Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (24-26): L, 8-2, vs. Indianapolis (Indians)
— Pawtucket starter Keith Couch let up a six-run inning, blowing the game wide open. It tied the most runs the PawSox have allowed in a frame all season. Couch, who returned to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland before the game, let up six hits that inning, two of them home runs, to receive his second loss of the season with Pawtucket. Before that inning, the right-hander let up only one run and two hits in the first three frames, totaling a strikeout in the process.
The performance gives Couch a 3-2 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in seven games with both Pawtucket and Portland. The 26-year-old has struck out just 21 batters in 40 innings of work this year, and batters are hitting .273 against him.
— Relieving Couch was Robby Scott, who impressed in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out four and allowed only three hits and an earned run in his appearance. Following him was Anthony Varvaro, who also whiffed four batters in the final 1 2/3 innings.
Throughout the season, both Scott and Varvaro have been reliable bullpen members for Pawtucket. Scott, 26, is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, while the 31-year-old Varvaro is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Varvaro is second on the team in ERA among pitchers who have appeared in at least ten games, and Scott’s 29 strikeouts ranks second among relievers.
— Besides the loss, some more bad news for Pawtucket, as first baseman Sam Travis left the game in the third inning with a leg injury. Travis, who leads Pawtucket in RBIs (29), was chasing down a baserunner to apply the tag when he stumbled and fell to the ground. He stayed down for a few minutes before being helped off the field by trainers.
Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told the Patriot Ledger after the game that Travis was having “left leg discomfort” and would be undergoing evaluation.
Boston’s No.7 prospect on MLB.com, Travis is having a solid year, batting .272/.332/.434 in 47 games. Drafted by the Red Sox in 2014, the 22-year-old was struggling at the plate as of late, going 1-for-13 in his last four games.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (17-32): L, 6-3, vs. Hartford (Rockies)
— Red-hot prospect Andrew Benintendi was a bright spot in a loss for the Sea Dogs, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run. His three-bagger in the bottom of the fourth put the 21-year-old in position to score on an RBI single from Ryan Court. He also made a great diving catch in the second inning.
Benintendi, Boston’s No. 3 prospect on MLB.com, was called up to Portland from Salem on May 16, and he has been playing better and better at the next level. The Cincinnati native is batting .389 in his last five games, and is now hitting .320/.388/.512 during his time with the Sea Dogs.
“His approach is improving and now he’s driving the baseball, staying up the middle of the field,” Sea Dogs manager Carlos Febles said after the game. “He’s a good hitter. He will keep hitting, no doubt in my mind.
— Making a spot start for Portland, right-hander Mike McCarthy let up four earned runs and eight hits in five innings to earn his second loss of the year. He also struck out three and let up no walks. On the season, the 28-year-old is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA and a 1.57 ERA with both Portland and Pawtucket.
— Another strong performance at the plate came from Cole Sturgeon, who hit a two-out double in the bottom of the sixth inning to score two runs and cut Hartford’s lead to two. Sturgeon, 24, went 2-for-3 in the game to go along with the two RBIs. On the year, he is batting .255/.301/.387 with six doubles and 11 RBIs.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (33-17): W, 2-1, at Lynchburg (Indians)
— Daniel McGrath was the one who started the game for Salem and allowed only one run in four innings, but it was Yankory Pimentel who earned the win with a dominating relief performance. He allowed no hits in three innings while tallying four strikeouts to keep the Lynchburg bats at bay in a tight game.
It’s been an impressive season for the 22-year-old right-hander, who is 3-1 and holds a team-leading 1.38 ERA to go along with a 1.00 WHIP in 12 games. The Dominican Republic native has surrendered just three earned runs in his last seven appearances.
— Danny Mars led the Salem batters Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a run. He scored on a fielder’s choice in the second inning to provide the go-ahead run for the Red Sox. Mars, 22, is hitting .253/.323/.337 through 45 games, and his 28 RBIs rank third on the team.
— Rafael Devers, Boston’s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com, went 1-for-4 with a double and a run to go along with a strikeout. Devers continues to play well for Salem, with a .286/.311/.429 batting average in just 25 games.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (24-24): W, 10-2, at Rome (Braves)
— The game was tied until the fifth inning, when Greenville slugger Mitchell Gunsolus clubbed a two-run home run to put the Drive up for good. It was the third baseman’s sixth homer of the season. He finished the blowout with 1-for-2 with two runs, two RBIs, and three walks.
Gunsolus, 23, is batting .289/.406/.482 for the Drive in his second year in the minors. He has four RBIs in his last four games and his OBP (.406) is third best on the team.
— Another impressive outing came from designated hitter Jayce Ray, who went 3-for-4 with a double, a run, 2 RBIs, and a walk. Assigned to the Drive on May 20, the 26-year-old is hitting .333/.379/.407 in just seven games with the team.