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Red Sox Minor Lines: Bryan Mata keeps rolling

But the affiliates overall don’t have a great day.

Portland L 1-3

Keith Curcio, RF: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R

Brett Netzer, 2B: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E

C.J. Chatham, SS: 0-2, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 E

Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E

I was actually surprised they played this game in Portland, as it was cold and miserable and misty pretty much all night. They persevered, though, and couldn’t come out on top. The Sea Dogs did take a 1-0 lead in the fourth, but Trenton answered back with two more and never gave back the lead. Dalbec had himself a rough night, not only going 0-3 but also getting caught stealing on a pickoff attempt and making an error. It’s been a rough start to the year for the third base prospect. He is drawing a ton of walks, with a .375 OBP compared to his .189 batting average, but he also has just one double and one home run and his OPS currently sits at .672. Unsurprisingly, he’s also striking out 27 percent of the time.

Salem L 1-2

Jarren Duran, CF: 0-4, 2 K

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 1-4, 1 R

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 CS

Victor Acosta, DH: 2-4

Bryan Mata: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K (82 pitches)

Eduardo Bazardo: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K (47 pitches)

This was a frustrating day for Salem, who just couldn’t get their offense going. Even so, they were up 1-0 after the top of the sixth but in the seventh, they finally gave up their first run on of the game before allowing a walkoff on a wild pitch in the ninth. Still, the pitching does stand out here. Mata was fantastic for his third start of the year, and over the course of the season he has now allowed just one earned run (three total) over 16 23 innings for a 0.54 ERA. He also has 17 strikeouts and only four walks, of course three of which were on Thursday. Mata saw his stock fall quite a bit after his 2018 and the control issues that came from them. It’s still very early, but he could be getting some of that stock back and could also be looking on a somewhat early promotion to Portland.

Greenville W 4-0

Cole Brannen, CF: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K

Tyler Esplin, RF: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI

Triston Casas, 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E

Chris Machamer: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches)

Oddanier Mosqueda: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (48 pitches)

Greenville picked up all four of their runs in a big third inning, and that was all they’d need given the pitching they received here. Machamer, a 16th round pick last summer, doesn’t have the best strikeout-to-walk numbers (nine to five) over his first three starts and 14 innings this year, but he’s done well in preventing runs. Mosqueda has too, at least over his last two outings in which he has combined for six outings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Speaking of hitters playing well, 2017 seventh round pick Tyler Esplin has a hit in his last four games and in that time he’s 7-15 (.467) with a pair of doubles.

Player of the Day: It has to be Bryan Mata, despite pitching in a loss. He obviously wasn’t responsible for that loss, though. I already said all there is to say about where Mata stands right now, but it’s worth mentioning that in his third start of the year this is his second time winning this fake award.