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Red Sox Minor Lines: All aboard the Kutter Express

Kutter Crawford dominates and Bobby Dalbec goes deep.

Pawtucket L 4-9

Rusney Castillo, RF: 1-4, 1 RBI

Bryce Brentz, DH: 1-4, 1 K

Sam Travis, 1B: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R

Gorkys Hernández, CF: 1-2, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 SB

Óscar Hernández, C: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K

Erasmo Ramírez: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 1 K (82 pitches)

Bobby Poyner: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K (28 pitches)

Travis Lakins: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (18 pitches)

The PawSox really never had it going on in this game, though they did have it tied up after the top half of the sixth. Immediately after that, however, they let the Tides come out and score four in the bottom half and that was essentially that. Offensively, Sam Travis is swinging a hot bat with multiple hits in each of the last three games and at least one in five of six. As for pitching, things haven’t been so great for Poyner. After this latest rough outing the southpaw is up to a 6.55 ERA on the year with a walk per inning. He’s also allowed runs in three straight outings and four of his last five.

Portland W 3-1

C.J. Chatham, SS: 0-4, 1 K

Dustin Pedroia, 2B: 1-3, 1 R

Brett Netzer, DH: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 E

Joey Curletta, 1B: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K

Denyi Reyes: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K (96 pitches)

Durbin Feltman: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 0 K (25 pitches)

After wet conditions forced him out of the game on Tuesday, Pedroia was back in action in his rehab on Wednesday and looked solid yet again. He did manage just a single, which isn’t much to write home about, but he made it through the seven innings he was scheduled for and made a nice defensive play going up the middle as well. Baby steps. A little further down the lineup, Dalbec had himself a big game. It’s been a very weird season for the slugger, who has 30 strikeouts in 28 games and a .228 batting average, but also a .377 OBP and .163 Isolated Power. That last number doesn’t sound impressive, but keep in mind we are still waiting for baseball weather here in Portland. I wonder how much has to do with pitchers just not throwing him strikes because they don’t want to get punished. On the pitching side, Reyes was fantastic in what has been a rollercoaster season for him, and Feltman continues to struggle mightily with control right now.

Salem W 6-1

Jarren Duran, CF: 3-5, 2 R, 1 SB, 1 PO

Marco Hernandez, 2B: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 E

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Dylan Hardy, RF: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Kutter Crawford: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K (87 pitches)

Joan Martinez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (12 pitches)

All aboard the Kutter Crawford Bandwagon! The righty was one of the biggest breakouts in the entire farm system last year, and all he’s down to start 2019 is dominate High-A competition. The 23-year-old isn’t exactly young for the level, but he’s doing what he’s supposed to with a 2.38 ERA and 45 strikeouts to 12 walks over 34 innings of work. This game was the first time in his career he reached double-digit strikeouts, on the same night fellow Florida Gulf Coast alum Chris Sale set down 14. Coincidence? Yes! Meanwhile, the top of the lineup got back to work in this game and Salem jumped out to a 5-0 lead that was more than enough for Crawford. Duran and Castellanos stood out today, but all nine Salem starters had a hit on Wednesday. Also, because I don’t know where else to put this but it should be mentioned, Bryan Mata was placed on the injured list on Tuesday with a shoulder strain, per the Sox Prospects Transactions Page.

Greenville L 3-4

Cole Brannen, CF: 0-4, 1 BB

Tyler Esplin, RF: 2-5, 1 3B, 2 R

Kole Cottam, C: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R

Jordan Wren, LF: 2-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 1 K

Triston Casas, 1B: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 2-4, 1 K

Alex Scherff: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K (86 pitches)

Greenville picked up an early lead in this game, jumping out to a 1-0 lead after one and a 3-1 lead after three, but then the fifth inning happened. Scherff ran into trouble and couldn’t be helped out of it by his bullpen, and that was that. It was a dominant start to the season for the righty, but he’s taken a big step back of late. He’s failed to record more than 13 outs in each of his last two outings, allowing a total of eight runs in 8 13 innings with seven strikeouts and five walks. Without actually watching him it’s hard to know if this is just the league adjusting to him or if it’s just a bad stretch or maybe he’s suffering from some bad luck. Whatever the case, he was in line for an early promotion, and that could be up in the air if this continues.

Player of the Day: There were a bunch of options here, with both Dalbec and Reyes particularly standing out in Portland and Duran contributing three hits at the top of Salem’s lineup. Despite all that, however, Kutter Crawford gets the nod here. The Salem starter was an absolute machine in this game, striking out a career-high 11 batters with just one walk. A 16th round pick in 2017, he now has 65 innings in Salem between this year and last, and after another 30-40 innings he should be up in Portland for a midseason promotion. As mentioned above, he’s 23 years old so pushing him a bit isn’t the worst thing in the world.