Tag Archives: minor league baseball

Spinners make quick in-and-out visit to LeLacheur, host Tigers in doubleheader tonight

by Joshua Kummins

GAME 1 STARTING LINE-UPS

TIGERS
30 Chad Wright CF
15 Eugenio Suarez SS
39 Jason King 3B
19 Dean Green 1B
49 Curtis Casali C
28 Samir Rijo RF
12 Matt Perry DH
55 Javier Azcona 2B
1 P.J. Polk LF

48 Wilsen Palacios RHP

SPINNERS
12 Keury De La Cruz CF
16 Jose Garcia SS
17 Garin Cecchini 3B
30 Travis Shaw DH
18 Boss Moanaroa 1B
6 Jason Thompson 2B
15 Seth Schwindenhammer LF
24 Jayson Hernandez C
22 Drew Turocy RF

40 Raynel Velette RHP
GAME PREVIEW (1:55 p.m.)
LOWELL, Mass. — The Lowell Spinners will host their Stedler Division rival, the Connecticut Tigers (DET) on Tuesday evening in what turns out to be the lone night of New York-Penn League action in Lowell as part of the four-game, home-and-home series.

Monday’s Independence Night game was postponed due to weather, but a firework show was still held following the announcement. First pitch of game one is set for 5:05 p.m. and those in the Lowell/Merrimack Valley area can catch the action on Chelmsford Telemedia with Bob Ellis and Chaz Scoggins.

Lowell comes into the doubleheader with an evened 8-8 record on the season, which stands second in the Stedler and just two games back of the division-leading Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) for the top slot.

Connecticut is just a half-game back of the Spinners as their 7-8 record ranks third. The Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) bring up the fourth spot and rear of the division with a 7-10 mark.

The Spinners will start a pair of first-year domestic professionals in the doubleheader, both in the midst of their first full professional season outside of the Dominican Summer League.

In game one of the doubleheader, the Spinners start 20-year old Raynel Velette, who was signed by the Red Sox as an International free agent in 2008. Nefi Ogando, a fellow native Dominican and Internation free agent in 2010, will make his first start for Lowell in the nightcap.

Velette is making his fourth start, but has yet to factor into a decision on either end. He sports a 4.15 ERA over 13 innings this season and is coming off a five-inning performance last Wednesday in which he allowed two hits and two runs in a comeback win over Tri-Cty.

Ogando has made a trio of relief appearances for the Spinners so far on this young decision, including picking up his first win of the season in that same game last Wednesday night. He allowed just one stray hit over three innings in relief, piggybacking Velette’s start. The Santo Domingo native is 1-1 with a solid 1.50 ERA over 12 innings. 

Connecticut will counter with Venezuelan right-hander Wilsen Palacios in the opener, while fellow righty Brennan Smith goes in the second game.

Palacios has no record and a 5.19 ERA through three starts and a total of 8.2 innings pitched. He tossed four innings of one-hit, shutout ball during his first outing in Lowell on June 18, which was the second game of the season.

The native of Guarenas Miranda, Venezuela finished third in the Gulf Coast League last season with 61.1 innings pitched and his 58 strikeouts were third. He made two relief appearances with Connecticut in 2010 and earned NYPL Pitcher of the Week honors for Aug. 30-Sept. 3 after not allowing a run over 10.1 innings.

Smith is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA over two starts for the Tigers this season. His first win came in Lowell on June 19 as he tossed 5.1 scoreless innings during which he allowed just three hits. This will be his third appearance and start after he was tagged for seven hits and five earned runs over 5.2 innings last Thursday against Vermont.

The 2009 Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year and All-MAC First Team selection is a native of Sandusky, Ohio. His seven losses last season for Connecticut were tied for the NYPL lead.

David Smith, Jr. will attempt the "Human Home Run" tonight at LeLacheur Park!

Stay tuned between games for the first-ever “Human Home Run” at LeLacheur Park.

History will be made when David Smith, Sr. (the world record holder for longest flight as a human cannon ball) will be shot from behind second base, over the Courier sign in right field before landing in netting set just before the Aiken Street Bridge.

