (Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) grounded out to third to end the threat.
Leon also finished 3-for-4, while Swihart and Travis were a collective 0-for-7 on the day; Marrero was 1-for-5 and Castillo 1-for-4 with a run scored.
— RHP Sean O’Sullivan took the loss (2-2, 3.12 ERA) with a final line of: 7 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO (99 pitches, 68 strikes); the 10 strikeouts were a career best for O’Sullivan in International League play. O’Sullivan, 28, retired 10 straight batters after a single in the first until a leadoff double in the fifth that would lead to a run. Two more scored against O’Sullivan in the sixth after a three-hit span, and he was finally removed after allowing a leadoff walk in the eighth; reliever Wesley Wright could not prevent the inherited runner from scoring as an ensuing triple and double plated the game’s winning runs.
O’Sullivan has seen major league action for the Angels, Royals, Padres, and Phillies over the last seven seasons, starting in 52 of his 66 major league games where he earned a record of 11-23 with a 5.95 ERA. Through four starts with Pawtucket this season, O’Sullivan has struck out 27 batters to just four walks in 26 innings pitched.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-12): L, 2-0, at Hartford (Rockies)
— The Portland offense continued to struggle as it managed just four hits on Sunday and was shut out for the third time in a four game span. Portland has not homered since a shot by Wendell Rijo (Boston’s No. 18 prospect at MLB.com) on April 10th, a 14-game drought.
“Just going through a little slump,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles told the Portland Press Herald. “That’s part of the game. Sometimes you pitch and can’t hit. Just have to put everything together.”
— RHP Justin Haley suffered from the lack of run support, taking the loss (0-2, 3.44 ERA) despite a solid final line of: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO (90 pitches, 61 strikes). The 24-year-old Haley allowed a run in the first on back-to-back hits but then retired 11 straight before a leadoff walk in the fifth. A leadoff home run in the seventh was the only other damage against Haley as he finished with seven ground-ball outs to just three in the air; the seven innings of work tied a career high.
“Just attacking the zone and throwing strikes,” Haley said. “We mixed a lot (fastballs, sliders and change-ups).”
“The thing that was big for him was he threw a lot of strikes,” Sea Dogs’ pitching coach Kevin Walker said. “He was moving his fastball around well. And he committed to using his off-speed and had some success.”
Selected by Boston in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Fresno State, the 6-foot-5 Haley spent the entire 2015 season with Portland where he went 5-16 with a 5.15 ERA in 27 starts, with seven quality starts.
— Lefty reliever Luis Ysla (Boston’s No. 21 prospect at MLB.com) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two for his fourth straight scoreless appearance. The 23-year-old Ysla touched 94 mph on his fastball, while getting punch-outs on breaking pitches. Acquired by Boston last year from San Francisco in the Alejandro De Aza trade, Ysla has allowed three earned runs over seven innings this season with seven strikeouts and four walks.
— Left fielder Bryce Brentz (Boston’s No. 30 prospect at MLB.com) drew a walk as he played in his third game since returning from injury suffered during Spring Training; he was previously on Triple-A Pawtucket’s DL before getting the Portland assignment. The 27-year-old Brentz reached safely in all three games played but is just 2-for-10 with the walk and four strikeouts.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (11-7): W, 3-2, vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox)
— Yoan Moncada (Boston’s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) and center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston’s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) both singled in the first inning to promptly extend their hitting streaks to 14 games as Salem plated three runs in the first and hung on for the win.
Moncada, 20, was just 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, but his first inning single led to the game’s first run as he advanced to second on a pickoff attempt (throwing error) and came home on an RBI single from shortstop Deiner Lopez. Moncada has reached safely in all 16 games he’s played this year and is slashing .350/.474/.483 with two triples, four doubles, 15 runs, eight RBIs, 14 walks and 13 stolen bases; his on-base percentage (.474) is tied for the Carolina League lead.
