Pawtucket W 7-5
Gorkys Hernández, CF: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Jantzen Witte, 3B: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI
Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 K
Josh Ockimey, 1B: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Rusney Castillo, RF: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Bryce Brentz, DH: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K
Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (24 pitches)
In a game filled with solo home runs for the PawSox, it was a pair of singles that proved to make the difference in this game. Trailing by a run heading into the seventh, Marco Hernandez knocked in two to take the lead on an RBI single before Castillo knocked in Hernadnez for an insurance run. It was the homers we want to talk about today, though, and specifically that of Ockimey. It’s been a big first half for the left-handed first baseman, who has a .218 batting average but a .383 OBP and a .538 SLG to go with it in one of the weirder lines I’ve ever seen. We’ve seen Ockimey have big first halves before so it’s too early to get too excited, but he’s a potential bench and/or platoon player that could be ready as soon as the second half of this season for the Red Sox if the need arises.
Portland G1 W 6-5
Jhon Nunez, C: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-4, 2 K
Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 R
Tate Matheny, CF: 3-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Keith Curcio, RF: 3-4, 3 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Darwinzon Hernandez: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 9 K (97 pitches)
It was a dramatic one in Portland, too, as the Sea Dogs held a 4-0 lead heading into the sixth before Hernandez imploded in the bottom of that inning to cough up the lead. Fortunately, Matheny and Curcio were there to come up with a couple of big hits to take the lead back in the seventh and hold on from there. For Hernandez, four of the five hits he allowed were in that sixth inning as was one of the walks. Clearly the strikeout stuff is not an issue, but he is still struggling with command and it seems to be getting worse deeper into outings. I have no problem with the attempt to get him to figure it out as a starter, but we’re reaching the point where the conversion to relief should start to take place.
Portland G2 PPD
Salem L 6-9
Jarren Duran, CF: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 K
Jagger Rusconi, 2B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K
Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 2-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 1-5, 1 2B
Victor Acosta, RF: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K
Nick Lovullo, 3B/SS: 2-4, 1 R
Eduard Bazardo: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K (24 pitches)
Salem had a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh before starter Enmanuel De Jesus and Bazardo combined to allow a six-run inning. For Bazardo, it was a rare misstep this season and the first time he’s allowed multiple runs all season. Even with the rough outing, the 23-year-old still has an ERA well under 2.00. Offensively, the relative slump continues for Duran, who watched his batting average fall under .400 earlier this week and with this game his OPS has fallen below 1.000. The horror!
Greenville W 4-3 (F/10)
Cole Brannen, CF: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
Triston Casas, 1B: 0-4, 1 K
Devlin Granberg, DH: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K
Alan Marrero, C: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K
Brandon Howlett, 3B: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K
Chase Shugart: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (85 pitches)
A dramatic day for the farm ends with a dramatic walk off in extra innings. It was the most unlikely of heroes, too, with Brannen driving in the winning run on a base hit. Speaking of Brannen, I’m not sure he’ll still be up with Greenville with the short-season teams start playing. The former second round pick has not taken any sort of step forward this year, hitting just .183 with a .469 OPS on the year. On a more positive note, Granberg just continues to hit. He’s not a top prospect, but he’s done little but hit since being drafted last season and deserves some attention as long as that continues.
Player of the Day: This was a tough day to pick this fake award, with a lot of players having good games but no one really having that clear, great game. I think it has to go to Tate Matheny, though, who not only helped Portland pull ahead late in their game but also smashed a home run to go with a triple. Matheny is having a weird year, as it feels like I’ve mentioned him a ton but he only has a .652 OPS. He has been much better lately, to be fair, with that OPS jumping up from .389 as recently as May 13.