Following the second game, the Spinners will have “Kids Run the Bases” and another post-game fireworks show.

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Pitching is the Story on Bobby Doerr Military Bobble Head Night

by Joseph Kuykendall

Entering yesterday’s (July 1) contest between the Lowell Spinners and the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Spinners pitching staff has held their opponents scoreless for 16 straight innings. The same pitching success continued tonight not just for the Spinners, but for both teams.

For the first five innings, the Tri-Valley starter Kyle Hallock outdid his Spinners counterpart Luis Diaz…just barely. Hallock was literally unhittable through five innings as he was perfect through those five innings with eight strikeouts (all of which came in the first four innings) and only two balls left the infield.

On the flip side, Diaz only allowed two hits through five innings. And after getting into a little trouble in the fifth inning, Diaz was relieved finishing the night with 5.2 innings pitched, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. Reliever Kevin Brahney was able to finish the sixth inning without any damage done to the Spinners.

Finally in the Bottom of the sixth inning, Spinner outfielder Matty Johnson broke up the no-hitter and perfect game all at once with a bloop single over the second basemen’s head. The next batter, Leonel Escobar, was able to get a single thanks to a hole in the left side of the infield due to a well-executed hit and run.

With the game still scoreless, Joantoni Garcia ripped a single to left field scoring Johnson and giving the Spinners a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Jose Garcia hit a sacrifice fly plating another Spinner’s run.

ValleyCat starter Hallock kept dealing despite the little cough-up in the sixth inning. He finished his outing going 7 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), and an astounding 11 strikeouts (including striking out the side twice).

The score would stay 2-0 until the end of the game as the Spinners completed the three-game sweep of the ValleyCats. They now have a 7-7 record and are in sole possession of second place in the Stedler Division trailing the Vermont Lake Monsters by 1.5 games.

With the shutout win, the Spinners pitching staff has now set the franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 25 and counting. The previous franchise record was 24 consecutive innings which was accomplished in 2001, 2002, and 2004.

The Spinners now hit the road to Connecticut for a two-game series with the Connecticut Tigers before returning home on Independence Day for another two-game series with the Connecticut Tigers at LeLacheur Park.

Yesterday’s game was military themed and as a part of that, the first 1000 fans through the gates received a Bobby Doerr Military bobble head.

FOR A VIDEO RECAP OF THE GAME, USE THIS LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZafnQ-8DOWU

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Red Sox News and Notes: Sox set for final Interleague series in Houston

by Joshua Kummins

* The Boston Red Sox are set to begin their final Interleague series of the season tonight against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Houston has a 29-53 record, which is worst in the National League and throughout Major League Baseball.

* Boston (46-34) has struggled of late having dropped six of their most recent eight games, but still owns the second-best record in the American League thus far. The New York Yankees (48-31), who own the best record in the A.L., have had a 2.5-game lead over the Red Sox in the A.L. East for two straight days.

* Tonight’s game in Houston features right-handers Tim Wakefield (4-3) and Bud Norris (4-6) and marks the halfway point of the 2011 season. The Sox will close the first half of the season with a winning record for the 14th consecutive year.

* Jon Lester was masterful on the mound yesterday afternoon as he picked up his tenth win of the season in Philadelphia. He twirled seven innings of two-hit ball to lead the Red Sox to a 5-2 win over the Phillies, which salvaged the finale of the three-game set. The win was Terry Francona’s 700th in his Red Sox career.

* Sox slugger David Ortiz and Milwaukee Brewer Prince Fielder have been named the first-ever captains for the American and National League teams at the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby on July 11 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.

Derby rules have been changed and the captains will select three additional players for the team, which will compete together as opposed to an individual competition in the past.

* Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang and third baseman Will Middlebrooks were both selected to participate in the 2011 XM Futures Game at Chase Field on Sunday, July 10.

