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Red Sox Minor Lines: The Kansas connection leads Lowell to victory

And bullpens struggle throughout the organization.

Pawtucket W 10-5

Gorkys Hernández, CF: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Tzu-Wei Lin, SS: 1-6, 1 R, 1 RBI

Chad De La Guerra, 3B: 4-5, 2 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI

Bryce Brentz, DH: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Chris Owings, RF: 0-5, 2 K

Cole Sturgeon, LF: 3-4, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Darwinzon Herandnez: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K (102 pitches)

Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K (30 pitches)

Bobby Poyner: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K (16 pitches)

Pawtucket scored ten runs in their rubber match for this series in Rochester, but it’s the pitching I want to focus on. Specifically, the starting pitching. Hernandez continues to show us the good, the bad and the ugly this year with this start kicking us in the teeth with all of it. He struck out eight batters in 4 23 innings. That’s outstanding! He also walked three and hit three more batters, while also balking. That’s not great! He also threw over 100 pitches without getting through five. Not ideal! I get wanting to keep working with Hernandez to try and make it work as a starter, but at some point you have to make the shift. For what it’s worth, the lefty is starting to work exclusively out of the stretch, so maybe they will be able to unlock something here. I really don’t see it coming as a starter at this point, though.

Portland L 2-3

Jarren Duran, CF: 0-4, 3 K

C.J. Chatham, SS: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 E

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

Joey Curletta, DH: 0-4, 1 K

Matthew Kent: 8 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K (95 pitches)

Durbin Feltman: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K (20 pitches)

As you’ll see further down, and from what you remember of Sunday’s game in London, bullpen implosions were a theme for the day. Feltman had been looking better of late, but there is clearly some more work to be done with the righty’s consistency. Feltman got two outs to start his outing, but then went from a 1-2 count to eventually walking a batter before allowing the two-run, walkoff homer. This was his fifth blown save of the year, but he had allowed just one run over his previous eight outings before this one.

Salem L 2-3

Ryan Fitzgerald, SS: 2-4, 1 2B

Pedro Castellanos, DH: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K

Daniel Gonzalez: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K (84 pitches)

Joan Martinez: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K (31 pitches)

The High-A squad is taking some pointers from the major-league club, apparently. Gonzalez gave Salem a tremendous start on Sunday, with five of those six hits he allowed being singles. The bullpen couldn’t support him, though, as they allowed three runs in the eighth. Martinez has been outstanding for most of this year, but he couldn’t find the command in this one. He entered with a runner on second and one out with his team up one, but ended up allowing a pair of base hits to get two more runs across and lose the lead. Martinez just recently came back from the injured list after missing about a month, but had looked good in his previous two outings back in Salem. Hopefully this is just a one-outing blip.

Greenville L 3-6

Cole Brannen, CF: 0-4, 1 K

Tyler Esplin, RF: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 0-4, 2 K

Devlin Granberg, 1B: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Alan Marrero, C: 2-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 E

Chase Shugart: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K (96 piches)

This was a similar story to the Salem game, with the starting pitcher putting up zeros and the bullpen failing to pick him up. Granted, Shugart’s start wasn’t nearly as long or as clean as Gonzalez’s, but the point still stands. For me, though, what stands out most about this game is the absence of Triston Casas. The organization’s top prospect left after just one at bat on Friday and then sat out the next two games. I can’t seem to find anything on the apparent injury, but as far as I can tell there hasn’t been a move to put him on the IL so hopefully he’ll be back in there on Monday.

Lowell W 6-4

Gilberto Jimenez, CF: 3-5, 1 K

Jaxx Groshans, C: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 3 RBI

Nicholast Northcut, 3B: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K

Antoni Flores, SS: 1-4, 1 R

Nick Decker, DH: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K

Ryan Zeferjahn: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (14 pitches)

The Spinners are certainly the most exciting roster in the Red Sox farm system right now, and they got that much moreso on Sunday with Zeferjahn making his professional debut. This summer’s third round pick was electric in his one inning of work, allowing a double to the first batter he faced but then striking out the next three batters he saw. The Red Sox always take it easy on pitchers in their first year as professionals, and with good reason, so don’t expect more than two or three innings in any start from Zeferjahn this year. On the other end, he was caught by his college catcher Groshans — also drafted this year — and the former Jayhawk hit his first professional home run. Big day for Kansas fans.