Pawtucket L 4-7
Brock Holt, DH: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K
Rusney Castillo, RF: 0-4
Sam Travis, LF: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K
Josh Ockimey, 1B: 0-1, 1 R, 3 BB
Brian Johnson: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K (32 pitches)
Chandler Shepherd: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R 1 BB, 2 K (53 pitches)
Josh Taylor: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (15 pitches)
Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K (22 pitches)
It was a rough one in Pawtucket, who managed to score four runs despite tallying just two singles. That was in large part because they drew eight walks on the day. The big story in this one was the two rehabbing major leaguers, though. Holt was back in the lineup in the DH slot, and he did draw a walk and score a run. Johnson, meanwhile, was probably a bit better than that line would indicate. His first inning was a perfect 1-2-3 with a strikeout, and the second was where he struggled. However, a couple of the hits were singles including one on the ground. Either way, rust is to be expected in his first outing back.
Portland L 1-2
Brett Netzer, DH: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K
C.J. Chatham, SS: 2-4
Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Tanner Houck: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K (104 pitches)
The bad news here is that the offense couldn’t get anything going against Hartford in this game, falling behind 2-0 after two innings and failing to come back. They had seven hits, but only one was for extra bases. On the mound, Houck recovered from a rough stretch of late. The former first round pick was cruising for a few starts in a row before allowing eight runs in eight innings over his previous two starts. Eight baserunners in 6 2⁄3 innings isn’t dominant or anything, but they’ll take what he gave them tonight every time.
Salem L 2-6
Jarren Duran, CF: 1-4, 2 K
Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 0-3, 2 K
Ryan Fitzgerald, 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Joan Martinez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (25 pitches)
It was a strangely and deafeningly quiet day from the Salem offense on Wednesday, as they struck out a whopping 14 times. They did actually tie the game at two in the third inning thanks to a two-run infield single (there was an error involved), but the lead wouldn’t last long. There really wasn’t much that stood out here beyond the strikeouts from everyone. The one positive was Martinez, who now has a 2.18 ERA over 20 2⁄3 innings with 33 strikeouts and seven walks.
Greenville W 6-5
Cole Brannen, CF: 2-4, 2 2B, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Brandon Howlett, 3B: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Devlin Granberg, 1B: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
Triston Casas, DH: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 RBI
Tyler Esplin, RF: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R
Kris Jackson: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (50 pitches)
Greenville came on to save the day and avoid a second consecutive sweep of the farm system. The Drive scored runs in each of the first five innings to take the commanding early lead, and while the Crawdads almost came back Jackson — a 28th round pick last year who was making just his second appearance of 2019 — shut the door for the last three-plus innings. Offensively, it was a rare big game for Brannen at the top of the lineup. The former second round pick did a little bit of everything, but still has a .509 OPS on the year.
Player of the Day: There were really only two options here, and they were the first and second picks of the 2017 draft. Houck was impressive, but I’m going to give this one to Cole Brannen. There’s probably some bit of adjusting for expectations in this decision. Brannen set the tone early for the Drive, scoring the first run of the game then driving in the second with a ground-rule double. As I said above, Brannen has had a brutal year after struggling mightily in his first full season and eventually being sent back down to Lowell. If this game doesn’t spark him, there’s a chance he could end up back in Lowell this year, too.