Chiang, a native of Taitung, Taiwan and a member of the World Team for the Futures Game, is hitting .307 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 53 games for the Sea Dogs this season. In his second season with Portland, he leads the Eastern League witha .620 slugging percentage and ranks second in the league in doubles (21), extra base hits (35), and his .307 average ranks ninth in the league.

Middlebrooks, a Greenville, Texas native, has appeared in 53 games for the Sea Dogs this season. He ranks among the team leaders in virtually every category including ranking third in hitting (.297) and home runs (8), while his 32 RBI is fifth best. He entered the season as the 11th ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization by Baseball America.

* Chiang and Middlebrooks were also selected as two of five Sea Dogs represented at the 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game on July 13 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H. One position player and one pitcher from each team are selected through fan voting as part of each 24-player team, resulting in the selections of Middlebrooks and pitcher Alex Wilson.

Pitcher Stephen Fife and outfielder Alex Hassan will join the aforementioned three.

Fife, a Boise, Idaho native, will make his second straight appearance at the Eastern League All-Star Game.  In 13 games this season, the right-hander has notched an 8-3 record with a 3.28 ERA and currently sits tied atop the Eastern League with eight wins.

Hassan leads the team with a .323 average through 72 games, ranking fourth in the Eastern League. The 24 year-old native of Milton, Mass. also leads the Eastern League in both walks (51) and on base percentage (.447).  

Wilson boasts the league’s seventh-best ERA (2.82) and owns a 6-4 record in 15 games with the Sea Dogs this season. The 24 year-old leads the team in starts (15), innings (79.2), strikeouts (72), and ERA (2.82). He was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and resides in Hurricane, W.Va.

* Pitcher Matt Fox selected to represent the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A) as member of the International League All-Stars during the Triple-A All-Star festivities at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 13.

The 28-year-old Fox is a Columbus, Ohio native and sports a 4-2 record and 3.61 ERA in 17 games (10 starts) for the PawSox this season. He is the lone PawSox representative at the Triple-A All-Star Game, joining All-Stars from the other 13 I.L. clubs.

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Lowell 3, Tri-City 2: Spinners come back to steal series-opening win from Baby Astros

The Lowell Spinners emerged victorious over the Tri-City ValleyCats. (Both photos: John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL, Mass. – It was a world record night for the Lowell Spinners at LeLacheur Park on Wednesday night as fans, players and even media members (yes, that means me) captured the new world record for simultaneous dental flossing.

Not only was that record set, but the Spinners improved their record to 5-7 on the season with a 3-2 win over the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU).

Spinners starter Raynel Velette allowed a lead-off walk to center fielder Justin Gominsky and then settled in to retire the next three batters, but left one ball up in the zone that cost Lowell the first run of the game.

Tri-City scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning as catcher Miles Hamblin knocked a 2-2 pitch out of the park to deep right field, just clearing the wall and the foul pole.

The longball was just the second of the season by the ValleyCat offense and the fifth surrendered by Spinners pitching.

Three batters later, DH Ryan McCurdy hit a long double into the left field corner to score shortstop Hector Rodriguez and give Tri-City a 2-0 lead with two outs.

Lowell chopped the lead in half against ValleyCat starter Jonas Dufek in the bottom of the second inning as left fielder Matty Johnson grounded out on the infield. The play scored DH Will Middlebrooks, who reached base on a gift double that dropped between the second baseman and right fielder.

However, you have to credit Middlebrooks, who is on rehab from Double-A Portland, for hustling all the way to second base and making it easily.

Spinners fans set the dental flossing world record during Wednesday's game.

Before the game, Spinners staff passed out dental floss picks in preparation for setting the world record for most people flossing at one time and in one place. Between halves of the fourth inning, the new record of 3,014 was set (the first that will be recognized by the Guinness Book).

In the bottom of the fourth, Spinners first baseman Boss Moanaroa came around to score the game-tying run on an RBI groundout by right fielder Drew Turocy, which came with one out in the frame.

Lowell jumped ahead by a 3-2 score with two outs in the seventh inning as center fielder Keury De La Cruz hit a rocket of a single that knocked the glove off pitcher Dayan Diaz. Shortstop Jose Garcia was the next batter and he reached on a fielding error by his counterpart Rodriguez, which allowed De La Cruz to come around from second.

