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Red Sox minor lines: The pitching fights back

It's been a miserable year for pitchers in the minor league system. But that might finally be changing.

Pawtucket W 6-2

Sam Travis: 1-2, HR, BB
Deven Marrero: 1-3, K

Roenis Elias: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HR
Kyle Martin: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Of Pawtucket's three struggling arms, Elias' difficulties have been the oddest. Nobody expected him to be the rotation savior in the way, say, Steven Wright has been. But he's been a serviceable major league arm before, making his struggles in Pawtucket kind of baffling. These last two starts--15 innings, three runs, two walks, and 21 strikeouts--is very much the sort of performance we should be expecting from a healthy MLB-quality pitcher pitching against Triple-A lineups. Let's see him do it for a few more games, and we can start thinking about him as real depth again.

Sam Travis' homer is his sixth of the year in 160 at bats. Last year he had nine in 489. The power has always been a bit of a sticking point for the first base hopeful. It's been a pretty great month for him on the whole, really. He's cut his strikeout rate nearly in half, doubled his walk rate, and hit twice as many homers. If he keeps hitting like this the rest of the way, the Sox might just feel comfortable giving him the job at first next year (with Hanley moving to DH).

Portland L 1-2

Andrew Benintendi: 1-3, BB, K, SB

Justin Haley: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Luis Ysla: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

Andrew Benintendi with hits in back-to-back games. He's not exactly getting hot the way we know he can, but he's at least getting on base again.

Justin Haley is one of the few pitchers who has actually been good all year. His last outing was a one-out disaster where he jut didn't have anything, but that was clearly a one-off.

Salem L 2-5

Yoan Moncada: 1-5, 2 K
Mauricio Dubon: 0-4, BB, SB
Nick Longhi: 0-3, K
Rafael Devers: 1-3, CS

This might be the closest Yoan Moncada is going to get to a slump in Salem. When he breaks out of it, best guess, he gets the bump up to Portland. That's how the Sox like to do things.

Greenville W 4-0

Josh Ockimey: 2-4, 2B, HR, K
Austin Rei: 1-4, K
Luis Alexander Basabe: 0-3, BB

Anderson Espinoza: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Jake Cosart: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Hopefully this is Ockimey getting out of his slump. He had five hits in his last 10 games,none of them for extra bases. He's at least kept drawing walks, but six bases in one game is still more what we're looking to see.

And Anderson Espinoza caps off the day of pitching. This is the first walk-free day from Espinoza since his second start of the season, and his first shutout outing since his first. It's a low strikeout day, sure, but those have been there throughout the year, and nobody really needs to be convinced that Espinoza has the stuff to get Single-A hitters to swing-and-miss. There's going to be growing pains as he fights against older competition presumably throughout his whole minor league career. But quality will prove out.