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Red Sox Minor Lines: Phillip Sikes hits a pair of homers for Salem

And Connor Wong is heating up.

Worcester L 6-7

Jarren Duran, CF: 1-5, 1 R

Connor Wong, DH: 3-5, 1 R

Ryan Fitzgerald, 1B/3B: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 1 E

Jonathan Araúz, SS: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K

Ronaldo Hernández, C: 2-4, 1 2B

Roberto Ramos, 1B: 3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K

Kutter Crawford (SP): 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K (73 pitches)

Silvino Bracho (L): 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K (40 pitches)

Michael Feliz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (12 pitches)

Durbin Feltman: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (17 pitches)

Kaleb Ort: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (25 pitches)

This was a tough one for Worcester, who got a two-run homer from Fitzgerald in the ninth to pull to within one, but that was as close as they’d get. Crawford struggled in his start as he looks to stretch back out, and Bracho had a rare tough day too. But more positively, Wong is taking the two spot very well. With both Jeter Downs and Triston Casas out with minor injuries right now, Wong has moved up in the lineup the last couple of days and has had two of his best games of the season. The Red Sox were looking for at least one of Wong or Hernández to step up this year to grab a major-league role in 2023. Neither has done so so far, but each have a couple of multi-hit games in a row and may be starting to take off.

Portland W 7-4

David Hamilton, 2B: 1-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 K

Wil Dalton, CF: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K

Devlin Granberg, DH: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R

Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Christian Koss, SS: 1-4, 1 R, 1 K

Victor Santos (SP; W): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K (79 pitches)

Jacob Wallace: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (10 pitches)

Portland is streaking right now, having won each of their last four games. On the pitching side, it was kind of a weird outing for Santos, who had a quality start but only struck out one and allowed two homers. It’s not a line you see every day. Offensively, Hamilton hit his fourth triple of the season, and Castellanos is keeping up his hot streak. The latter now has five homers in his last two weeks, and in the month of May he’s hitting .325/.347/.618.

Greenville L 1-5

Nick Yorke, 2B: 1-4, 1 K

Tyler McDonough, DH: 0-4, 2 K

Ceddanne Rafaela, CF: 1-4, 3 K

Alex Binelas, 3B: 0-4, 1 K

Matthew Lugo, SS: 1-4, 1 R

Nicholas Northcut, 1B: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K

Gilberto Jimenez, RF: 0-2, 2 BB

Nick Decker, LF: 1-2, 1 2B, 2 BB

Brendan Cellucci (SP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (27 pitches)

Chih-Jung Liu (L): 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K (69 pitches)

Ryan Zeferjahn: 2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K (49 pitches)

This was just a rough game for Greenville, with no real standout game on either side. Liu is one of the more intriguing pitchers in the system to me, as I think his stuff is a bit underrated and some of the contextual factors around the start of his career, coming from Asia to start his career in 2020 and having everything stall out with COVID, doesn’t get enough consideration. That said, he’s still just too inconsistent. His ERA is now 6.35, and we’re getting to the point where I’d like to see what he can do in a pure relief role airing it out.

Salem W 8-2

Eddinson Paulino, 2B: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 K

Brainer Bonaci, SS: 1-5

Blaze Jordan, 3B: 1-5, 1 2B

Nathan Hickey, C: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Eduardo Lopeez, DH: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 R

Tyler Miller, LF: 2-5, 1 R

Phillip Sikes, CF: 3-4, 1 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 3 R, 4 RBI

Juan Daniel Encarnacion (SP; W): 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K (79 pitches)

Jacob Webb: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (35 pitches)

There’s a couple of standout performances from this game for Salem, and neither are from big names in the system. On offense, Sikes clearly led the way. The outfielder was the team’s 18th round pick last season, and he burst onto the scene last summer on the complex, putting up a 1.086 OPS. That hasn’t quite translated to full-season ball, and he struggled to start the season. He’s starting to turn things around though, with this game being the exclamation point. Sikes is now hitting .226/.336/.419. And then pitching, Encarnacion has been a rollercoaster this season. This is the second start for him this month in which he allowed just one run while striking out eight, but he’s also had a couple of bad starts preceding each of them. Overall, he has a 4.79 ERA on the year.

Player of the Day: Phillip Sikes

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