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Red Sox Minor Lines: Ryan Fitzgerald leads the way for Salem

And Juan Centeno hits a clutch home run

Pawtucket W 5-2

Gorkys Hernández, CF: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 R, 2 K, 1 SB

Rusney Castillo, RF: 1-5, 1 2B

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 R

Sam Travis, DH: 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K

Cole Sturgeon, LF: 2-4, 1 CS

Juan Centeno, C: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 PB

Mike Shawaryn: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 1 K (94 pitches)

Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (16 pitches)

This was an exciting game in Rochester, that started with a two-run first for the PawSox, then nothing more for seven innings. Rochester tied it up in that time, but then Centeno hit a big three-run home run to break the tie and give Mejia a chance to tie it up. Centeno is, of course, the next man on the catcher depth chart if either Christian Vázquez or Sandy León get hurt, and the former Ranger is hitting pretty well of late. On the year he’s hitting .341/.357/.463, though we’re only talking about 11 games. On the mound, Shawaryn did well allowing only two runs, but five walks to just one strikeout is not great. He somehow escaped that line with just one double play.

Portland PPD

Salem W 15-7

Jarren Duran, CF: 0-3, 3 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 4-6, 1 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI

Garrett Benge, 3B: 2-6, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 K

Victor Acosta, LF: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI

Joseph Monge, DH: 3-5, 1 2B, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Jonathan Ortega, 2B: 3-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 2 CS

Jhonathan Diaz: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K (85 pitches)

Eduard Bazardo: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (52 pitches)

Make it six in a row for the red-hot Salem Red Sox, whose offensive explosion on Sunday brings them to within one of a .500 record. The offense had two seven-run innings in the first and eighth, and they got production from up and down the lineup. Yesterday I mentioned that Fitzgerald had been cooling off a bit, so he went out and smacked four hits. Acosta also continued his hot season and his batting average is up to .351 on the year, though it is on the empty side. Salem was supposed to be perhaps the most boring roster this year, but there has been a ton of production from these guys every day, and they’re now averaging just over eight runs per game over is six-game streak. And they did all this with a hitless performance from Duran! Of course, he did still reach base three times.

Greenville L 1-6

Jordan Wren, LF: 2-3, 1 BB

Triston Casas, DH: 0-4, 2 K

Marino Campana, RF: 2-3, 1 K, 1 CS

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

Yasel Santana : 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (79 pitches)

Logan Browning: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K (23 pitches)

It’s been an up-and-down year for the Drive so far, but their offense is in a snag right now. They’ve lost two of their last three, scoring a total of four runs over that stretch. This game was actually tied at zeroes until the sixth when Greenville’s bullpen came on and started giving up runs. Howlett really stands out the most to me and has all year. He broke out in a huge and noticeable way after being drafted last summer, but the 19-year-old is now hitting .197/.250/.258 through his first 19 games in full-season ball. Obviously that sample is too small to make any real conclusions over, but if this continues for another couple of weeks you have to wonder if they pushed him a little too hard and should have let him get more confidence at Lowell.

Player of the Day: This one has to go to Ryan Fitzgerald, who was the standout in what was a standout performance from Salem’s entire lineup. Fitzgerald has certainly been my favorite story of the young minor-league season, as the former Indy League signee is killing High-A competition. After this latest game he is hitting .375/.426/.538 with seven stolen bases. It’s a matter of when, not if, the 24-year-old will be promoted to Portland.