Velette hurled five innings, allowing just two hits and two earned runs, while walking three and fanning two. The outing was his third straight no-decision to open the season and his second straight against the ValleyCats.

Reliever Nefi Ogando, who is in his first year as a domestic professional, earned his first win with the Spinners. The Santo Domingo, D.R. native allowed just a hit and two walks over three innings.

In the ninth inning, manager Carlos Febles brought in righty Mike McCarthy to close the game as he retired the ValleyCats 1-2-3, including right fielder Drew Muren by way of the strikeout in the ninth inning.

Dufek allowed five hits and two runs over six innings, while Diaz took his first loss of the season despite allowing just a hit and a run over two innings.

The Spinners and ValleyCats return to LeLacheur Park on Thursday for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch on $1,000 Hot Dog Night at the Ballpark. Madison Younginer takes the mound for Lowell as he looks for his first win.

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Lowell Spinners welcome ValleyCats to LeLacheur, go for Guinness World Record

 

by Joshua Kummins

LOWELL, Mass. — The Lowell Spinners open their third home series of the 2011 season on Wednesday evening as they welcome the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) to LeLacheur Park for their fourth New York-Penn League meeting of the young summer season.

Lowell comes into the game and the series with a 4-7 record, which is last in the Stedler Division, but just 2.5 games back of division-leading Vermont (OAK) at 6-4. Tri-City’s 6-5 record sits just a half-game behind of the Lake Monsters.

Tri-City has taken the first three games of the season series against the Spinners, which took place at Troy, N.Y.’s Bruno Stadium last Thursday-Saturday.

STARTING LINE-UPS

VALLEYCATS
16 Justin Gominsky CF
4 John Hinson 2B
40 Matt Duffy 3B
32 Zach Johnson 1B
27 Miles Hamblin C
18 Drew Muren RF
38 Kellen Kiilsgaard LF
6 Hector Rodriguez SS
2 Ryan McCurdy DH

43 Jonas Dufek SP

SPINNERS
12 Keury De La Cruz CF
16 Jose Garcia SS
17 Garin Cecchini 3B
20 Will Middlebrooks DH
18 Boss Moanaroa 1B
3 Matty Johnson LF
24 Jayson Hernadez C
22 Dree Turocy RF
11 Joantoni Garcia 2B

40 Raynel Velette SP

Tonight’s starting pitcher for the Spinners is 20-year old Raynel Velette, who was signed by the Red Sox as an International free agent in 2008.

The Puerta Plata, D.R. native has not factored into the decision in either of his starts so far this year, despite allowing just five hits and one unearned run over five innings in his first start of the season on June 18 against Connecticut (DET).

Tri-City will counter with right-hander Jonas Dufek, who is also making his third start of the season. His first appearance was a thing of beauty, allowing just two hits over three innings on June 18 against Vermont.

Dufek was selected by the Astros in the ninth round (280th overall) of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft after finishing his senior season at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He became the highest draft pick in C.U. Blue Jay history since rehabbing Spinner infielder Zach Daeges in 2006. 

In his last start on Friday against the Spinners, he struggled and allowed eight hits and six earned runs in a no-decision. Velette also appeared in that game, pitching three innings of seven-hit, four-run ball.

Tri-City is led by third baseman Matt Duffy, who hails from Milton, Mass. His .395 batting average is ranked third in the NYPL through his first 11 games. He was selected in the 19th round (610th overall) this year out of the University of Tennessee.

Lowell DH Will Middlebrooks and third baseman Travis Shaw are tied for the NYPL lead with three home runs so far this year. Middlebrooks is on a rehab assignment, while Shaw was selected as Boston’s 12th selection (292nd overall) in the 2011 Draft.

Not only will their be great baseball in “The Mill City” tonight, but the Spinners attempt their third Guinness World Record as they will attempt to set the mark for “most people flossing their teeth at one time, in one place,” which does in fact exist!

