Pawtucket L 8-10
Jantzen Witte, 3B: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI
Chad De La Guerra, SS: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Bryce Brentz, LF: 2-4, 1 BB, 2 RBI
Josh Ockimey, 1B: 0-2, 3 BB, 1 R, 1 K
Marco Hernandez, 2B: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Óscar Hernández, C: 2-2, 2 BB, 1 R
Josh Smit: 4 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K (86 pitches)
Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (18 pitches)
The PawSox fell behind very early in this game with Smith struggling in his first start back in the minors, as he allowed seven runs in the first three innings. As a result, Pawtucket was already down by five through three innings and had a long battle back the entire game. They did have some solid offense, with three players reaching base at least three times. As a team, they smacked ten hits and drew seven walks, which is enough to win most games. They just couldn’t get the pitching, and one would think at least part of it was rust for Smith. You surely remember how few and far between his appearances came during his time in the majors.
Portland L 2-3
Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-5, 2 K
Cody Asche, DH: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Luke Tendler, LF: 2-4, 1 RBI
Keith Curcio, RF: 2-4
Kyle Hart: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K (94 pitches)
Durbin Feltman: 1 IP, 1 H 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (13 pitches)
This was a tough loss for Portland, who got another solid start from Hart. He has had some tough luck with a 3-6 record this year, but even after allowing three runs here his ERA remains under 3.00 for the season and he’s gone seven innings in each of his last three starts. If/When a rotation spot opens in Pawtucket, Hart will likely be first in line for a promotion. More relevant to the majors is Feltman, who has had some rough stretches this year but has looked better lately. He’s tossed three straight scoreless appearances and over his last six he’s allowed just one run over 9 1⁄3 innings. Feltman turning it around would be a huge development for the team’s bullpen at the highest level.
Salem L 4-7
Jarren Duran, CF: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 SB
Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 4-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 CS, 1 E
Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 0-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Marcus Wilson, RF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K
Chad Hardy, LF: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Kutter Crawford: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 K (95 pitches)
Eduard Bazardo: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K (64 pitches)
Salem did jump out to an extremely early lead in this one, thanks to Fitzgerald starting his big day with an RBI triple. They had the lead after three, too, but then Wilmington started turning it on. They scored at least one run in four straight innings in the middle of the game, and that was enough. It was a disappointing day for Crawford in particular, who had been picking up where he left off in his breakout 2018 season. This was his first start in which he allowed more than three runs and only the second he allowed more than two earned runs, but it’s also the second straight in which he didn’t make it through at least five innings.
Greenville W 4-1
Tyler Esplin, RF: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 CS
Triston Casas, 1B: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Brandon Howlett, 3B: 1-2, 2 BB, 1 R
Tyler Dearden, LF 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
Brayan Bello: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K (72 pitches)
A win! Greenville’s offense wasn’t anything too special here, though they did get a big home run from Casas who has totally put his bad start to the season in the rearview. He’s now up to an .823 OPS on the year. Also of note was Dearden’s appearance here in his first game of the year. The outfielder had been on the injured list all year to this point, but he’s back now. Dearden was an overslot signing out of high school late in the draft back in 2017 and this is his debut in full-season ball. On the mound, Bello had a much-needed strong start. After a three-start stretch in which he allowed seven, seven and nine runs, respectively, had wiped out the strong start he’d gotten off to this was a big recovery.
Player of the Day: There are a few options here, with Óscar Hernández, Jarren Duran and Ryan Fitzgerald all reaching base four times and a few home runs. I’m going to go to Greenville with the only win of the day and give this one to Bello. There’s some extra boost here for a guy who needed the big start to get his season back on track. Bello is an interesting name to watch in the lower minors after he burst onto the season in the DSL last year with a 1.68 ERA over that season. Jumping from the DSL (he made one relief appearance in the GCL at the end of the year) to Greenville is surely a huge adjustment, which likely explains some inconsistency for the righty.