— Benintendi, 21, singled to center in the first and would later score on a wild pitch. He finished the game 1-for-4 with three fly outs to put his slash line at .333/.390/.623 through 17 games with six triples, eight doubles, 15 runs and 11 RBIs. Benintendi’s slugging percentage (.623) is the second-highest mark in the Carolina League.
— RHP Travis Lakins (Boston’s No. 11 prospect at MLB.com) earned the victory (2-1, 2.33 ERA) with a final line of: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO (87 pitches, 59 strikes). Lakins’s lone blemish came in the first as he walked the game’s leadoff man and he came in to score on a fielding error by right fielder Mike Meyers. The 21-year-old Lakins would then allow leadoff batters to reach in the second (single) and third (walk) but stranded both runners. Lakins gave up singles in the fifth and sixth before being removed.
Selected by Boston in the sixth round of last year’s draft out of Ohio State University, the 6-foot-1 Lakins has allowed five earned runs this year in 19 1/3 innings, striking out 23 while walking eight; over his last three starts Lakins has allowed just two earned runs in 15 2/3 innings.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (10-8): W, 5-1, vs. Columbia (Mets)
— Left fielder Joseph Monge and right fielder Tate Matheny had three-hit games, while first baseman Josh Ockimey went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs to lead the way for Greenville.
Monge, 20, went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games. On Sunday he singled and scored in the first, reached via error in the second, singled in the fourth and finally singled home an insurance run in the seventh. Selected by Boston in the 17th round of the 2013 draft out of Puerto Rico, the 6-foot Monge is off to a 19-for-60 (.317) start to 2016 with a homer, five doubles, and four stolen bases.
Matheny, 22, went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. He put one through the left side with a runner aboard in the first, brought home a run in the second by looping a 2-2 offspeed pitch to center, and singled again on a hard-hit ball to the third baseman. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of last year’s draft, the 6-foot Matheny got a late start to the season but through his first six games is batting 10-for-26 (.385) with a double, eight runs, six RBIs and seven walks.
Ockimey (Boston’s No. 16 prospect at MLB.com), 20, went 2-for-5 with an opposite-field RBI single in the first and an RBI triple pulled into the right field corner in the sixth. The 6-foot-1 lefty bat now has a six game hit streak and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of high school in Pennsylvania, Ockimey is slashing .323/.447/.645 over 16 games with five homers (tied for the South Atlantic League lead), the triple, three doubles, 11 runs and 10 RBIs.
— LHP Logan Boyd started and earned the win (3-1, 3.32 ERA) with a final line of: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (74 pitches, 48 strikes). After a perfect first, Boyd stranded two runners in the second and after allowing a run in the third struck out two to go with a caught-stealing from catcher Austin Rei (Boston’s No. 25 prospect at MLB.com) to end the inning.
Selected by Boston in the 19th round of last year’s draft out of Sam Houston State University, the 6-foot-2 Boyd has allowed seven earned runs over 19 innings this year with 16 strikeouts and just two walks. Last year in 13 appearances with Short-Season Lowell, Boyd was 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA, striking out 37 in 41 innings.
— Relievers Jake Cosart and Bobby Poyner combined for four innings of shutout relief, each allowing just a single.
Cosart, a 22-year-old righty, struck out two and has now made three straight scoreless appearances, with 12 whiffs in 9 1/3 innings so far this year.
Poyner, a 23-year-old lefty, struck out the side in the eighth and another batter in the ninth; he has yet to allow a run this year in 11 innings, striking out 17 without walking a batter.
— According to the Greenville News, the Drive’s home facility Fluor Field will be getting further renovations after the 2016 season. Prior to this year, the stadium opened with improvements including a new video board and sound system.
“Coming in 2017, under construction once this season is over, are some pretty dramatic changes,” Greenville Mayor Knox White said.
The Red Sox are currently committed to their player development contract with Greenville through 2020.
“We invested over $20 million in building Fluor Field 10 years ago,” Drive owner Craig Brown said. “There’s nothing that’s happened in the 10 years that’s changed that one iota. In fact, it’s just confirmed what a wonderful community this is. This is where we live. This is where we want to be.”