The event will feature thousands of fans flossing their teeth simultaneously, using Glide floss picks donated to the Massachusetts Dental Society by Procter and Gamble.

In addition, LeLacheur Park will host the usual “Spinnertainment” options, which include kids’ “elaborate face paintings” from Diane and the opportunity to run the bases after the game!

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Patrick’s On Baseball: Cats’ travel to Trenton

BY PATRICKCAVANAUGH

Visit the video coverage here…Fisher Cats

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)–The New Hampshire Fisher Cats couldn’t have found a worse time to head on the road.

Aside from all of the rainouts, the Fisher Cats are on a five game winning streak. This

past home-stand has been tremendous for the Cats’. This past series featured a ton of home-runs and overall a lot of talent.

But Back to the now.

The Fisher Cats go on the seven-game road trip. They start with a three-game series in Trenton against the Thunder (NYY). Tonight (6/27), Henderson Alvarez (4-2, 2.30), will get the start for the Fishers.

Then, on Thursday, the Fisher Cats will then travel north to Portland for a four-game series against the Sea Dogs.

The Fisher Cats will then return home for an eight game home-stand that will lead them up to the All-Star Break.

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for www.BostonSportsU18.com. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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New Hampshire 7, Portland 3: Fisher Cats complete weekend sweep of Sea Dogs

Joel Carreno had a strong game on the mound for the Fisher Cats, tossing six shutout innings.

by Joshua Kummins

MANCHESTER, N.H. – New Hampshire starter Joel Carreno allowed just four hits and three runs over six innings, leading the Fisher Cats to a 7-3 win over the visiting Portland Sea Dogs on Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

With the win, the Fisher Cats complete the sweep of the Sea Dogs in front of — fans in Manchester, seeing their hometown team capture their fifth straight win to conclude the homestand to improve their league-leading record to 46-27.

Carreno fanned nine Sea Dogs in the game, which added to a total that ranks second in the Eastern League and now stands at 105. The Dominican native, who came into the game with the ninth-best ERA in the EL at 3.24, picked up his sixth win of the season (second on the staff).

The Fisher Cats offense jumped out to a quick lead against Sea Dogs starter Brock Huntzinger as they tagged him for four runs in the second inning.

First baseman Mike McDade led off the inning with a single and came around to score all the way from first on a long double into the left-center field gap by right fielder Moises Sierra.

Designated hitter Ricardo Nanita reached on a base hit in the next at-bat, coming around to score with Sierra as third baseman Mark Sobolewski hit his first home run of the season just over the wall in right-center field with two outs.

New Hampshire extended their lead two innings later as Sobolweski walked and scored on an RBI triple into the right field corner by second baseman Callix Crabbe.

Portland came back for three runs in the fifth inning, which was the most trouble that Carrreno would encounter in the outing.

After third baseman Jon Hee doubled to open the inning, second baseman Oscar Tejada was issued a free pass to set up the first scoring play on a sacrifice fly to left field by first baseman Jorge Padron.

Tejada came in from third base to score on a passed ball during Mitch Dening’s at-bat, while shortstop Ryan Khoury’s single plated Dening, Portland’s right fielder from third base as well.

New Hampshire tagged big right-handed reliever Cesar Cabral for one final run in the eighth inning after he came in for a perfect seventh inning.

They did not waste any time by getting it out of the way on a deep longball by right fielder Moises Sierra, which landed just to the left of the center field batter’s eye for his team-leading 12th home run of the season.
Fisher Cat reliever Matt Daly came in for the ninth inning and retired the Sea Dogs 1-2-3 to complete the weekend sweep. He induced a flyout to catcher Matt Spring, before Hee and pinch hitter Vladimir Frias grounded out on the infield to preserve the win.

Fellow relievers Clint Everts and Chad Beck held the lead for Daly, who came in for the 17th instance of the year for a non-save situation.

The Fishers tagged Huntzinger for the loss as he allowed seven hits and six runs over four innings, while walking two and whiffing four. Santo Luis came in for the next 2.2 innings and allowed just two hits and two walks.

