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Red Sox Minor Lines: C.J. Chatham leads the way for Portland

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Don’t ask about the rest of the levels.

Pawtucket PPD

Portland W 9-2

C.J. Chatham, SS: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 R, 3 RBI

Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI

Brett Netzer, 2B: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Josh Tobias, DH: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 CS

Tanner Houck: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K (87 pitches)

The Sea Dogs won their second game of the year on Tuesday, and did so in convincing fashion. Portland’s lineup jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth and were up by seven by the time the sixth was halfway over. It was a group effort in this one, with Chatham standing out to me. The shortstop is off to a strong start this season, already with six doubles over his first eight games while hitting .300/.371/.500. Chatham is 24 so the Red Sox would like to see him succeed early, and that’s exactly what’s happening. On the other side, Houck was solid and got good results, though the peripherals don’t suggest dominance or anything like that.

Salem L 2-5

Jarren Duran, CF: 2-4, 1 R, 2 SB

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K

Jake Thompson: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (30 pitches)

It was a tough day for a Salem squad that has now lost four of their last five. The pitching was solid enough, with Thompson pitching a couple of innings that probably should have been worse based on the baserunners and lack of strikeouts, and former catcher Devon Fisher tossing a couple of scoreless innings. On offense, it was a very familiar game. Duran and Fitzgerald are the only two guys who have done much of anything for the High-A club to start this year, and they could both be on a fast track that sends them to Portland at some time relatively early in the year. Right now, they have OPS’s of .880 and 1.126, respectively.

Greenville L 2-6

Cole Brannen, CF: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 2 K, 2 SB

Jordan Wren, LF: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Tyler Esplin, RF: 1-3, 2 K, 1 CS

Alex Scherff: 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K

Threes were wild for Scherff as he got off to a rough start that helped lead to the Drive losing their fifth game in their last six. The righty allowed all three of his runs right off the bat in the first inning that included a leadoff home run, a triple, two walks and a base hit. He was mostly solid after that, though he did allow a double in each of the next two innings and worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the third. Overall, it was disappointing as Scherff had a bit of helium coming into the year and he dominated in his first outing of the season. Of course, this was just one outing and it can be good to see how young players come back from tough times.

Player of the Day: Josh Tobias had the most hits of anyone on the day, but I’m giving this one to Chatham. He made up for having one fewer hit than Tobias by adding a walk to his total, and he added more to the team’s result with two extra runs and two extra RBI. A former second round pick, Chatham no longer has the pressure of being the organization’s “shortstop of the future” with Xander Bogaerts locked up, but if he can continue to hit for contact he’ll find a job as a backup somewhere in this league even if the over-the-fence power never really develops.