With the loss, Portland falls to an EL-worst 25-47 on the season as they head back to Hadlock Field for a six-game homestand with series against New Britain (MIN) and the Fisher Cats.

New Hampshire will leave Northeast Delta Dental Stadium for six games as the travel south to Trenton (NYY), before heading back north to Portland.

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Sea Dogs, Fisher Cats conclude June weekend series at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

 

by Joshua Kummins

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Portland Sea Dogs look to salvage the final game of a weekend series against their New England rivals, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) on Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Portland and New Hampshire have met nine times so far this season and will meet 13 times within the next month of the season.

The Fisher Cats have won four games in a row and own the best record in the EL at 45-27, which stands 4.0 games ahead of Trenton (NYY).

Despite some solid performances from individual Red Sox prospects, the Sea Dogs have struggled as they own the league’s worst record at 25-46, which trails Binghamton (NYM) by 1.5 games.

The Fisher Cats have swept the first two games of the series and have captured seven of the first nine match-ups this season.

Portland jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning and a 5-1 lead in the fifth, but New Hampshire stormed back on Saturday night to take a 9-5 win.

Red Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks threw a scoreless inning for the Sea Dogs on rehab from Boston, allowing a single base knock to leadoff hitter and New Hampshire shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

The veteran of six Major League seasons with the Chicago White Sox was sidelined with back tightness on June 8 and hopes to re-join Boston in the near future.

In the fifth inning, the Dogs took a 5-1 lead as right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang hit a grand slam to deep right field on the first pitch of the at bat to comfort Portland’s lead, but that would be the last of the Portland offense.

The Fisher Cats took the 9-5 win on home runs in consecutive innings by catcher Yan Gomes (sixth), first baseman Mike McDade (seventh) and DH Travis d’Arnaud (eighth).

Starter Robert Ray tossed six innings and allowed five hits, five runs and five walks and left the decision up to Ronald Uviedo, who earned his third win with two scoreless innings.

New Hampshire will start right-hander Joel Carreno (5-5) in this afternoon’s series finale. His 3.24 ERA ranks ninth among EL pitchers. He also ranks second the league and tops in the Blue Jays organization with 96 strikeouts through 77.2 innings.

The San Cristobal, D.R. native is looking to get back on track, having lost two of his last three decisions. Carreno went from May 6-28 without a loss (4-0 in six appearances).

Portland will counter with right-hander Brock Huntzinger, who looks for his second straight win in his first start against New Hampshire this season. The Indiana native is 4-5 with a 6.54 ERA in 12 starts.

McDade, the Fisher Cats’ slugging first baseman, ranks one spot (ninth in the league) above Chiang at .304. His 50 runs batted in, 48 runs scored and 24 doubles stack up above all the rest in the Eastern League.

Portland is led by left fielder Alex Hassan and Chiang, who are both among the league’e top ten in hitting. Hassan, a Duke alum and Milton, Mass. native, has a .325 average, which ranks fourth among Eastern League batters. Chiang’s even .300 average sits tenth in the league.

Following this series in Manchester, the Fisher Cats will embark on a six-game Eastern Division road swing that stops at Portland’s Hadlock Field next weekend. Portland returns home to Hadlock where they will face New Britain in a three-game series before the Fisher Cats visit.

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Streaking Sox remain busy during Monday’s off day

A few quick notes on yesterday’s happenings from around Red Sox Nation:

The Red Sox are winners of their last nine games and owners of baseball’s longest winning streak in 2011. Boston has not lost since June 1 and all nine wins have come in three-game series on the road. The last two have come against divisional opponents New York and Toronto.

Tim Wakefield (3-1) will take the ball for Boston as they look to reach a double-digit winning streak in tonight’s series opener against Tampa Bay. James Shields (5-4) starts for the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 12th. The MLB Network made the announcement on Monday.

Ellsbury’s honor is the first of his career and the third in consecutive weeks for the Red Sox. Teammates Carl Crawford (week ending May 30th) and David Ortiz (week ending June 6th) each captured the award the previous two weeks.

In six games, the speedy outfielder batted .467 (14-for-30) with three doubles, one home run, four RBI and league-best ten runs scored.

Fellow outfielder Darnell McDonald, who was sidelined with a strained left quad on May 26, is likely to be activated from the 15-day disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game. In his last eight rehab games for Triple-A Pawtucket, the 14-year professional veteran is 10-for-26 (.385) with three doubles, two home runs, and ten RBI.

According to WEEI’s Alex Speier, the Red Sox are close to signing several selections from last week’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, including 11th-rounder Kevin Brahney (LHP from Chico State), 14th-rounder Mike McCarthy (RHP from Cal State Bakersfield) and 24th-rounder Drew Turocy (CF from University of Akron).

The Sox also have agreements in place with sixth-rounder Miguel Pena (LHP from San Jacinto CC), ninth-rounder Travis Shaw (3B from Kent State), 13th-rounder Matty Ott (RHP from LSU) and 15th-rounder Braden Kapteyn (RHP/1B from Kentucky).

Speaking of draft picks, the Lowell Spinners will host Media Day on Wednesday at LeLacheur Park, unveiling several members of this year’s draft class playing for the short-season affiliate this summer. If those seven picks were to finalize their agreements, they would likely report to Lowell.

The manager of this year’s squad is Carlos Febles, who is a veteran player and coach in the Red Sox organization. Boston catching great Rich Gedman will re-join the organization as the hitting coach and will be able to coach his son, Matt, a third baseman from UMass-Amherst, who was selected in the 45th round this year.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported yesterday that catcher Michael McKenry has been traded to Pittsburgh for a player to be named later or cash.

In 29 games with the PawSox, McKenry hit .274 with three home runs and 12 RBI.

As a result, Red Sox catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket last night and had two doubles in a loss to Charlotte (CWS) at McCoy Stadium.

In 55 games with Portland this season, the 23-year-old batted .284 with 14 home runs and 25 walks. His promotion will allow Tim Federowicz to take on full catching duties at Double-A.

Finally, on the Minor League front: Portland pitcher Stephen Fife was selected as the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. He made one appearance for the Sea Dogs last week, tossing 6.1 no-hit innings against Richmond (SF) at Hadlock Field.

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Lackey looks impressive, PawSox walk-off in 11th

By: Kevin Pereira

John Lackey made his first, and last, rehab appearance with the PawSox after being placed on the 15-day DL on May 16 with a right elbow strain; his first appearance in the minor leagues since 2009 (Salt Lake Bees, Angels’ Triple-A). He came off much like Felix Doubront did last night in his first outing from the DL — strong and impressive.

Lackey was set to pitch 70 pitches, or four innings, whatever came first. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, threw 63 pitches (46 strikes), gave up one run, on three hits (one HR), and struck out three; he topped at 94 mph with his fastball The homerun was the second hit he allowed, it was off the bat of Tides’ centerfielder, Matt Angle, in the third inning; before the homerun, Lackey retired eight of of nine batters he faced; after he retired eight straight to end his night

“I felt pretty good,” said Lackey after his outing. “I felt like I had pretty good command… I was encouraged by it for sure.” “The elbow felt a lot better than it had been feeling.”

“I think [ I can go on Sunday], I felt pretty good about it. It’s up to them [the Red Sox staff], but I’ll be ready to go.”

He did seem laid-back after his outing, answering questions amusingly. When asked about the length of his outing, he responded with “that came from up top.” He also said “cortisone’s a beautiful thing,” when asked about how he felt the DL stint has helped. He then followed with a “that’s never gonna happen,” when asked if he is pain free.

The final question came from PawSox cameraman, Dustin Pari, who asked about the appreciation that the 3,181 fans had of him. Lackey’s response: “Eh, for the most part, there [was] a little bit of both [boos and cheers]. If I’m going to be honest.”

Sadly, Lackey’s impressive outing didn’t result into a win.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Lackey looks impressive, PawSox walk-off in the 11th – Providence Pawtucket Red Sox | Examiner.com

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